Global Women & Desperate Housewives: Images of Latinas in Contemporary Literature and Culture


Maria from West Side Story, Charo, Carmen the mid-20th Century, these women represented typical “Latinas” in popular U.S. culture. The substantial growth of Latinas/os in all areas of cultural production (e.g. creation, development, financing, promotion, publication, etc.) has generated different and often diverse images in books, television, films, advertising, newspapers, magazines, and other sites/sources on the internet. Nevertheless, several key questions remain. How different are these images, and how are they different? Assuming they are different, what do these differences mean and why do they matter?

This course will examine recent images of Latinas in contemporary literature, television, and film. We will discuss how these images create, reinforce, and/or challenge stereotypes. Drawing on a careful, historical examination of Latina images in U.S. media and literature, we will examine the role of stereotypes: how do they form; how and why do they persist; how and why do they change; what roles do they play in contemporary culture?


Course Description

Span/LLS 246

Gender & Sexuality in Latin@ Lit

Fall 2014

Prof. Dara E. Goldman