Latinx Literature MA/Ph.D. Orals Exam

 

Students are expected to choose texts across multiple genres and time periods. Bolded texts are mandatory. The following schema should be used in consultation with faculty member. The final list ranges from 40-50 works.
 
 

Chicanx/Mexican American (7 works)

  • Oscar “Zeta” Acosta
    • The Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo (1972)
    • The Revolt of the Cockroach People (1973)
  • Rudolfo Anaya
    • Bless Me, Última (1972)
  • Ana Castillo
    • The Mixiquiahuala Letters (1992)
    • So Far From God (1986)
    • My Father Was a Toltec and Selected Poems (1995)
  • Sandra Cisneros
    • The House on Mango Street (1984)
    • Loose Woman (poems) (1987)
    • Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories (1991)
    • My Wicked, Wicked Ways (poems) (1994)
    • Caramelo (2001)
    • A House of My Own: Stories From My Life (2015)
  • Lorna Dee Cervantes
    • Emplumada (1981)
  • Denise Chávez
    • Last of the Menu Girls (1986)
    • Loving Pedro Infante (2001)
  • Natalie Díaz
    • When My Brother was an Aztec (2012)
    • Postcolonial Love Poems (2020)
  • Kali Fajardo-Anstine
    • Sabrina & Corina: Stories (2019)
  • Juan Felipe Herrera (poems)
  • Arturo Islas
    • The Rain God (1984)
  • Josefina Niggli
    • Mexican Village (1953)
    • The Plays of Josefina Niggli (2007)
    • Mexican Village and Other Works (2008)
  • Reyna Grande
    • Across a Hundred Mountains (2006)
    • The Distance Between Us  (2012)
  • Jovita González and Eva Raleigh
    • Caballero: A Historical Novel (1996)
  • Demetria Martínez
    • Mother Tongue (1990)
    • Confessions of a Berlitz Tape Chicana (2005)
    • The Block Captain’s Daughter (2012)
  • Alejandro Morales
    • The Brick People (1988)
    • Rag Doll Plagues (1991)
  • Silvia Moreno García
    • Mexican Gothic (2020)
  • José Olivarez
    • Citizen Illegal (2018)
  • Américo Paredes
    • With His Pistol in His Hand: A Border Ballad and Its Hero (1958)
    • George Washington Gómez (1990)
  • Luis Pérez
    • El Coyote, the Rebel (1947)
  • John Rechy
    • City of Night (1963)
  • Tomás Rivera
    • …y no se lo tragó la tierra (1971)/And the Earth did Not Devour Him (This Migrant Earth)
  • Richard Rodríguez
    • Hunger of Memory (1982)
    • Days of Obligation (1992)
    • Brown (2002)
  • María Ruiz de Burton
    • Who Would Have Thought It? (1872)
    • The Squatter and the Don (1885)
  • Rosaura Sánchez and Beatrice Pita
    • Lunar Bracero (2009)
    • Keep Me Posted. Logins from Tomorrow (2020)
  • Luis Valdez / El Teatro Campesino
    • Early Works: Actos, Bernabé, Pensamiento Serpentino (1994)
    • Zoot Suit and Other Plays (1992)
  • Helena María Villamontes
    • The Moths (1985)
    • Their Dogs Came With Them (1995)
    • Under the Feet of Jesus (2000)
  • José Antonio Villareal
    • Pocho (1952)
  • Luis Alberto Urrea
    • Devil’s Highway: A True Story (2004)
    • Into the Beautiful North (2009)
    • The House of Broken Angels (2018)

 

Chicanx/Mexican American (secondary works)

  • John Alba Cutler
    • Ends of Assimilation: The Formation of Chicano Literature (2015)
  • José Aranda
    • When We Arrive: A New Literary History of Mexican America (2003)
  • Hector Calderón and José David Saldívar, eds.
    • Criticism in the Borderlands: Studies in Chicano Literature, Culture and Ideology (1991)
  • Raúl Coronado
    • A World Not to Come A History of Latino Writing and Print Culture (2013)
  • José Limón
    • Mexican Ballads/Chicano Poems: History and Influence in Mexican American Social Poetry (1992)
  • Marissa K. López
    • Racial Immanence: Chicanx Bodies Beyond Representation (2019)
    • Chicano Nations: The Hemispheric Origins of Mexican American Literature (2011)
  • William Orchard and Yolanda Padilla
    • Bridges, Borders, and Breaks: History, Narrative, and Nation in Twenty-First-Century Chicana/o Literary Criticism (2016)
  • Emma Pérez
    • The decolonial imaginary: Writing Chicanas into History (1999)
  • Rafael Pérez-Torres
    • Mestizaje: Critical Uses of Race in Chicano Culture (2005)
  • José David Saldívar
    • Border Matters: Remapping American Cultural Studies (1997)
    • Trans-Americanity: Subaltern Modernities, Global Coloniality, and the Cultures of Greater Mexico (2011)
  • Ramón Saldívar
    • Chicano Narrative: The Dialectics of Difference (1990)

