In this course, we have covered a brief introduction to Mexican American Studies. Topics we have covered in our units included: Land/Colonization, Labor/Food, and Education/Schooling.
In a traditional college course, a final exam is a cumulative assessment of knowledge gained from the duration of the course. In the context of Aztec mythology where it meets Chicana feminism, Coyalxauqui who is dismembered by her brother after she threatens to kill their mother, is left broken and in pieces. As we’ve learned with Critical Race Theory and with Chicana feminisms, putting the pieces back together through remembering is a critical element in challenging structures of power (including institutions of higher education, institutions of government, the patriarchy, colonization, etc.) In this class, the final will call for students to reflect on and remember course concepts and knowledge gained from this course. For the HUMA 1305 – Introduction to Mexican American Studies final exam, students will write a 3-5 page critical essay (Standard academic format: typed, standard font, double spaced, 1” margins, etc.) comparing course content with the selected film. The first step of this essay is to review the course materials we have studied together. You will then look for three (3) direct course connections (to include citations) from one of the film’s content. Consider profound learning moments that stand out to you. This essay will encompass the following:
View Sleep Dealer (sci-fi) while taking notes and decide what would be the best approach for you to make direct course connections.
Select three (3) course concepts that include a
quote and citation from each. A reminder, we have studied units on:
a) Indigenous knowledge and land
b) land, labor, & food
c) education
Organize your findings in a standard 5-paragraph essay format, include a citation page, review it, & upload it into Canvas.
Rationale: This course has been an overview of the histories, arts, lives of Mexican Americans from within a social justice vein. The purpose of this final essay is to serve as a comprehensive measure of your learning throughout the course of the semester. The preparation part of this essay functions as a course review, the larger part of the essay functions as a reflection of content as well as the ability to critically draw patterns beyond the course into other forms of media, such as film. This skillset functions as a critical lense for looking forward into future social transformation.
How to organize your critical comparative 3-5 page essay:
⬜ Use a basic 5-paragraph essay format.
⬜ In your introduction, be sure to have a clear thesis statement that mentions the film title and all three (3) course concepts you will discuss in your body paragraphs.
⬜ Each of your body paragraphs should have a transition/transitional phrase and offer a clear example of a connection found between the course content and the film you select (see formula below).
⬜ Introduce theoretical concept from the course with a quote and citation. (Description/Theory)
⬜ Explain with clear example/s of how this concept is apparent in the film you have chosen. (Critical Analysis)
⬜ Explain the significance of how this theoretical concept emerges beyond the course. Why is it important enough to be noticeable in other forms of media, such as film? (Interpretation)
⬜ Your conclusion may be a brief reflection of what you’ve learned in understanding the broader social contexts concerning Mexican Americans in relation to power.
⬜ Include a Works Cited (MLA) or Bibliography (APA) page for the theories you cited within your body paragraphs.
This essay will be graded based on the following criteria and will account for 25% of the course grade:
Page Length & Format 10%
Course relevance 20%
Thesis 10%
Critical review of (3) course content connected to film 50%
Citations & works cited/bibliography page 10%