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The Latino-U.S. Connection

8:00 Seminar

U.S. and the countries of Latin America dominate the history of Inter-American relations. Episodes of concert between the two now most populous ethnic groups and between the U.S. and Latin America tend to pass less noted despite great benefits for both sides. The U.S. Good Neighbor policy greatly profited Latin America and the U.S. during the dark days of the Depression and World War II, but it is much less well known than our destructive half century feud with Cuba. Building on Pacific Seminar I themes of politics, law and citizenship, this course will focus on contrasting episodes of coercion and cooperation to raise questions about how an ideal society increases collaboration. Topics will include

* The questioning of Latino patriotism and widespread ignorance of Hispanic contributions to American history, especially in the War of Independence

* Why Fidel, Chavez and some of our other neighbors are so anti-American

* The impact of education, work and identity on inter-ethnic conflict

* The role of Spanglish, values and other hurdles in cross cultural communications

* Hispanophobia and why many people think that recent trends in immigration and trade are such bad deals for the U.S.

The course will call upon students to explore these topics together and then individually in historical contexts, such as the great orphan abduction of 1904 in Arizona and the 1968 Los Angeles high school walkout, and then in more contemporary settings. Students will also have the option of participating in a project related to Latino community development.