Puerto Rican/Nuyorican (5 works)

  • Miguel Algarín and Miguel Piñero
    • Nuyorican Poetry: An Anthology of Words and Feelings (1975)
  • Giannina Braschi
    • Empire of Dream (1988)
    • Yo-Yo Boing!  (1998)
    • United States of Banana (2011)
  • Julia de Burgos (poems)
    • Songs of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia de Burgos (Dual Language Edition) (1995)
  • Luisa Capetillo (drama and essays)
  • Martín Espada (poems)
  • Sandra María Esteves
    • Bluestown Mockingbird Mambo (1990)
  • Mariposa María Teresa Fernández (poems)
  • René Marqués
    • La Carreta (1953)/The Oxcart
  • Judith Ortiz Cofer
    • The Line of the Sun (1989)
    • Silent Dancing (1990)
    • The Latin Deli (1993)
  • Willie Perdomo (poems)
  • Miguel Piñero
    • Outlaw: The Collected Works of Miguel Piñero (2010)
  • Ernesto Quiñonez
    • Bodega Dreams (2000)
    • Chango’s Fire (2004)
    • Taina (2019)
  • Ivelisse Rodriguez
    • Love, War, Stories (2018)
  • Esmeralda Santiago
    • When I Was Puerto Rican (1994)
    • America’s Dream (1996)
    • Almost a Woman (1999)
  • Piri Thomas
    • Down These Mean Streets (1967)
  • Justin Torres
    • We the Animals (2011)
  • The Nuyorican Poets
    • Pedro Pietri
      • “Puerto Rican Obituary”
      • “El Spanglish National Anthem”
    • Tato Laviera
      • La Carreta Made a U-Turn (1979)
      • Amerícan (1999)
  • 1930s-50s Short stories by Puerto Rican/Nuyorican authors (Pedro Soto, et al)

 

Puerto Rican/Nuyorican (secondary works)

  • Miguel Algarín and Bob Holman, eds.
    • Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Café (1994)
  • Myrna Nieves, ed.
    • Breaking Ground: Anthology of Puerto Rican Women Writers in New York 1980-2012 (2012)
  • Vanesa Pérez Rosario
    • Becoming Julia de Burgos: The Making of a Puerto Rican Icon (2014)
  • Sandra Ruiz
    • Ricanness: Enduring Time in Anti-Colonial Performance (2019)
  • Roberto Santiago, ed.
    • Boricuas: Influential Puerto Rican Writings (1990)
  • Tomás Urayoán Noel
    • In Visible Movement: Nuyorican Poetry from the Sixties to Slam (2014)
  • Vanessa K. Valdés
    • Diasporic Blackness: The Life and Times of Arturo Schomburg (2017)

Cuban American (5 works)

