Literary and Film Discussion Series: Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza

Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza
Exploring the Emergent Latinx Literature of America’s Southwestern Border
A Virtual Literature and Film Discussion Series
Saturdays, October 16th – November 20th, 2021 1:00 – 3:00PM EST

WWBA is delighted to present a virtual six-part discussion series designed to expand participants’ understanding of the unique amalgamation of culture in America’s Southwest. Led by WWBA Writer-in-Residence George Wallace, the literature and films discussed in this group capture the commitment, courage, and perseverance of both men and women whose life experience has been informed by the struggle to achieve the promises of American democracy in the context of the complex crosscurrents of culture in which they reside.

Registration:
$10 WWBA Members: https://www.waltwhitman.org/product/member-latinx/
$15 Non-Members: https://www.waltwhitman.org/product/non-member-latinx/

Over six weeks, participants will read short stories and view films of works by major authors who have influenced public perception of the Borderlands region of the southwestern US, in the 20th century. The readings and films discussed in this series represent the by-now established local recognition of a distinct ‘borderlands culture,’ an emergent admixture of Spanish, Mexican, Mestizo, Anglo and Indigenous cultures, and the socio-political forces working for or against its amalgamation into a coherent new culture of its own. Participants will meet on Zoom to discuss themes and topics addressed including cultural actualization, spirituality, religious and folk customs, gender issues, institutional support mechanisms, and historic and contemporary racial stereotypes.

The fiction examined in this class is set against the essays by Gloria Anzaldua, whose conception have come to dominate discussion of the human culture of La Frontera, particularly in her work How To Tame A Wild Tongue.

Longer readings and films include:
Ballad of Gregorio Cortez by Americo Paredes (novel)
Milagro Beanfield Wars by John T. Nichols (film)
Bless Me Ultima by Anaya Rudolfo (film)
House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (novel)

Finally, major poets representing the region and interpreting its culture and issues will be read, including Rudolfo Anaya, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Ariana Brown, Reyes Cardenas, Ana Castillo, Laurie Ann Guerrero, Carmen Tafolla, and Juan Felipe Herrera.

George Wallace is WWBA’s Writer in Residence and an adjunct professor of English at Pace University in NYC. A widely recognized poet and author of 38 books of poetry, he studied anthropology and cross-cultural community organizing at UNC Chapel Hill. A former Peace Corps volunteer he has traveled widely in the American Southwest dialogued with many noted authors in the region in recent years, including writers in Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas – in particular, San Antonio and the lower Rio Grande Valley.