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Chicana/o Civil Rights Movements & Social Activism

Myrriah Gómez,

Course Description

The Chicano Civil Rights Movement, or El Movimiento, of the 1960s-‘70s is the period most recognized during which Chicanas/os across the United States mobilized for the advancement of Mexican American people; however, Chicana/o social activism is not limited to that historical moment. The course examines Chicana/o civil rights movements by exploring forms of collective social action on behalf of immigration rights/reform, education rights/reform, labor rights, treaty rights, environmental justice, gender rights, veterans’ rights, and political (mis)representation prior to, during, and after El Movimiento. We will investigate how social injustices related to race, class, gender, and sexuality led to El Movimiento and how these related issues also affected internal relations within the movement in the 1960s and thereafter using both primary source and secondary sources. We will also investigate how and why the terms “Chicana” and “Chicano” evolved as gendered, political terms used for self-identification among Mexican Americans and how and why the terms became popularized.

Readings and Texts

Required Books 
Title: No Mexicans, Women, or Dogs Allowed: The Rise of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement
Author: Cynthia E. Orozco 
ISBN: 978-0292721326
Price: $16.72 (NEW) 

Title: ¡Chicana Power!: Contested Histories of Feminism in the Chicano Movement 
Author: Maylei Blackwell 
ISBN: 978-0292726901
Price: $24.11 (NEW) 

Course reader (available for purchase in Honors College office) 

Films and Other Course Materials

Salt of the Earth
As Long as I Remember: American Veteranos

Student Requirements

• Students will be expected to complete class readings, participate in discussions and activities during class, analyze cultural texts in class, write summaries on local issues pertaining to class topics, write an annotated bibliography; and complete a group case study with an individual writing component. 
• Students will be expected to read approximately 150 pages of text per week. 
• Students will work in groups to complete a case study.

About the Instructor

Myrriah Gómez has a Ph.D. in English with an emphasis in U.S. Latina/o Studies from The University of Texas at San Antonio. Her teaching and research interests include Chicana/o and Native American literature and history, nuclear history, and New Mexico spatial poetics.