  • Reinaldo Arenas
    • Antes que anochezca/Before Night Falls (1992)
  • Richard Blanco
    • City of a Hundred Fires (1998)
    • “One Today” (2013)
    • The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood (2014)
  • Jennine Capó Cruzet
    • How to Leave Hialeah (2009)
    • Make Your Home Among Strangers (2015)
    • My Time Among the Whites (2019)
  • Nilo Cruz
    • Anna in the Tropics (2002)
  • Roberto G. Fernández
    • Raining Backwards (1988)
  • Cristina García
    • Dreaming in Cuban (1992)
    • The Aguero Sisters (1997)
    • Monkey Hunting (2003)
    • King of Cuba (2013)
  • Daisy Hernández
    • A Cup of Water Under my Bed (2014)
  • Oscar Hijuelos
    • Our Life in the Last World: A Novel (1983)
    • The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love (1989)
    • Thoughts Without Cigarettes: A Memoir (2011)
  • Carmen María Machado
    • Her Body and Other Parties (2017)
    • In the Dream House (2019)
  • José Martí
    • Selected Writings (Trans. Esther Allen, 2002)
  • Ana Menéndez
    • In Cuba I was a German shepherd (2001)
    • Loving Che (2003)
  • Achy Obejas
    • Tower of the Antilles (2017)
    • Memory Mambo (1996)
    • Days of Awe (1989)
  • Mirta Ojito
    • Finding Mañana: A Memoir of a Cuban Exodus (2005)
  • Elisa S. Rivero and Iraida López, eds.
    • Let’s Hear Their Voices: Second-Generation Cuban-American Writers. An Anthology (2019)
  • Cecilia Rodríguez-Milanés
    • Marielitos, Balseros and Other Exiles (2009)
  • Alisa Valdés
    • The Dirty Girls Social Club (2003)
  • Dan Vera
    • Speaking Wiri Wiri (2013)

 

Cuban American (secondary works)

  • Iraida H. López
    • Impossible Returns: Narratives of the Cuban Diaspora (2015)
  • Ricardo Ortiz
    • Cultural Erotics in Cuban America (2006)
  • Gustavo Pérez Firmat
    • Life on the Hyphen: The Cuban American Way (1994)

Dominican American (5 works)

  • Manuel de Jesús Galván
    • Enriquillo (1882)
  • Elizabeth Acevedo
    • The Poet X (2018)
  • Julia Álvarez
    • How the García Girls Lost Their Accents (1991)
    • In the Time of the Butterflies (1994)
    • Something to Declare (1998)
    • In the Name of Salomé (2000)
  • Lorraine Ávila
    • Malcriada and Other Stories (2019)
  • Josefina Báez
    • Dominicanish (2000)
  • Raquel Cepeda
    • Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina. A Memoir (2009)
  • Naima Coster
    • Halsey Street (2017)
  • Angie Cruz
    • Dominicana (2019)
    • Let It Rain Coffee (2005)
    • Soledad (2001)
  • Junot Díaz
    • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007)
    • Drown (1996)
  • Rhina P. Espaillat (poems)
  • Rita Indiana
    • Papi (2011)
    • Tentacle (2015)
  • Ana-Maurine Lara
    • Erzulie’s Skirt (2006)
  • Loida Maritza Pérez
    • Geographies of Home (1999)
  • Julian Randall
    • Refuse (2018)

 

Dominican American (secondary works):

  • Franklin Gutierrez and Daisy Cocco de Filippis
    • Literatura dominicana en los Estados Unidos: Historia y trayectoria de la diáspora intelectual (2004)
  • Ramona Hernández and Silvio Torres Saillant
    • The Dominican Americans (1998)
  • Nancy Kang and Silvio Torres-Saillant
    • The Once and Future Muse: The Life and Poetics of Rhina P. Espaillat  (2018)

Memoir/Immigration Experience (2 works)

Select two works from the other lists.

Nineteenth Century (2 works)

Select two works from the other lists.

Central America (5-6 works, expand for breakdown)

Salvadoran American (2 works), Guatemalan American (2 works), Other (1-2 works)

 

Salvadoran American

  • William Archila
    • The Art of Exile (2005)
    • The Gravedigger’s Archealogy (2015)
  • Mario Bencastro
    • Odyssey to the North (2011)
  • Claudia María Castro Luna
    • Killing Marías: A Poem for Multiple Voices (2017)
    • This City (2016)
  • José B. González
    • Toys Made of Rocks (2015) 
    • When Love Was Reels (2017)
  • Leticia Hernández Linares
    • Mucha muchacha Too Much Girl (2015)
  • Alexandra Lytton Regalado
    • Matria (poems) (2017)
  • Tania Pleitez Vela, et al (editors)
    • Theater Under My Skin. Contemporary Salvadoran Poetry (2014)
  • Marcos McPeek Villatoro
    • Romilia Chacon Mystery Series
    • On Tuesday When the Homeless Disappeared (2004)
    • The Holy Spirit of My Uncle’s Cojones (1999)
    • They Say I am Two: Poems (1997)
    • Walking to La Milpa (1996)
  • Javier Zamora
    • Unaccompanied (2017)

 

