"Lamento indígena" by Karlisima (Karla Rodas) © 1999

University of Maryland, College Park
School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Department of Spanish and Portuguese

SPANISH 223 United States Latino/a Cultures 
M-W-F 2:00-2:50 p.m. 
@JMZ 1224
Dr. Ana Patricia Rodríguez 
Office Phone:  (301) 405-2020
Office: Jiménez Hall  2215E
Of. Hrs.: M-W 3:00-4:00 p.m.; or by appointment 

Teaching Assistant:  Laurie M. Price

Course Description Schedule of Readings and Assignments Grading
Texts Final Paper and Presentation Code of Academic Integrity
Requirements Internet Resources


This course serves as an introduction to U.S. Latina/o cultures, identities, histories, and contemporary issues.  The course is global in scope and local in focus, exposing students to the larger historical presence of Latinos in the United States and particularly in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area.  It begins with a general presentation of terminology, identification categories, and history of Latinos in the United States.  As immigration to the United States from Latin America remains constant in the 21st century, the Latino population continues to grow and to become more diverse.  According to some scholars, the United States is being "Latinoized," in some places more visibly than in others.  In an effort to map out the Latinoization of the U.S., both geographically and culturally, we will study representative cultural formations and expressions of distinct Latino subgroups such as Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, Cuban Americans, Central Americans, and others. We will explore U.S. cultural production (including poems, short stories, autobiographical narratives, novels, etc. ) as well as critical material of a more socio-historical nature.  We will also explore expressive modes such as music (corridos, salsa, spoken word performances, etc. ) and visual images in art, video, film, and photography.  Students will be expected to engage critically and creatively with the materials of this course.  By the end of the semester, students will produce an individual project on any aspect of the ìLatinoizationî of the greater Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area and will present their findings in a panel format during the last week of classes. As part of a community outreach effort, the class will also host a visit (possibly two) by local high school students.  As a group, we will produce a student resource guide for Latinos on campus based on various assignments to be completed throughout the semester.  Ultimately, this course is about how Latinos/as negotiate their identities made in the United States and in connection to Latin America, and about the most salient issues affecting Latinos in the United States.

Augenbraum, Harold and Margarite Fernández Olmos. The Latino Reader: An American Literary Tradition from 1542 to the Present.NY: Houghton Mifflin, 1997. (TLR)
González, Juan. Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America.NY: Penguin, 2000. (Harvest)
Grillo, Evelio. Black Cuban, Black American: A Memoir. Houston: Arte Público Press, 2000. (BCBA)
Limón, Graciela. In Search of Bernabé. Houston:Arte Público Press, 1993. ISOB
Santiago, Esmeralda. When I Was Puerto Rican.NY: Vintage, 1993. (WIWPR)
Valverde, Leonard A., Ed. The Latino Studentís Guide to College Success. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2002. (LSG)

Bencastro, Mario. Odyssey to the North. Houston: Arte Público Press, 1998. (ON)

In Class Mid-Term Exams (2) 40%
Write-Ups (Autobiographical Sketch, Survey, Interview, Eval. of Websites, Review) 20%
Final Project (Including outlines, abstract, bibliography, etc.) 20%
Final Presentation of Project (To be evaluated by students and professor) 10%
Attendance and Participation (Preparation, in class discussions, group activities, hand-outs) 10%

Grading Scale:

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese uses the following grading system:
Grade Percentage Transcript
F 59 and below 0




A total of two (2) in class exams will be given during the semester. See schedule below.  The final exam is not cumulative, but covers the material presented in the last part of the semester.

 Each exam will be divided into two parts, covering readings, class discussions, oral presentations, films, videos, and any other materials presented and distributed in class.  Study guides will be provided.  Exams are organized as follows:

Part 1: Identifications.
Part 2: Short Essay Responses.


A final paper and oral panel presentation will be required at the end of the semester. The paper should be 6-8 pages (10-12 pt. in readable font), excluding end notes and bibliography.

The objective of the project is for you to engage with and to examine some aspect of the Latinoization of the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area. The written paper will require some outside research and investigation on Latino groups and issues in the greater Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area, which you are interested in exploring further. A guideline and resource sheet will be distributed at the beginning of the semester so students can begin to research areas of interest and to visit sites in the area.

Please plan ahead and consult the professor.  Each student will have 8-10 minutes to present in panel format at the end of the semester.  Each person will also submit to the professor a research outline, summary/abstract, and presentation outline of her/his project on indicated due dates (see below). You will learn how to write an abstract, a tool that you can use in other classes.

