Final Group Project: Critical Reflection

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In her chapter of The New Latino Studies Reader, Frances R. Aparicio writes:

“Scholars have debated the usefulness of the term “Latino” as a rubric that incorporates or fails to account for the heterogeneous experiences of U.S. Latinas/os. Because it is an umbrella term that erases our cultural specificities, or that mostly foregrounds the conflicts and segmentations among the various national groups—what has been called the “Latino Cultural Wars” (Kugel 2002)—the term itself has been the object of suspicion and debate within the field. Yet now it is becoming a site from and around which to discuss the implications of the demographic diversification of the Latina/o population in the United States.”

Based on the topics of discussion from our class this semester, think about what Aparicio is saying: Can the term “Latino”—or Latina/o/x—incorporate or account for the experiences of all U.S. Latinas/os/xs? Does using any kind of umbrella term erase and silence cultural specificities? Does it help to call attention to strategic similarities within Latina/o/x populations? And can the idea of “Latina/o/x” as an umbrella term motivate helpful conversations about the diversity—rather than homogeneity—of the Latina/o/x population in the United States?

In sum, in your opinion, can the term “Latinas/os/xs” represent the historical, cultural, and political complexity of the lives of Latinas/os/xs in the United States?

General Instructions:

Create a written critical dialogue (900 – 1200 words) that answers the question. You can use the reading “What’s in an ‘x’? An Exchange about the Politics of ‘Latinx’” as a model for your own written “exchange.” You should take a stance on the above question based on a single issue of your choice that you chose to investigate in depth. THE ISSUE THAT I HAVE CHOSE IS POLITICAL ASYLUM. In your conversation, at least 2 different points of view on the issue that you have chosen should be clearly developed based on your knowledge and outside research.

MOST IMPORTANT: How does considering and researching your specific topic help to answer these questions?

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