American Studies
American Studies

Nicole Guidotti-Hernández

Core FacultyPh.D., Cornell University

Associate Professor
Nicole Guidotti-Hernández


  • Phone: 512-232-6313
  • Office: BUR 422
  • Office Hours: Wednesdays from 12:30-3:30pm and by appointment
  • Campus Mail Code: B7100


Borderlands History after 1846, Transnational Feminisms, Latinx Studies, and Immigration


Dr. Nicole M. Guidotti-Hernández is Associate Professor of American Studies and Mexican American and Latina/o Studies. She is an expert in Borderlands History after 1846, Transnational Feminist Methodologies, Latinx Studies, and Popular Culture and Immigration.


Her book titled Unspeakable Violence: Remapping U.S.  and  Mexican National Imaginaries, Duke University Press (2011) was a finalist for the 2012 Berkshire Women’s History First Book Prize and has received many favorable reviews. Her articles such as “Reading Violence, Making Chicana Subjectivities” appear in anthologies such as Techno/futuros: Genealogies, Power, Desire (2007), edited by Nancy Raquel Mirabal and Agustin Lao-Montes. She has also published in journals such as Women’s Studies International Forum, ELN, Social Text, American Quarterly, The Latin Americanist, and Latino Studies, where her article “Dora the Explorer, Constructing “Latinidades” and the Politics of Global Citizenship” is one of the most downloaded articles in the history of the journal. She is also the co-editor Radical History Review special issue number 123 entitled “Sexing Empire.”


As a public intellectual, Dr. Guidotti-Hernández has written numerous articles for the feminist magazine Ms. and the feminist blog The Feminist Wire, covering such topics as immigration, reproductive rights, and the Dream act. She also sits on the national advisory council for the Ms. and is currently on the national advisory council for Freedom University in Athens, Georgia.


She is completing a book on masculinity and affect and actively mentors graduate and undergradute students in her areas of research.


AMS 321 • Women Of Color Feminisms In Us

31162 • Fall 2018
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM CMA 3.114
(also listed as AFR 372C, MAS 374, WGS 340)


This relational ethnic studies course examines the most influential works produced by those women of color whose political and cultural investments in a collaborative, cross-cultural critique of U.S. imperialism and heteronormativity has been called “US Third World Feminism.”  In order to situate these works historically, materially, and culturally, we will also read works by key “third world” anti-colonialist writers.  In addition to developing a facility with historical and contemporary discourses of nationalism, gender, race, sexuality, and class, our goal will be to engage in a sustained and critical exploration of the limits and promises of “US Third World Feminism.”  What is “third world” about this feminism, and what is gained by using this politically fraught label?  How does its discourse carry over into everyday practice?  How do the documents produced under its name draw from the anti-colonial writings of “third world” writers?  What is the relationship between this mode of feminism and more recent elaborations of global and transnational feminisms? 



Alarcón,,  Norma, Kaplan, Caren and Moallem, Minoo. Between Woman and Nation 

Anzaldúa, Gloria and Moraga, Cherríe eds. This Bridge Called My Back 

Davis, Angela. The Angela Davis Reader. 

Ehrenreich, Barbara  and Annette Fuentes Women in the Global Factory 

Límon, Graciela. In Search of Bernabé 

Mohanty, Chandra .Feminism Without Borders. 

Peña, Milagros. Latina Activists Across Borders 



La Operación 

Black Skins/White Masks 



25% Final Paper 

5% Prospectus and Bibliography 

30% Long Papers 

10% Presentation of final paper 

30% Attendance and Class Participation

AMS 321 • Chicana Feminisms

30197 • Spring 2018
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM CMA 5.190
(also listed as MAS 374, WGS 340)