During the semester, we will work in stages to produce the final project. The professor will periodically check-in with students to ensure that the project is completed in a timely fashion.  You will need to accomplish the following:
Steps Assignment Due Dates
1)  Select a topic Topic question or idea to be turned in and presented in class. M March 17
2)  Strategize on how to carry out your objectives, divide the work into manageable units, and determine necessary tasks to complete project. Outline of research steps necessary to complete project. M March 17
3)  Consult professor early and periodically to discuss project. On-going... ...
4)  Compile and organize your research and materials. Come up with preliminary bibliography including at least 3 re/sources On-going... ...
5)  Begin writing paper...continue writing paper. On-going... ...
6)  Write summary (abstract) of your project and bibliography. Paper Abstract and bibliography. M April 28
7)  Prepare presentation of your final project. Outline of presentation: make copies for entire class and professor to be distributed on day of your presentation. May 5-14
8)  Finish and turn in final paper Final Paper W May 14


Five 2-3 page write-ups / reports will be required as follows:
Assignment Due Date
1)  Brief autobiographical sketch. M Feb. 3
2)  Report on "Survey of Latino Students on Campus" (3-5 people on campus):
Question: "Latino or Hispanic, What term do you prefer? Why?"
M Feb. 17
3)  Evaluation of three websites for content and usefulness in Latino research. M March 3
4)  Interview: Identify a campus unit, department, or organization that works with Latinos. Interview ONE person/personnel member who works with Latinos on campus. May include faculty member, staff member, campus employee, campus organization representative, etc. Inquire about her/her work with Latinos. F March 21
5)  Review of ONE selected chapter of Valverde's The Latino Student's Guide to College F April 18


Participation is required of everyone, and is a significant part of your grade.  You are expected to read all the material assigned for each class, to come prepared for discussion and group activities, and to complete all hand-outs and other assignments.


Attendance is most important.  Only three (3) absences will be permitted.  Any absences after the three will jeopardize your grade.


Various activities, hand-outs, etc. will be assigned throughout the semester.  Surprise quizzes might also be given if necessary.  These count as part of your participation grade.


You may gain extra credit for reading Mario Bencastro's Odyssey to the Northand writing a 2-3 page commentary on the novel. Or you may screen a Latino film and write a 2-3 page review of the film. You may select from films currently showing at local theaters, available for rental at local video stores, or on reserve at Non-Print Media Services in Hornbake Library.  Also, you may explore your own activity.  Please see professor if you elect to do extra credit.


SPANISH 223 McKeldin Resource/Tutorial Website:

Latino / Hispanic Terms:  http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/980511/11hisp.htm

Latino Facts & Statistics:  http://www.trpi.org/facts2.html

U.S. Census Bureau:  http://www.census.gov/

National Council of La Raza:  http://www.nclr.org/

Tomás Rivera Policy Institute:  http://www.trpi.org/

Central American Immigration:

Chicano Websites:  http://www.azteca.net/aztec/index.shtml

Chicana Feminist Homepage:

Migrant Farm Labor:
http://www.ufw.org/  (United Farm Workers Official Homepage)

Media: Films/Videos: http://www.nlcc.com/

Historical Documents:
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: http://www.azteca.net/aztec/guadhida.html
Plan Espiritual de Aztlán: http://gladstone.uoregon.edu/~mecha/plan.html

Other Orgs:
Latino Issues Forum:  http://www.lif.org/
Chicano:  http://www.chicano.org/

Photography-Americanos Exhibit:

Code of Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a foundation for learning.  The University has approved a Code of Academic Integrity available on the web at


The Code prohibits students from cheating on exams, plagiarizing papers, submitting the same paper for credit in two courses without authorization, buying papers, submitting fraudulent documents, and forging signatures. The Code is administered by a Student Honor Council, which strives to promote a "community of trust" on the College Park campus.  Allegations of academic dishonesty can be reported directly to the Honor Council (314-9154) by any member of the campus community.

Honor Pledge

The Code of Academic Integrity includes an honor pledge, which is cited as follows:

"On every examination, paper or other academic exercise not specifically exempted by the instructor, the student shall write by hand and sign the following pledge:

'I pledge on my honor that I have not given or received any unauthorized assistance on this examination (or assignment).'"

