Topic: World Languages and Cultures
Instructor: Mellissia Walles
Method: Online (OWRK)
Sponsor: Idioma Education
Center Offered: OLPD

Course Description:

BORDERLANDS: Telling Stories of “Us” and “Them” 

Borderlands can be seen as liminal spaces in which the myth of self vs. “other” is challenged by the interactions between two worlds which are as defined by their overlap as they are by their distinction. The 2000-mile border between Mexico and the U.S.A. is the only visible border between the developed and developing worlds. Politically, it is also the perceived boundary between Latin America and Anglo America. Beyond economic and political factors, immigrants who cross this border participate in a broad cultural process of great importance to demographic frameworks and the quality of relationships between countries. The Southern borderlands are the contemporary equivalent of Ellis Island. Currently, Los Angeles, California and Brownsville, Texas, are the second and third largest Spanish-speaking cities in the world (only after Mexico City and larger than Madrid and Barcelona).

In this course, we will explore some aspects of the Latinx experience, such as what it means to be Chicano, Mexican American, or Puerto Rican living in Manhattan, or a second-generation Cuban American living in exile in Miami? How can we better understand these immigrant experiences and their cultural impact?  How do these cultures co-exist, rubbing shoulders with one another every day? How has their presence been politicized? These are some questions we will explore. We’ll use literature, film, current events, media, and poetry to explore the diversity of cultures in our local communities and classrooms. While focusing on reigniting a passion for teaching, we create opportunities for new insights to better relate to and guide your students in this very interesting time in our nation’s history where many cultures are coming together rather than one dominant culture subsuming the others.


Idioma courses receive letter grades



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Cost: $1 050
Timespan of Course:
May 17, 2021 to June 25, 2021
Contact E-mail:

Meeting Times

  • Location of Meeting: 
    online with Idioma Education
Course Number: EDU*6130*D26
Academic Term: 21/GW
Academic Level: GW
Semester Hours: 3.00
Subject: EDU