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LATI 10 Coursework: Podcasts

Course description

The purpose of this class is to survey the multilayered relations between Latin American studies and U.S. liberation movements, particularly Third World movements, the Chicana/o/x movement, the Black Liberation Movement, the Indigenous movement, human rights activism, and trans-border activism. As such, the course pays special attention to the interplay of economics, politics, culture, and the media in order to construct a better understanding of the history and the ideas of these socio-political movements and their connections to Latin America.

The class fulfills the DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) requirement. The course material includes readings from different disciplines as well as cultural representations – testimonials, films, biographies, etc. — to offer a rich and diverse examination of socio-political movements from a Latin American perspective.

Podcast project

During the second half of the quarter, students work in groups of 3-4 to develop a podcast episode on any relevant current event or debate of their choosing. The main requirement for this assignment is that students must introduce and apply a reading from the class, not only to analyze the topic but must also to explain complex issues relating to social inequality and liberation to a wider public audience. The following featured episodes from Fall Quarter 2020 demonstrate the many ways that Latin American Studies offers new conceptual “tools” and critical perspectives to deepen our understanding of pressing issues related to social inequality and liberation struggles.

Episode 1. “One Wall Multiple Narratives: Reformulating Perspectives”

In this episode, host Dominic Miller interviews guest speakers Hector Gallo and Anakaren Perez on immigration policy under the Trump administration. Gallo and Perez, both LATI 10 students who were born and raised in Calexico-Mexicali, share their insights about the fluid identities and intertwined economies shaping everyday life in this border town. The episode discusses Elana Zilberg’s 2011 book Space of Detention to consider the impacts of recent reforms from a transborder and historical perspective. The guests also reflect on ongoing practices of what Chicano Sociologist has referred to as “internal colonialism” to think about how the local institutions and cultures of border towns continue to be not only ignored but erased by education and border policies that degrade them un-American or illegal. In closing, listeners are pointed toward more sources to learn about immigration policy and get involved to make a change.

Episode 2. “Politics of Representation: Representation of the Latinx Community”

In this episode, hosts Andrew Kim and Filiberto Flores discuss the Trump administration’s anti-immigration reform and discourse that has created gridlock for liberation movements. They analyze the way in which Trump’s word choice portrays the Latinx community and share interviews with members of the Latinx community that represent two different perspectives - a Trump supporter and a DACA student - to better understand the context and effects of Trump’s anti-immigration discourse. Since the podcast is done under a Latin American Study course that focuses on the Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Requirement, they want to view this issue under a lens that holds an unbiased, equal representation as to the standard. Kim and Flores discuss the work of Anibal Quijano in their article “Coloniality of Power, Eurocentrism, and Latin America” to draw attention to the effects of knowledge production around the classification of people through hierarchies of race as a driving factor of progress and advancement in Western civilization. Similarly, the hosts suggest, Trump’s xenophobic anti-immigration discourse works to use his presidential authority for knowledge production about Latinx communities. While there are different ways to view the immigration crisis today, as a whole the Latinx community still experiences inequality and a lack of representation. The episode concludes by calling for a deeper analysis of how this problem came to be and Trump’s role in worsening it in order to bring about a solution of equality, diversity, and inclusion, we must analyze as a country how this problem came to be and. Only then can we begin to reverse the deeply rooted historical practices of nativism and racism that have consumed our Eurocentric society.

Episode 3. “Breaking Down Current Pedagogy in Education”

This episode focuses on the misrepresentations in pedagogical practices in many high schools and universities and their effects on students of color, also advancing ideas for what might be done at individual and institutional levels to spark change. The episode starts with an analysis by fourth-year UCSD student Jacqueline Sanchez on the lack of diversity in the high school curriculum and its effects in reproducing inequality and divisions among minority students who are unaware of the US racial system. As an alternative, Sanchez discusses the work of two pioneers in critical pedagogy, Myles Horton and Paulo Freire, and their book, We Make the Road by Walking, to consider implementing ethnic studies in schools as an example of experiential education. Narrator Karly Moran then talks about Alfredo Mirandé’s proposal for Chicano Sociology to ask how we can apply this to current pedagogy by broadening the scope of education. Teammate Kaiyu Guan adds to the conversation over the importance of adding ethnic courses to the curriculum by focusing on Freire and Horton's important question -- Is it possible to just teach biology?

Episode 4. “The Purpose and Prevalence of Pronouns in Digital Spaces”

In this episode, LATI 10 students Diego Effio, Gabrielle Jimenez, and Xander Hinchcliff offer a deep dive into the prevalence and intentions behind sharing Pronouns in digital spaces as a form of allyship and solidarity with the transgender community. The episode features an interview with Dorthey Le, who describes their gender identity as androgynous, about the usage of pronouns in digital spaces and how that can play a role in navigating or exploring one’s gender identity and expression. The hosts then turn to the important contributions of lesbian feminist and philosopher Maria Lugones’ work on the historical construction of Eurocentric heteronormative notions of gender as a tool to delegitimize Indigenous notions of gender and sexuality. Centering feminist decolonize thought with Briones’ concept of the “coloniality of gender” helps us to understand that transphobia stems from a western-colonial model of gender that is racist, heteronormative and patriarchal. The sharing of pronouns in digital spaces thus offers a form of decolonial expression that breaks from these established gender norms.




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