Emerging out of the social protest movements of the 1960’s, Chicana Feminists offered an alternative mapping of feminist literary and political thought with the issues of gender, race, and sexuality as their primary concerns. In this course, we will examine what constitute advanced topics in Chicana Feminism, including the history of the movement, in its multiple incarnations, and its epistemological interventions into the contemporary period. Tracing Chicana feminist theory as it broke off from Chicano nationalist politics of the 1960’s, to a politics that is concerned with practices of communal feminism that encompasses men and women of the working classes, we will examine how it has shifted and changed over time.  We will also look at how Chicana feminist thought breaks with and intersects with Euro-American or European models of feminism. In addition, we will examine the ways in which contemporary Chicana Feminists have moved towards a more third-world and/or transnational model of feminism that takes into account the inequities that exist between first and third world subjects.  Through the study of essays, testimonios, film, and literatures that engage feminism, we will discuss how material conditions, spirituality, gender inequality, class inequality, racial inequality, and questions of sexuality allow Chicana women to engage in activities that we might understand as feminist. Students will undertake a final research paper for the course



Arredondo, et. all                Chicana Feminisms

Blackwell, Maylei                Chicana Power

García, Alma, Ed.                  Chicana Feminist Thought: the Basic Historical Writings

Cisneros, Sandra                  Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories

Hurtado, Aida                                   Voicing Chicana Feminisms

Moraga, Cherríe.                   Loving in the War Years: lo que nunca pasó por sus labios

Pardo                                      Mexican American Women Activists

Viramontes, Helena                       The Moths and Other Stories




Class Participation (discussions, attendance, and twitter feed)         25%

Oral Presentation                                                                                        10%

Essay 1 and 2                                                                                                30%

Prospectus and Bibliography for Final Essay                                         10%

Final Paper                                                                                                   25%

AMS 370 • Latina/O Pop

30329 • Spring 2018
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM BUR 436B
(also listed as MAS 374)

In this course, we will examine what constitutes advanced topics in Chicana Feminism's multiple incarnations. Tracing Chicana feminist theory as it broke off from Chicano nationalist politics of the 1960’s, we will examine how the discourse intersects with or rejects Euro-American or European models of feminism. In addition, we will examine the ways in which contemporary Chicana Feminists have moved towards a more third-world and/or transnational model of feminism that takes into account the inequities that exist between first and third world subjects. Previous enrollment in La Chicana recommended.

AMS 391 • Violence In Lat/Ind Amer

31007 • Fall 2017
Meets TH 2:00PM-5:00PM CMA 3.134
(also listed as LAS 381, MAS 392)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing; additional prerequisites vary with the topic.

AMS 393 • Intro Readings In Amer Studies

31015 • Fall 2017
Meets T 2:00PM-5:00PM BUR 436B

Graduate standing required. Seminar designed to acquaint the graduate student with the nature and extent of materials for interdisciplinary research on American culture. Consent of instructor required.

MAS 177 • Mellon Mays Program Seminar

36050 • Fall 2016
Meets W 2:00PM-3:00PM GWB 1.138

The MMUF Student Research Success for Academic Careers summer workshop will focus MMUF researchers on their summer projects. The course will feature units on methodology, understanding and constructing bibliographies, annotation, literature reviews, and writing skills, including emphasis on sharing writing with cohort peers.

MAS S177 • Mellon Mays Program Seminar

82357 • Summer 2016
Meets TTH 11:30AM-1:00PM GWB 1.138

Restricted to students accepted to the Mellon Mays Program. Seminar designed as an interdisciplinary primer to the exploration of research, writing, and professionalization in preparation for doctoral study. One lecture hour a week for one semester.
Prerequisite: Upper-division standing and consent of instructor.

MAS 177 • Mellon Mays Program Seminar

35238 • Fall 2015
Meets W 2:00PM-3:00PM GWB 1.130

The MMUF Student Research Success for Academic Careers summer workshop will focus MMUF researchers on their summer projects. The course will feature units on methodology, understanding and constructing bibliographies, annotation, literature reviews, and writing skills, including emphasis on sharing writing with cohort peers.

AMS 393 • Intro Readings In Amer Studies

31085 • Fall 2014
Meets M 5:00PM-8:00PM BUR 436B

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.


