Center of Mexican American Studies
Center of Mexican American Studies

Marcel Brousseau

Teaching FacultyPh.D., University of California, Santa Barbara

Marcel Brousseau



Marcel Brousseau has a Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara. His dissertation, "Over the Line: Critical Media Technologies of the Trans-American Hyperborder," examines the U.S.-Mexico border as a media network comprising literature, maps, and infrastructure. His research and teaching fields include media studies, Chicana/o studies, Indigenous studies, and American literature. He has engaged in fieldwork at Friendship Park (El Parque de la Amistad), on the San Diego-Tijuana border. As a 2015-16 Carlos E. Castañeda Postdoctoral Fellow, he plans to work on adapting Óscar Martínez’s migration account Los migrantes que no importan into a moralized cartography. He is also undertaking a research project that examines climate control as a bordering technique. He will teach the course Mexican American Literature and Culture (MAS 314/ ENG 314V) in the Fall 2015 semester.


MAS 319 • Latinx Comics/Graphic Narrt

35623 • Spring 2018
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM GAR 3.116
(also listed as AMS 315)

In this course, we will read Mexican American and Latinx comics and examine how verbal/visual texts represent and reimagine Mexican American and Latinx community and identity. Writing in The Routledge Companion to Latino/a Literature, Frederick Luis Aldama highlights the expansive range of genres, forms, and styles exemplified in Latinx comics production. Aldama posits that comics are a “particularly good medium” for overturning “denigrating stereotypes,” and quotes another comics scholar, Derek Parker Royal, who writes that “comics are well-suited to dismantle those very assumptions that problematize ethnic representation, especially as they find form in visual language.” Students will gain a background in comics theory, and will learn how to read and analyze texts according to frameworks in the emerging field of comics studies. Students will also examine complicated dynamics cultural representation and underrepresentation by examining comics in terms of their content and their market contexts.

Required Texts


Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, 2007

Jaime, Gilbert, and Mario Hernandez—Selections from Love and Rockets, 1982-present Tony Sandoval, Rendez-vous in Phoenix, 2016

Kat Fajardo, ¡Gringa!, 2016

Gabby Rivera and Joe Quinones, America, 2017

Excerpts from: Gus Arriola, Gordo, 1945-1986; Laura Molina, Cihualyaomiquiz, The Jaguar, 1996; Javier Hernandez, El Muerto: Aztec Zombie, 1998; Hector Cantu and Carlos Castellanos, Baldo, 2000-present; Wilfred Santiago, In My Darkest Hour, 2004; The Luna Brothers, Ultra, 2004

Theoretical sources include: Selections from Frederick Luis Aldama, Your Brain on Latino Comics: From Gus Arriola to Los Bros Hernandez; 2009; Aldama, “Multicultural Comics Today: A Brief Introduction” from Multicultural Comics: From Zap to Blue Beetle, 2010; Aldama, Latinx Comic Book Storytelling: An Odyssey by Interview, 2016; Leonard Rifas, “Racial Imagery, Racism, Individualism, and Underground Comix,” 2004


The Dead One, director Brian Cox, 2007

Grade Breakdown:

  • 10% Attendance                                                       
  • 20% Micro essays
  • 20% Participation (5% contribution to class discussion, 5% discussion questions, 5% conference, 5% oral presentation)
  • 45% Research project (10% research summary, 5% symposium, presentation, 25% essay)
  • 10% Reading quizzes

MAS 308 • Intro To Mex Amer Policy Stds

36140 • Fall 2017
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM PAR 101

This course examines contemporary Mexican-American issues from the perspective of a policy analyst. Students will learn the basic tools of policy analysis and apply them to a variety of issues and proposed policy solutions. The course has two objectives: (1) To train students how to inform public policy by providing decision makers with objective policy analysis. (2) To help students understand why public policy decisions often diverge from the recommendations made by policy analysts. In other words, this is a course about both policy analysis and the politics behind policymaking.

While the focus of this course is on policy issues that affect Mexican-Americans and/or Latinos, students will learn that policies often have widespread impact on many groups. Policy also often results in unintended consequences.

Students will also learn about the challenges policy analysts face when they attempt to use objective public policy metrics to analyze policies that often have moral or symbolic frames.

MAS 319 • Writing Crime On The Border

36177 • Fall 2017
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM BEN 1.102
(also listed as AMS 315)

This class will explore the U.S.-Mexico borderlands as a longstanding setting for narratives of crime and criminality. Political scientist Peter Andreas argues that the environment of historic conquest, transcultural exchange, and legal enforcement in the borderlands seems to “create the very conditions” for events of crime and policing. As a class, we will examine how such events are mediated through different genres of literary writing, and we will trace how the form and content of border crime writing has evolved over roughly a century. Our primary goal is to increase our understanding and appreciation of border culture as it is produced through acts of writing and reading, particularly by Mexican American and Latinx authors. We also seek to comprehend how these authors experiment with meanings of legality and illegality, how they examine different subject positions relative to the state, and how they diagram relationships in terms of place, nation, culture, gender, race, and the law. In order to refine their analyses of literary genres, film, and historiography, students will write a number of micro papers, including a creative writing project, and conclude the course by constructing an analytical dossier about a theme relevant to border crime writing.

MAS 314 • Mexican American Lit And Cul

35115 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM BEN 1.106
(also listed as E 314V)

FLAGS:   CD  |  Wr

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