Guatemalan American

  • Sylvia Sellers Garcia
    • When the Ground Turns in Its Sleep (2007)
  • Francisco Goldman
    • The Night of the White Chickens (1992)
    • The Ordinary Seaman (1997)
  • Claudia Hernández
    • Knitting the Fog (2019)
  • Héctor Tobar
    • The Tattooed Soldier (1998)
  • Jennifer Torres Sánchez
    • We Are Not From Here (2020)

 

Panamanian American

  • Veronica Chambers
    • Mama’s Girl (1996)
  • Christina Henríquez
    • The Book of Unknown Americans (2014)
    • The World in Half (2009)
    • Come Together, Fall Apart (2007)

 

Costa Rican American

  • Steve Castro
    • Blue Whale Phenomena (2019)
  • Quince Duncan
    • A Message From Rosa (2004)
  • Mauricio Espinoza
    • Nada más que silencio (2000)
  • Rubén Quesada
    • Next Extinct Mammal (2011)
  • Jacob Shores-Arguello
    • In the Absence of Clocks (2014)
    • Paraíso: Poems (2017)

 

Honduran American

  • Sonia Nazario (US/Argentinian)
    • Enrique’s Journey (2006)
  • Roy G. Guzman
    • Catrachos: Poems (2020)
  • Sheila Maldonado
    • One-Bedroom Solo (2011)
    • That’s What You Get (2019)

 

Nicaraguan American

  • Francisco Aragón
    • After Ruben (2020)
    • Puerta del Sol (2005)
  • Adela Najarro
    • My Childrens (2017)
    • Split Geography (2015)
    • Twice Told Over (2015)
  • Silvio Sirias
    • Bernardo and the Virgin: A Novel (2005)

 

Central American American (general/secondary texts)

 

  • Francisco Aragón, ed.
    • Wind Shifts. New Latino Poetry (Francisco Aragón, ed) (2007)
  • Maritza E. Cardenas
    • Constituting Central American-Americans: Transnational Identities and the Politics of Dislocation (2018)
  • Leticia Hernández, et al. (editors)
    • The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States (2017)
  • Karina Oliva Alvarado, et al. (editors)
    • US Central Americans: Reconstructing Memories, Struggles and Communities of Resistance (2017)
  • Ana Patricia Rodríguez
    • Dividing the Isthmus: Central American Transnational Literature and Culture (2009)

South America (3-4 works)

Argentina

  • Sergio Waisman Leaving (2004)
  • Julie Sophia Paegle Twelve Clocks (2015); torch song tango choir (2010)
  • Beatriz Badikian Gartler Unveiling the Mind (poems) (2014)
  • Lila Quintero Weaver Dark Room: A Memoir in Black and White (2012)

 

Ecuador

  • Mauro Javier Cárdenas The Revolutionaries Try Again (2016)
  • Juan J. Morales The Handyman’s Guide to End Time (2018); The Siren World (2016); Friday and the Year that Followed (2006) (Ecuador/Puerto Rico)
  • Stepanie Díaz They Could Have Named Her Anything (2019) (Ecuador/Puerto Rico)
  • Oscar Bermeo (poems)
  • Emanuel Xavier (poems) (Ecuador/Puerto Rico)

 

Colombia

  • Ingrid Rojas Contreras Fruit of the Drunken Tree (2018)
  • Patricia Engel Vida (2010); The Veins of the Ocean (2016); Infinite Country (2021)
  • Jaime Manrique Latin Moon in Manhattan (1993)
  • Jorge Franco Paraíso Travel (2001)
  • Maurice Kilwein Guevara Autobriography of So-and-So: Poems in Prose (2001)
  • James Cañon Tale from the Town of Widows (2007)

 

Peru

  • Daniel Alarcón War By Candlelight: Stories (2006), Lost City Radio (2007), At Night We Walk in Circles (2013)
  • Marie Arana American Chica: Two Worlds, One Childhood (2011)
  • Carmen Giménez Smith Be Recorder (poems) (2019)
  • Braulio Muñoz The Peruvian Notebooks (2006)
  • Melissa Rivero The Affairs of the Falcóns (2019)
  • Farid Matuk The Real Horse: Poemas (2018); This Is a Nice Neighborhood (2010)

 

Uruguay

  • Carolina de Robertis The President and the Frog (2021); Cantoras (2019); The Gods of Tango (2015); The Invisible Mountain (2019)

 