This reading seminar introduces students to the history of and current debates in the interdisciplinary field of American Studies. Arising out of Depression-era concerns about what constituted American Identities and experiences, and the field was institutionalized through U.S. cultural nationalisms emanating from both the Second World War and the Cold War. In this long historical view of the field, American Studies has undergone an extraordinary series of transformations. Thus, this seminar is divided in three parts. First, we will review the history of the field, considering classic texts that generated a consensus model and American exceptionalism. Second, we will examine transitional texts that refocus American Studies around race, gender, class, sexuality, material culture, popular culture and body technologies. Third, we will read ASA Presidential Addresses to examine the transnational turn to empire, and Critical Ethnic Studies.

Each week, we will read a single book-length text with accompanying secondary literature or the equivalent in articles from the journal of record for the field, American Quarterly. We will place the text(s) in historical and cultural contexts, evaluating their usefulness as methodological models. The course’s purpose is not to define a singular form of “doing” American Studies but to analyze a series of very often-conflicting definitions and theories for current practitioners in the field. By course end students will be able to write at a level commensurate with graduate training in American Studies, produce a book review ready for publication, develop close reading skills, deliver an organized presentation to an American Studies audience, and understand the meaning of and produce interdisciplinary scholarship.


Possible texts: Briggs, Somebody’s Children, Gilroy, The Black Atlantic, Pak, Gentleman Bankers, Marx, Machine in the Garden, Spillers ‘Who Cuts the Border,” and Tompkins, Sensational Designs, among others.

AMS 393 • Intro Readings In Amer Studies

30930 • Fall 2013
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM BUR 436B

Consent from Instructor Required

AMS 310 • Intro To American Studies

30655 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM GAR 0.102
(also listed as HIS 315G)

Introduction to American Studies is an interdisciplinary introduction to the historical exploration of American cultures. The class is designed to introduce you to some of the major themes and ideas in American history and culture, as well as to familiarize you with some of the methods and materials that are used in the interdisciplinary study of American societies. Utilizing both historical and contemporary perspectives, and drawing from a wide range of approaches, we will take as our central motif the importance of citizenship, belonging, and inequality. Alongside readings in U.S. literature and history, students will use Keywords for American Cultural Studies and analyze how each keyword appears throughout the course readings. Overall, the course incorporates a sense of historical change of U.S. cultures over time.

Learning outcomes:

*Students will develop a critical vocabulary for taking about key words and concepts in the field.

*Students will understand and demonstrate the role of interdisciplinary study

*Students will learn a brief historiography of the field

*Writing assignments, class participation and attendance, quizzes, and exams will be the measure of these learning outcomes.



Class Attendance and Participation             30%

Quizzes                                                   10%

Position papers                                        15%

Midterm                                                  20%                         

Final Exam                                              25%


Possible Texts

Journals of Christopher Columbus

Powhatan “Letter to Captain John Smith”

Fredrick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass

Burgett & Hendler, Keywords for American Cultural Studies

Bethany Moreton, To Serve God and Walmart

Anthony Macias, Mexican American Mojo


When the Levees Broke

Smoke Signals


Partially fulfills legislative requirement in American History.

Flag(s): Cultural Diversity

AMS 370 • Latina/O Pop

30695 • Fall 2012
Meets MW 3:30PM-5:00PM BUR 228
(also listed as MAS 374)


This course examines how Latinas/os have been a major force in the production of  popular culture. In particular we will critically examine discourses of “Latinidad” (a seamless construction of Latinos as a monolithic group) in the corporate production of identities.  This lack of attention to national origin and historical specificity is one definition of Latinidad.  Latinidad also provides the contradictory grounds where consumer culture meets Latina/o performance. Some artists choose to reappropriate commercial spaces as sites of empowerment, while others are complicit in perpetuating stereotypical representations of Latinas/os.  With special attentiveness to the body,  we will explore the construction of Latina/o identities as they influence and produce particular racial, sexual and gendered identities. The body becomes an essential marker of “Latinidad,”  which is constantly connected to notions of sexuality. We will also examine the material effects of such cultural and commercial practices upon U.S. Latino populations, reminding us that there are real-world implications for these performances as they commodify Latina/o culture.  To account for the shifts in notions of performance and cultural practices, the focus of the course will center Latina/o/Chicana/o musical production, movies, television, advertising, magazines, literary texts, performance art, murals, installation art, music videos, and animation within a historical context.                 



