Dangerous Ideas: Latino/a Literature and the Arizona HB 2281

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

9:30 am-12:30 pm

John Alba Cutler, Northwestern University
Programs for Teachers
Newberry Teachers' Consortium

On Tuesday, May 11th, 2010, Arizona governor Jan Brewer signed into law House Bill 2281, which prohibits Arizona public schools from offering courses that promote resentment toward a race or class of people, promote overthrow of the U.S. government, or advocate ethnic solidarity “instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.” This seminar will examine four short stories by writers that appear on the list of books banned as a consequence of HB 2281. The highly public battle over the content of these books foregrounds the relationship between aesthetics and politics in contemporary Latina/o literature. We will explore in particular the question of resentment: to what extent do these banned novels, poems, and plays imagine Latina/o (or other ethnic) identities as reactionary? Readings will include: Junot Díaz, “How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie”; Sandra Cisneros, “Woman Hollering Creek”; Manuel Muñoz, “Zigzagger”; and Sherman Alexie, “This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona.”

Cost and Registration Information 

For registration information please contact Charlotte Wolfe at wolfec@newberry.org