Failure to write and sign the pledge is not an honors offense, but neither is it a defense in case of violation of this Code.  Students who do not sign the pledge will be given the opportunity to do so.  An explanation of a student's refusal to write the pledge might be requested by the instructor.  Signing or non-signing of the pledge will not be considered in grading or judicial procedures.  Materials submitted electronically should contain the pledge; submission implies signing the pledge."

Additional words



Introduction: Hispanic, Latino, Other: What's in a name?


Week 1
W  29 Introduction to class: Mapping out U.S. Latino/a cultures

Ana Castillo, "We Would Like You to Know" (Hand-out)

F  31  Defining terms 1:  (U.S.) Latinos, Hispanics, Latinoization, etc.

Readings: Himilce Novas "Hispanic: Sí y No"; Suzanne Oboler, "Hispanics? That's What They Call Us" (Hand-out)


Week 2
M  3 Defining terms 2:  (U.S.) Latinos, Hispanics, Latinoization, etc.

NCLR, "Twenty Most Frequently Asked Questions About the Latino Community"; U.S. News Online, "Hispanics Donít Exist" (Hand-out)

** DUE: 2-3 page Autobiographical Sketch: Who are you? Where do you come from? **

W  5 Elizabeth Martínez, "A Word About The Great Terminology Question" (Hand-out)

In class viewing and discussion of documentary, Americano as Apple Pie: The Latino Experience in America

F  7

Clara E. Rodriguez, "Latinos in the U.S. Race Structure" (Hand-out)

In class activity and discussion: Latinos and the 2000 U.S. Census: 
Select the category that best represents Latinos, given the choices, given your researchÖ Support your selection.

Do Latinos Have a Common History? The Spanish Conquest of North America

Week 3
M  10 Juan González, "Introduction" (Harvest, ix-xx); "Conquerors and Victims: The Image of America (1500-1800)" (Harvest, 3-26)
W  12 "Introduction: An American Literary Tradition" (TLR, xi-xx); "Encounters" (TLR, 1-4); 
Cabeza de Vaca, The Account (TLR, 4-17)

 In class viewing of scenes from the film Cabeza de Vaca

F  14

No Class

** Work on your "Survey of (3-5) Latino Students on Campus" AND write report compiling your results:
Question: "Latino or Hispanic, What term do you prefer? Why?" **

Week 4
M  17  In class viewing of Dan Banda's film, "Indigenous, Always: The Legend of La Malinche and the Conquest of Mexico" (2000)

** DUE:  2-3 page Survey Report "Latino or Hispanic, What term do you prefer? Why?" **

W  19 Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá, The History of New Mexico (TLR, 22-33); Fray Mathias Saénz de San Antonio, Lord, If the Shepherd Does Not Hear (TLR, 33-42)
F  21
Francisco Palóu, The Historic Account of ... Fray Junípero Serra (TLR, 56-62); Eulalia Pérez, An Old Woman Remembers (TLR, 71-80)


The Age of Imperialism and U.S. Expansionism: Living inside the "Belly of the Monster"?

Week 5
M  24 Juan González, "The Spanish Borderlands and the Making of an Empire (1810-1898)" (Harvest, 27-57); "Prelude" (TLR, 63-66)

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo:   http://www.azteca.net/aztec/guadhida.html

W  26 The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (con't):   http://www.azteca.net/aztec/guadhida.html

María Amparo Ruiz de Burton, The Squatter and the Don (TLR, 80-98)

F  28

Library Research Instruction Session with Lib. Patricia Herron: Doing research on Latino issues, cultures, literature, etc. 
Meet at McKeldin #6101

** Work on Website Evaluation at session **


Week 6
M  3 Juan González, "Banana Republics and Bonds: Taming the Empireís Backyard (1898-1950)" (Harvest, 58-78)

José Martí, "A Vindication of Cuba" and "Simple Verses" (TLR, 98-108);  selection from "Our America" (Hand-out))

**  DUE: 2-3 page Website Evaluation of three websites found through library research instruction w/ Patricia Herron. Follow recommended guidelines & evaluate three (3) websites for content and usefulness in Latino research.

W  5 Pachín Marín, "New York from Within" (TLR, 108-111); Bernardo Vega, Memoirs of Bernardo Vega  (TLR, 165-173)

Black, White, or ?: Cuban Americans and Dominicans in the U.S.

