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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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2. Exploring Borders   

2. Exploring

•  Unit Overview
•  Using the Video
•  Authors
•  Timeline
•  Activities
- Overview Questions
- Video
- Author
- Context
- Creative Response
- PBL Projects

Activities: Video Activities

Using the Video
Deepening materials for using the video with this Unit.
How do place and time shape literature and our understanding of it?
Video Comprehension Questions: What are borderlands? What boundaries besides geographical ones are challenged in border regions?
Context Questions: How does Cabeza de Vaca's almost anthropological account of his time among the natives resonate with Americo Paredes's sociological/anthropological approach to recording the traditional musical and folk traditions of Chicano culture?
Exploratory Questions: How have Native American, mestizo, and mestiza identity changed over the course of hundreds of years of contact and conflict between groups in the U.S./Mexico border region?

What is an American? How does American literature create conceptions of the American experience and identity?
Video Comprehension Questions: What is a mestizo/mestiza?
Context Questions: How might Bernal Díaz's description of Tenochtitlá have inspired Chicano activists' ideas about Aztlán and its culture?
Exploratory Questions: How has mestizo culture challenged dominant European American ideas about the origins of America?
What does the term Chicano mean? Where does it come from? How does it differ from the terms Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish American? Which of these terms do you feel is most appropriate for the writers featured in the video and why?

How are American myths created, challenged, and reimagined through these works of literature?
Video Comprehension Questions: Who was Doña Marina, or La Malinche?
Context Questions: How do corridos celebrating the exploits of Gregorio Cortez invoke and rewrite the legacy of Hernán Cortés the Spanish conquistador?
Exploratory Questions: What modes of protest do you think are most effective at enabling an oppressed group to challenge stereotypes and limitations imposed by the dominant culture?

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