Overview

In response to the themes of duality present in Latino@ and U.S. Latin@ literature, this Plan of Concentration is composed of three sections, each exploring a different facet of the Latin@ and U.S. Latin@ experience. One section is about code-switching, or flip-flopping between English and Spanish, among middle and upper class youth in Lima, Peru. The second section is dedicated to Nuyorican literature, the literature of the Puerto Rican diaspora in the United States, specifically New York and the East Coast. The third part is an analysis of the novel Samba Dreamers, by Kathleen de Azevedo, supported by an immersion Portuguese language program in Brazil. 

Excerpts

Given their exposure to English speaking culture and English language, this group eventually finds themselves as bilinguals possessing a bilingual identity, and due to the unique history behind their bilingualism, and the function of English language and through the lens of Peruvian culture and Spanish, this bilingual identity manifests itself in the language, presenting in the form of code-switching and code-mixing. Due to the interesting history behind this demographic, they are quite isolated in their bilingualism, and do not belong to any larger group or pattern other than their own. Given this, the exploration of this demographic promises unique and useful information regarding bilingual identity and the social functions and significance behind code-mixing and code-switching.

Kathleen de Azevedo, in keeping with the Brazilian Modernist literary movement, uses her novel Samba Dreamers (2006) to actively reject the colonial perspectives, mentalities and ideologies that promote the misrepresentation of Brazil and Brazilian people. de Azevedo, like the Modernists, rejects colonial influences as a means to reaffirm Brazilian identity, but does so in context to the Brazilian immigrant experience marked by stereotypes, misrepresentation and prejudice, concluding that the colonial ideologies Brazilian immigrants are subjected to that render their American Dream a myth.

Reflections

I remember my experience abroad in Peru and Brazil the most. In Peru, I conducted the research that would later form the anthropological piece of my Plan. In Brazil, I took an intensive Portuguese language program and lived with a family in Rio de Janeiro for a month. There, I was able to improve my Portuguese and simultaneously immerse myself in the culture, which definitely aided me when I returned to the U.S. to analyze a piece of Brazilian-American literature for another facet of my Plan.

Although I focus on mainly U.S. Latin@ Literature in my Plan, I have extensive experience with Latin American literature written entirely in Spanish as well, given the well-rounded curriculum I created for myself at Marlboro with the help of my professors. Furthermore, I have teaching experience as well, as I completed the TESOL program and received my certificate through Marlboro my sophomore year. This was done through a yearlong course as well as a two-week teaching internship in Costa Rica.