Brazil

  • Kathleen de Acevedo Samba Dreams (2006)

 

Chile

  • Daniel Borzutsky The Performance of Becoming Human (2016); Lake Michigan (2018)
  • Fernando Alegría The Funhouse (1986)
  • Marjorie Agosín (selections)
  • Isabel Allende (selections)
  • Marcela Huerta Trópico (2017)

 

South American (general)

  • Juanita Heredia
    • Mapping South American Latina/o Literature in the United States: Interviews with Contemporary Writers (2018)

Latinx and Afro Latinx Literature (general) (7 mandatory texts plus choose 2 works)

Latinx Literature (General)

  • Jesse Alemán (essays)
  • Gloria Anzaldúa
    • Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (1987)
  • Frances Aparicio
    • Negotiating Latinidad: IntraLatina/o Lives in Chicago (2019)
  • Stephanie Fetta
    • Shaming Into Brown: Somatic Transactions of Race in Latina/o Literature (2018)
  • Ylce Irizarry
    • Chicana/o and Latina/o Fiction: The New Memory of Latinidad (2016)
  • Rodrigo Lazo
    • Letters from Filadelfia: Early Latino Literature and the Trans-American Elite (2020)
  • Rodrigo Lazo and Jesse Alemán
    • The Latino Nineteenth Century (2016)
  • Elena Machado Sáez and R. Dalleo
    • The Latino/a Canon and the Emergence of Post-Sixties Literature
  • Cherríe Moraga and Gloria E. Anzaldúa
    • This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color (1981)
  • José Esteban Muñoz
    • Disidentifications (1999)
    • Cruising Utopia (2009)
    • The Sense of Brown (2020)
  • Ricardo L. Ortíz
    • Latinx Literature Now: Between Evanescence and Event (2019)
  • Ralph Rodriguez
    • Latinx Literature Unbound: Undoing Ethnic Expectation (2018)

 

Afro-Latinx Literature (General)

 

  • Melissa Castillo Garsow (ed.)
    • Manteca:An Anthology of Afro Latin@ Poets (2017)
  • Anani Dzidienyo and Suzanne Oboler (eds.)
    • Neither Friends Nor Enemies. Latinos, Blacks, and Afro Latinos (2005)
  • Juan Flores and Miriam Jiménez Román (eds.)
    • The Afro-Latin@ Reader: History and Culture in the United States (2010)
  • Marta Moreno Vega, Marinieves Alba and Yvette Modestin (eds.)
    • Women Warriors of the Afro-Latina Diaspora (2012)
  • Paul Ortiz
    • African American and Latinx History of the United States (2019)
  • Petra Rivera-Rideau, Jennifer R. Jones and Tianna Paschel (eds.)
    • Afro-Latin@s in Movement : Critical Approaches to Blackness and Transnationalism in the Americas (2012)

Reference Works

Reference Works. Other Resources (Background readings. Not intended for Exam.)

 

  • Frederick Luis Aldama
    • The Routledge Concise History of Latino/a Literature (2013)
  • Suzanne Bost and Frances Aparicio
    • The Routledge Companion to Latino/a Literature (2012)
  • John Morán González
    • The Cambridge Companion to Latina/o American Literature (2016)
  • John Morán González and Laura Lomas
    • The Cambridge History of Latina/o American Literature (2018)
  • Nicolas Kanellos
    • Herencia: The Anthology of Hispanic Literature of the United States (Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage (2002)
  • Ilán Stavans
    • Norton Anthology of Latino Literature (2010)
    • Oxford Handbook of Latino Studies (2020)
  • Deborah R. Vargas et al.
    • Keywords for Latina/o Studies (2017)

 

Films (some examples)

  • Iván Acosta (screenplay) Leon Ichaso (director)
    • El Super (1979)
  • Sergio M. Castilla
    • Gringuito (1998)
  • Tommy Chong and Lou Adler
    • Up in Smoke (1978)
  • Ángel Muñiz
    • Nueba Yol (1996)
  • Gregory Nava
    • El Norte (1984)
    • Selena (1997)
  • Patricia Riggen
    • Under the Same Moon (2007)
  • Alex Rivera
    • Sleep Dealer (2009)
  • Peter Sollett
    • Raising Victor Vargas (2002)
  • Pedro Ultreras
    • La Bestia (2010)
  • Luis Valdez
    • Zoot Suit (1981)