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Bibliographic Essay On U.S Latino/A History Alive

Dr. Beth M. Sheppard, a librarian at United Library at the Seabury-Western Theological Seminary has written an excellent essay on the bibliographic essay. She describes very clearly the differences and similarities among book reviews, annotated bibliographies, and articles. Her article is only 3 pages long and easy to read and understand. If you want a good grade for this assignment, it's imperative that you read this article and fully understand what you will be writing. After you have read the article, I would suggest you review some of the BEs I have linked for you under Examples. Below is the link to Dr. Sheppard's article:

To synthesize Dr. Sheppard's article, the required elements of a bibliographic essay are:

  • the essay should be well ordered and follow a planned scheme
  • the resources discussed should flow easily from one to the next;large gaps in the discussion disrupts the reader
  • keep in mind that you are selecting the BEST resources to include; assume you are creating a list of the best materials available on a topic in order to recommend to a colleague; do not limit your list to print sources-- other formats are perfectly acceptable
  • how do these resources compare and fit
  • introduce your essay telling the reader what the context is for the particular study
  • a closing statement is also appropriate
  • use appropriate grammar and writing style; there are several very good writing manuals

In addition to Dr. Sheppard's recommendations, I would add these:

  • use the assigned style sheet (APA, MLA, Chicago) or select the most appropriate if given a choice by your professor
  • check in at the reference desk for writing and style manuals if you don't already own one

Introduction to Latino/a Literature (Syllabus for Historical Survey)

This survey offers an overview of the history of Latino/a literature, introducing the major trends and placing them into an historical framework stretching from the nineteenth century to today. Emphasis will be on similarities and differences in the experiences in the among different Latino/a groups. Topics to be discussed include the construction of identity in terms of race, gender, sexuality, and class; bilingualism and code-switching; the experiences of the exile, the immigrant, the refugee and the colonial subject; the marketing of the Latino/a identity; and the relationship of the artist to his or her community.

Primary Texts

José Martí. “.” (1881)

María Amparo Ruíz de Burton. From The Squatter and the Don. (1885)

Jesús Colón. Excerpts from A Puerto Rican in and Other Sketches. (1961)

Piri Thomas. Down These Mean Streets. (1967)

Oscar Zeta Acosta. Revolt of the Cockroach People. (1973)

Selections of Nuyorican Poets. (1960s-1970s)

Sandra Cisneros. The House on . (1984)

Gloria Anzaldúa. Borderlands/La Frontera. (1987)

Cristina Garcia. Dreaming in Cuban (1992)

Ana Menéndez. Loving Che. (2003)

Junot Diaz. Drown. (1996)

Yxta Maya . Locas. (1998)

Tanya Maria Barrientos. Family Resemblance. (2003)

Ernesto Quiñonez. Bodega Dreams. (2000)

Secondary Texts

Ilan Stavans. The Hispanic Condition. (1996)

Juan Flores. From Bomba to Hip-Hop. (2000)

Lisa Sánchez González. Boricua Literature. (2001)

Gustavo Pérez Firmat. Life on the Hyphen. (1994)

Román de la Campa. on my Mind. (2000)

Raphael Dalleo and Elena Machado Sáez. The Latino/a Canon and the Emergence of Post-Sixties Literature. (2007)

Films to be viewed in class:

The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez. (1982) Directed by Robert M. Young.

Piñero. (2001) Directed by León Ichaso.

El Súper. (1979) Directed by León Ichaso.

(2002) Directed by Alfredo de Villa.


Week 1 Introduction to the course

Ilan Stavans. Prologue to The Hispanic Condition.

Juan Flores. “Life Off the Hyphen.” (From From Bomba to Hip-Hop.)

The Historical Precursors

Week 2José Martí. “.”

María Amparo Ruíz de Burton. From The Squatter and the Don.

Jesús Colón. First four sketches of A Puerto Rican in New York.

Viewing of the film The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez.

Brown Power: The Nuyorican and Chicano Canon

Week 3Piri Thomas. Down These Mean Streets.

Lisa Sánchez González, “The Boricua Novel: Civil Rights and ‘New School’ Nuyorican Narratives.” (From Boricua Literature.)

Week 4Oscar Zeta Acosta. Revolt of the Cockroach People.

Distribution of topics for essay #1

Week 5Sandra Cisneros. The House on .

Gloria Anzaldúa. From Borderlands/La Frontera.

Week 6Selections of Nuyorican Poets

Dalleo and Machado Sáez. “Periodizing Latino/a Literature Through Pedro Pietri’s Nuyorican Cityscapes.”

(Chapter 1 of The Latino/a Canon.)

Week 7Essay #1 due in class

Viewing of the film Piñero.

Revolution and Exile: The Cuban Community in the

Week 8Gustavo Pérez Firmat. “The Desi Chain.” (From Life on the Hyphen.)

Román de la Campa. “A Tale of Two : and .” (From on My Mind.)

Viewing of the film El Súper.

Distribution of topics for essay #2

Week 9 Cristina Garcia. Dreaming in Cuban.

Dalleo and Machado Sáez. “Latino/a Identity and Consumer Citizenship in Cristina Garcia’s Dreaming in Cuban.”

(Chapter 4 of The Latino/a Canon.)

Week 10Ana Menéndez. Loving Che.

Dalleo and Machado Sáez. Conclusion to The Latino/a Canon.

New Latino/a Identities

Week 11Essay #2 due in class.

Viewing of the film .

Week 12Junot Diaz. Drown.

Dalleo and Machado Sáez. “Lowercase Latino/a Realism in the Works of Junot Díaz and Angie Cruz.”

(Chapter 3 of The Latino/a Canon.)

Week 13Yxta Maya . Locas.

Proposal for final essay due in class

Week 14Tanya Maria Barrientos. Family Resemblance.

Week 15 Ernesto Quiñonez. Bodega Dreams.

Dalleo and Machado Sáez. “Mercado Dreams: The End(s) of Sixties Nostalgia in Contemporary Ghetto Fiction.”

(Chapter 2 of The Latino/a Canon.)

Week 16Final essay due one week after the final day of class.

Students will post eight response papers (1-2 pages each) to the course web site over the semester. Responses should be posted by Saturday at 5 PM, engaging some aspect of the reading for the following Monday. At least four of these responses should be posted by week eight of the course. The responses should connect to the themes of the class, but can deal with any aspect of the readings and discussions the student wishes to pursue in greater depth. You should feel free to use this as a forum to respond to your classmates’ posts, or to the discussions in class.

The first two major assignments will be short essays (3-4 pages) in response to specific questions. The goal of these assignments will be to encourage you to recognize and engage in some of the critical conversations surrounding Latino/a literature.

The final essay (6-8 pages)will be a thesis-driven argument in which you decide on your own topic and pursue it through at least two of the course readings. The final essay must incorporate at least one text from the final unit of the course, and at least one text from one of the other units. It is up to you to decide what themes and questions from the course you would like to explore in more detail in this assignment.

During Week 13, you will submit a one-page proposal describing what your argument will be. This proposal should include (1) the question that your essay will answer; (2) your thesis statement, which presumably will answer that question; (3) the two readings that you will be using to make your argument; (4) at least one passage from each reading that you have identified as important to your argument.

Grading will be determined by:

Attendance, Participation, Homeworks, and In-class Assignments10%

Response Papers 20%

Essay #120%

Essay #220%

Final Essay (Including proposal)30%

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