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Literature MFA Course Descriptions SP21

Pre-authorization is required for students not enrolled in the Literature Department's MFA Program in Creative Writing. Please submit any pre-authorization request through the Enrollment Authorization System.

Instructor: Amy Sara Carroll


Welcome to Bajalta California. Artists, writers, scholars locate border art’s “origins” in the 1980s San Diego-Tijuana corridor. Drawing on, but also subverting informational realisms, cultural workers in the region turned to performance, conceptual, cinematic, and literary practices to corrupt the logic of the statistic, the percentile, the spreadsheet, the exposé. To date, the prefix “un-” of “undocumentation,” or alternately the “in-” of “indocumentación,” in this archive indexes a mode of erasure operative in documentation proper. It illuminates what remains hidden in plain sight. It demonstrates a collective will to erase, strike-through, and palimpsest master narratives of global and local unification. It reflects a collaborative commitment to portraying the particularities of undocumented extreme labor situations in an ongoing period of Mexican-US neoliberal transition routinely rendered synonymous with 1) the deindustrialization of the US Midwest, 2) the dismantling of the Mexican parastate, the devastation of small Mexican agribusiness and maritime industries, the opening of Mexican markets, 3) the emergence of a reconfigured North American racial capitalism inseparable from post-1994 and post-9/11 (2001) border militarization, the sensationalist criminalization of undocumented entrance, and coordinated mass incarceration/detention, 4) the advent of a sex/gender system coincident with free trade and export-processing zones, 5) the funneling of hemispheric narco-flows through Greater Mexico, (6) the rise of alter-globalization movements inspired by Zapatismo, and 7) Culture Wars after decolonial and social movements including the Chicano/a/x Movement/s. Examining a range of cross-genre texts from manifestos to murals, embodied actions, poetry, nonfiction, film, and inter/disciplinary scholarship in the humanities and social sciences, in this seminar-workshop we’ll map site-specific articulations of the Mexican-US borderlands and the Border with a capital “B.” Because we’re physically, virtually here, you’ll also re-make undocumentation in your own quotidian practice throughout the quarter.

Instructor: Lily Hoang

Please contact instructor for course description.