This is an inter— and trans-disciplinary course which has two main objectives. The first is to critically introduce students to the theoretical foundations in Puerto Rican and Latinx Studies, both broadly defined. While the course places Puerto Rico as the central focus and as a case study of the class, corresponding spaces within the Spanish Caribbean will also be placed into analysis in order to examine the pertinent and current themes in Puerto Rican and Latinx history, culture, literature, and politics. Specific focus will be placed on the impact of the complex relationship of Puerto Rico with the United States since 1898 related but not limited to the economic, cultural, psychological, and political impacts on the Puerto Rican people both on the island and within the Union. In addition, the investigation will explore the multi-faceted causes of Puerto Rican and Latinx migration to New York City and urban spaces in the U.S.
Within the current world-economy and specifically within the context of the Caribbean basin, the island of Puerto Rico finds itself in a very unique position given its current economic realities and crisis yet, it represents direct U.S. foreign policy within the Spanish Caribbean. For this reason, the class will also critically examine the current situation of Puerto Rico as a way to understand the island’s history pre and post 1898.
However, it is only possible [in 15 weeks] to cover a limited surface/amount of complicated and rich history and multiple research agendas on the complex relationship between Borikén, Latin America, broadly defined, and the United States.
The second goal is to improve your skills in critical reading and writing. You will work on understanding and interpreting the materials throughout the course. Paper assignments and essay exams will provide opportunities to develop your OWN interpretations systematically and polish your writing skills.
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