In fall 2021 I taught a course titled “Upstate Latinx.” After posting this and trying to think through recommendations (thank you!) I decided to go with a book titled Latina/o Studies by Ronald Mize. Here is the YouTube playlist of recorded lectures:
Here was the course description:
Traditionally, Latinx (or Latino/a) communities have been associated with certain US geographies: Puerto Ricans in New York City, Cubans in Florida, and Mexicans in the southwest. Although Latinx communities have always been more prominent in northern locales and rural areas than these stereotypes suggest, in recent years there has been increased visibility throughout the United States. What does it mean to be Latinx in upstate New York? This course examines through reading, film, and field projects the demographics and meaning of how Latinos are reshaping the upstate New York experience.
This was a new course, a first-year seminar. Although I have been teaching Latin America and Caribbean Anthropology, this was a very new experience for me. I would perhaps have used one of the keywords or key concepts books discussed below, but since I needed to do a lot of first-year-of-college material, I kept the reading minimal.
One of the inspirations for the course was the film Bienvenidos a Fleischmanns – An Immigrant Community in Rural America. It’s a gem of a film about unexpected migration patterns and how people are drawn into out-of-the-way places.
I found a course description from Professor Eddy Sandoval that resonated with some of the things I would like to accomplish:
Cities, Suburbs, and Rural Places
Long associated with cities in the scholarly and popular imagination, immigrants have increasingly settled in U.S. suburbs. Through the lens of new destinations for (im)migrants, this course introduces spatial methods, perspectives, and concepts to understand cities, suburbs, and rural places and the relationships between these various spaces. We ask how geographically specific forces and actors shape these trends, as well as the spatially uneven outcomes of complex processes like globalization. This interdisciplinary course considers economic, social and cultural, environmental, and political approaches through a range of textual materials (academic, literary, popular). Rooted in urban, suburban, and rural geographies, as well as critical race geographies, we explore what these approaches are and what they add to our understanding of “new” im/migrant destinations and to Latinx lived experiences in these various spaces.
Some of the books that have popped up on course descriptions:
- Keywords for Latina/o Studies
- Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America
- Latinx Studies: The Key Concepts