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C LIT 357 A: Literature and Film

Calling all Heroes: Mexico Today

Summer Term: 
Meeting Time: 
MTWTh 1:10pm - 3:20pm
SAV 164
Joint Sections: 
JSIS 480 A
Photo of Cynthia Steele
Cynthia Steele

Additional Details:

C LIT 357A / JSIS 480A

Calling all Heroes: Mexico Today


MTWTh 1:10-3:20

Was the Mexican Revolution a “frozen revolution,” i.e., were the impulses toward economic and social reform unleashed by the Revolution of 1910-20 side-railed by authoritarianism and corruption? Since Mexico elected its first non-PRI president in 2000, has the country made progress toward democratization and economic development? How can we understand immigration flows and the sharp rise in drug-related violence in Mexico? How can the United States influence these developments in a positive way, in light of our troubled historical relations with our neighbor to the south?

This course will begin by examining two pivotal historical moments in Mexican and U.S. history: the US-Mexico War of 1846-1848, including the US invasion of Mexico City, and the student movement of 1968, which in Mexico’s case ended in state repression. We will then move to the recent emergence of a vital border culture and shifting trends in immigration, as well as the increase in violence related to drug trafficking between our two nations. Our readings will include Jürgen Buchenau, Mexican Mosaic: A Brief History of Mexico (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), Carmen Boullosa’s Texas: The Great Theft (Deep Vellum, 2014), Ignacio Solares’ Yankee Invasion: A Novel of Mexico City (2009), Paco Ignacio Taibo II’s Calling All Heroes: A Manual for Taking Power (PM Press, 2010) and 68 (Seven Stories, 2004), Luis Humberto Crosthwaite’s Out of their Minds (Cinco Puntos, 2013) and Yuri Herrera’s Signs Preceding the End of the World (And Other Stories, 2015). We will also examine several documentary and fiction films about the US-Mexico War, the Mexican Revolution, and the current drug wars.

Students will keep a reading and film viewing journal, give a group presentation, write a final 5-7-page analytical essay and take four quizzes, in addition to participating actively in our class discussions.

Catalog Description: 
The film as an art form, with particular reference to the literary dimension of film and to the interaction of literature with the other artistic media employed in the form. Films are shown as an integral part of the course. Content varies.
Department Requirements Met: 
Elective for both Literature and Cinema
GE Requirements Met: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
August 2, 2019 - 9:02pm