Monday, November 15, 2010

¡RADICALLY CHICana/o! A New MALAS Seminar Taught by Professor Daniel Widener! Spring 2011

MALAS 600A | SPRING 2011
Next-Generation Ethnic
American Cultural Studies

MALAS 600A Section:1 | Units:3 Schedule # 21845 | Seats:25 Meetings: 4:00pm-6:40pm, Tuesdays | PSFA 113

  • Think Mil Mascaras is a beauty product?

  • Think Subcommandante Ramona is an east county realtor?

  • Confuse Anthony Ortega and Anthony Quinn?

  • Confuse Dolores and Vanessa del Rio?

  • Do you think Santeria is a Sublime song?

  • Do you think Salt of the Earth is an organic food product?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, please enroll IMMEDIATELY in Radically CHICano/a—Next Gen Ethnic American Cultural Studies. The course serves as an emergency tutorial in the politics of Mexican American culture. Our course is intended for anyone with an interest in how art can lead to social change, or simply wants to learn about ideas, behaviors, and images that are likely to dominate California for generations to come. The course is open to our fantabulous MALAS graduate students but graduate students and advanced undergraduates from Chicana/o Studies, Africana Studies, Women's Studies and other departments across the College of Arts and Letters are encouraged to add this innovative course to their package of Spring 2011 delights.

From Mexican Muralism to Lucha Libre (Professional Wrestling,) with stopovers for Political Posters, Customized Cars, Hip Hop, the EZLN, Graffiti, Donald Duck comic books, and Charlton Heston films, our course will jaywalk through the intersection of revolutionary aesthetics and aesthetic revolution. Along the way, we will ask questions like A) what does expressive culture tell us about Chicano/a identity and politics? B) are ideas like cultural imperialism and cultural resistance still helpful? Were they ever? C) what is this “Mexican” in Mexican-American, and how has it incorporated African Americans, whites, Asians, and other Latinos? D) and what’s up with all those skeletons, anyhow? Course texts will include avant-garde films, scathing novels, and barrio walls, though the precise names of each remain to be determined.

{editor/MALAS Director's note: Dr. Daniel Widener has been raided from his usual intellectual hive, UCSD, for this special MALAS class; Widener "teaches African American history, cultural studies, and twentieth-century political radicalism. He began his educational career at the Echo Park-Silverlake Peoples’ Childcare Center. He studied at Berkeley and New York University. He has written on the politics of black culture in postwar Los Angeles, black-Latino and Afro-Asian issues, and the Korean War."More on this dynamic southern California thinker is here. You can check out his new book and more here.}


  1. This sound like a wonderful course. This is the second I am reading the term "expressive culture" in relation to Chicana/o studies and I'm wondering how this term is different from Visual Culture?

  2. Widener has whipped up a winner, to be sure; my take on Expressive Culture is that it is a 21st Century version of folklore--with some post-Saidian, post-Foucauldian, post-Spivakian sensibility thrown in; Renato Rosaldo meets Marshall Blonsky on the way to Zizek's house..... Something like that..... thanx for the note!