Class Participation (discussions and attendance)          25%

Oral Presentation                                                      5%

Quizzes                                                                    15%

Essay 1 and 2                                                           25%

Prospectus Final Essay                                               5%

Final Paper                                                                25%


Possible Texts

Habel-Palan and Romero, Latina/o Popular Culture

Leguizamo, Freak

Lipsitz, Footsteps in the Dark

Rivera, New York Ricans from the Hip Hop Zone


Films/ TV Shows

1951-1957-I Love Lucy

1997- Selena

1998- Freak

2001-Dora The Explorer


Upper-division standing required. Students may not enroll in more than two AMS 370 courses in one semester.

Flag(s): Writing, Cultural Diversity

AMS 370 • Fem Intervntns Borderlands His

30853 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM JES A217A
(also listed as MAS 374, WGS 340)

This seminar will provide undergraduates with an in-depth understanding of the social, economic, and spatial transformations in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries U.S.- Mexico borderlands. In particular, we will examine how Indian removal, the Texas wars for Independence, the Mexican American war of 1848, and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo continue to influence how ideas of nation, space and citizenship (or lack thereof) are articulated in these regions today. Lastly, this course operates from a feminist scholarly perspective, demonstrating the role of both transnational analysis and the pivotal role of the intersections of race, class, gender and sexuality in forming this distinct regional history.

In addition, students will engage in their own archival research projects during the semester.  Juxtaposed with contextual historical and methodological essays, we will examine the concerns, anxieties and preoccupations with the contested nature of gender, race, subjectivity and sexuality in the nineteenth and early twentieth century U.S./Mexico Borderlands.                 



25% Final Paper

10% Prospectus and Bibliography

10% Presentation

25% Position Papers

30% Attendance and Class Participation


Possible Texts

Juliana Barr, Peace Came in the Form of A Woman

James Brooks, Captives and Cousins

Ned Blackhawk, Violence Over the Land

Dena Gonzlaez, Refusing the Favor

Guidotti-Hernández, Unspeakable Violence

Adina de Zavala, History and Legends of the Alamo and Other Missions in and around San Antonio

Jovita Gonzalez, Dew on the Thorn

Encarnación Pinedo, El Cocinero Español


Upper-division standing required.  Students may not enroll in more than two AMS 370 courses in one semester.

Flag(s): Writing

MAS 319 • Chicano Lit & Popular Culture

35745 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GAR 3.116

Please check back for updates.


Unspeakable Violence: Remapping U.S. and Mexican National Imaginaries.
Latin America Otherwise Series. Duke University Press, 2011.
Winner, Modern Language Association Book Prize, Division of Chicana/o and Latina/o
Literary and Cultural Studies section, 2011-2012.
2012 Finalist, Berkshire Women’s History Association First Book Prize.

“#ICEOutofGA: Undocumented Millennials Against Militarization in Georgia” English
Language Notes. Fall/Winter 2016.


“Embodied Forms of State Domination: Gender and Camp Grant.” Social Text, Volume 28,
Number 3, pp. 91-117, Fall 2010.

“Gender, Epistemology Cooking: Rethinking Encarnación Pineda’s El Cocinero Español.”
Women’s Studies International Forum, Vol. 31, No. 6, pp. 446-456, Nov.-Dec. 2008.

“Dora the Explorer, Marketing “Latinidades” and the Politics of Global Citizenship.” Latino
Studies Journal,. Volume 5, Issue 3, pp. 209-232, Summer 2007.

Curriculum Vitae

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