Week 7
M  10 Evelio Grillo, Black Cuban, Black American: A Memoir, Introduction by Kenya Dworkin y Méndez, vii-xi; Part I -Ybor City (1-35)
W  12 Grillo, Black Cuban, Black American: A Memoir, Part II -Going Up North (37-90)
F  14 Grillo, Black Cuban, Black American: A Memoir, Part IV -At War (91-129); Epilogue (130-134)

Week 8
M  17 Juan González, "Cubans: Special Refugees" (Harvest, 108-116)

Cristina García, Dreaming in Cuban (TLR, 468-478)

**  DUE Final Paper Topic and Outline of Research Steps  **

W  19 Reading (TBA)

Invited Lecturer: Laurie Price, Teaching Assistant, Span 223 

F  21

Juan González, "Dominicans: From the Duarte to the George Washington Bridge" (Harvest, 117-128)
Scenes from film Nueba Yol

**  DUE: 2-3 page Campus Interview: Interview ONE campus personnel who works with Latinos: faculty member, staff member, campus employee, campus organization representative, etc. Learn about her/his work with Latino community.

Week 9

M  24 - S  30 SPRING BREAK


The Chicano Borderlands

Week 10
M 31 Juan González, "Mexicans: Pioneers of a Different Type" (Harvest, 96-107)
José Antonio Villarreal, Pocho (TLR, 236-247)

In class viewing of scenes from the film Zoot Suit


W  2

Tomás, Rivera, ...And the Earth Did Not Devour Him (TLR, 290-295)

In class viewing of documentary Chicano!

F  4 Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales, "I Am Joaquín" (TLR, 265-279); 

Plan de Aztlán:  http://gladstone.uoregon.edu/~mecha/plan.html

Chicana/Latina "Fronteristas" and Islistas

Week 11
M  7 Cherríe Moraga, "Living in the War Years: lo que nunca pasó por sus labios"  (TLR, 425-432)
W  9 Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera (TLR, 444-456)
F  11

Juan González, "Puerto Ricans: Citizens Yet Foreigners" and "Puerto Rico, USA: Possessed and Unwanted" (Harvest, 81-95; 246-267)

Esmeralda Santiago, When I Was Puerto Rican (1-33)

** SPECIAL EVENT:  High School Students from Richard Montgomery High School participate in our class ** 

Puerto Ricans, NeoRicans: Guavas or apples? Assimilation or Transculturation?

Week 12
M  14 Santiago, When I Was Puerto Rican (34-130)

In class viewing of documentary Salsa: Latin Pop Music in the  Cities

W  16 Santiago, When I Was Puerto Rican (131-209)

In class listening to spoken word performances by Piri Thomas 

F  18 Santiago, When I Was Puerto Rican (210-271)

**  DUE: Review of ONE selected chapter of Valverde's The Latino Student's Guide to College Success  **


Central Americans Revolutions, U.S. Interventions, and Transnational/Translocal Migrations:
The Tales of Two Cities: Los Angeles, CA and Washington, D.C.

Week 13
M 21   Juan González, "Central Americans: Intervention Comes Home to Roost" (Harvest, 129-148)

Raquel Pinderhughes, Carlos Cordova, and Jorge del Pinal, "Our Multicultural Heritage: A Guide to America's Principal Ethnic Groups: Central and South Americans"  http://bss.sfsu.edu/urbs/rp/arti/art3.htm

W  23 Graciela Limón, In Search for Bernabé  (Part I, 1-52)

Recommended: Ana Patricia Rodríguez, "Refugees of the South: Central Americans in the U.S. Latino Imaginary"

F  25 Limón, In Search for Bernabé  (Part II, 53-89)

Week 14
M  28 Limón, In Search for Bernabé (Part III, 91-131)

** DUE:  Abstract and Bibliography of Final Paper **

W  30 Limón, In Search for Bernabé (Part IV, 133-165)

F  2

José William Huezo, NPR Interview for Radio Diaries Series "This American Life" (1999)

In class viewing of film Homeland (Scott, 1999)

Week 15
M  5 Cinco de Mayo!

PANEL PRESENTATIONS (Papers due on last day of class, May 14)

W  7 PANEL PRESENTATIONS (Papers due on last day of class, May 14)
F  9 PANEL PRESENTATIONS (Papers due on last day of class, May 14)

Week 16
M  12 PANEL PRESENTATIONS (Papers due on last day of class, May 14)
W  14 Last Day of Class

Tato Laviera, "My graduation Speech", "AmeRícan" (378-381)

PANEL PRESENTATIONS  (Papers due on last day of class, May 14)


TUESDAY, MAY 20, 2003
1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Note: Final Exam is not cumulative and covers only material after Mid-Term Exam #1