LATINOAM 311 - Latina/o Studies and the Humanities
Winter 2021, Section 005 - Literature of the Undocumented
Instruction Mode: Section 005 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: Latina/o American Studies (LATINOAM)
Department: LSA American Culture
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
May be elected twice for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:


Stories of undocumented immigrants are often couched in terms of silence and invisibility, using expressions like “living in the shadows” and “under the radar.” Many Immigrant rights activists, on the other hand, resist this silence and invisibility and see storytelling as a political act that makes the humanity of the undocumented impossible to ignore. This class is about the politics and literature of visibility in narratives that reveal undocumented lives, as well as the theory of literature as a tool for social justice. The texts we will study illuminate the people and circumstances behind undocumented immigration, the policies that make documentation precarious and out of reach, and the sweeping generalizations and dehumanization behind terms like “illegal alien.”

In this class, we will explore how the literature of immigration has created a space for narrating undocumented lives. We will explore how shifting states of documentation - and the consequences of those shifting states - are rendered visible in fiction, poetry, essays, memoirs, oral histories, journalism and works of visual art. Texts include Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn, Tell Me How It Ends by Valeria Luiselli, Dominicana by Angie Cruz, essays by Jose Antonio Vargas, and others.

Course Requirements:

Regular participation in class discussions is a key component of the class. Requirements also include weekly readings, short reading responses, a presentation, and a final project.

Intended Audience:

This class is ideal for students at all levels who are interested in thinking critically about literature through the lens of social justice.

Class Format:

This class will be conducted synchronously through Zoom. This course will use Canvas to upload assignments. Students are expected to have access to a camera and microphone. Arrangements can be made if the student has a poor internet connection.


LATINOAM 311 - Latina/o Studies and the Humanities
Schedule Listing
005 (LEC)
Th 10:00AM - 11:00AM
006 (LEC)
Th 11:00AM - 12:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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