Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies
Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

Olivia Mena


LecturerPh.D., London School of Economics and Political Science

Lecturer, Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies
Olivia Mena

Contact

Interests


US-Mexico borderlands; sociology; race and ethnicity; postcolonial studies; border theory; border walls; neoliberalism; nationalsim; citizenship; sovereignty

Courses


LAS 310 • Race, Deportation, Diaspora

39169 • Spring 2020
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM WAG 208
CD (also listed as AAS 310, AFR 317D, AMS 315)

Please check back for updates.

UGS 303 • Dd: Gender/Race, Pol/Incar

59820 • Spring 2020
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM WCP 5.102
GCWr ID

The Signature Course (UGS 302 and 303) introduces first-year students to the university’s academic community through the exploration of new interests. The Signature Course is your opportunity to engage in college-level thinking and learning.

LAS 322 • Latino Migrations And Asylum

39962 • Spring 2018
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM MEZ 1.216
CD (also listed as MAS 374)

The purpose of this seminar is to study the politics of asylum practices in the United States and forced migration from Latin America. Students will gain knowledge on Latino migrations, asylum and detention through both the lens of global political economy, critical race theory and neo-Gramscian theory and through practical engagement with refugee and migrant organizations/legal practitioners. The course will focus on asylum policies and practices from the 1980s to the present and will draw upon case studies based on asylum seekers from Mexico and Central America among other migrant sending regions. There will be an emphasis on how groups with competing interests and visions struggle to conserve or transform the contemporary asylum regime in a transnational model of society and economy between the United States and Latin America. Finally the seminar will also consider the relationship between asylum and the growth of detention practices and explore the efforts of refugees and legal practitioners to challenge and reform the contemporary asylum regime.

 

TEXT:

  • Andrew I. Schoenholtz, Philip G. Schrag, Jaya Ramji-Nogales(Eds). Lives in Balance: Asylum Adjudications by the Department of Homeland Security. New York, NY: NYU, 2014.
  • Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Gil Loescher, Katy Long, Nando Sigona (Eds).

The Oxford Handbook of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. Oxford, UK: Oxford Univesity Press, 2014.

  • Garcia, Maria Cristina. Seeking Refuge: Central American Migration to Mexico, The United States, and Canada. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006.
  • Gonzales, Alfonso. Reform Without Justice: Latino Migrant Politics and the Homeland Security State . New York , CA: Oxford University Press, 2014 .
  • Loyd, Jenna Et al. Beyond Walls and Cages: Prisons, Borders and Global Crisis. Atlanta, GA: University of Georgia Pess, 2012.
  • Paley, Dawn. Drug War Capitalism. AK Press, 2014.
  • Rosa Linda Fregoso and Cynthia Bejarano (Eds.). Terrorizing Women: Feminicide in the Américas. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010.

 

GRADING :

Participation (20 points)

Students are required to participate in course discussions and are expected to attend all the course sessions. Participation will be evaluated based upon the student’s contributions to class discussion and presentations.  Each student will be required to facilitate select reading assignments during a week of class discussion.  Students must turn in a summary of the readings for the day that they chose to facilitate discussion. The two-page summary and analysis should also have thoughtful discussion questions for the class.

Asylum Group Project (30 points) 

Each student will be required to work on an immigration relief project/case study. This will require doing country specific research on a particular social group seeking relief from deportation. Each student will be required to be responsible for one of four components of each project. The Four components are 1) Coordinator, 2) Expert Witness, 3) Researcher 1, and 4) Researcher 2.

Midterm (25 Points)

Students will receive a take home midterm comprised of a series of questions related to the contents covered in class. The midterm will be in essay format and will be roughly 6-8 pages long.

Final (25 Points)

Students will receive a take home final comprised of a series of questions related to the contents covered in class. The final will be in essay format and will be roughly 6-8 pages long. As an alternative to the final advanced students may do a research paper under the supervision of the professor.

MAS 301 • Intr Mex Amer Latina/O Studies

35585 • Spring 2018
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CMA 3.114
CDIIWr SB

This course is an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of Mexican-­‐American and Latina/o Studies. It will examine the history, culture, and politics of the major Latina/o subgroups: Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Central Americans, and Dominicans. The course is built around four units that cover different historical stages in Latina/o community formation. During each unit, we will read about real scenarios when politicians, policy makers, and activists were confronted with ethical questions around how to incorporate Latinas/os into the political and social-­‐ historical actors through the four time periods that we will be engaging in the course. Although the context will change depending on the historical period under study in each unit, the underlying ethical tension will be between the interests of state leaders and the interest of minority groups in the United States, or between the United States and nation-­‐states in Latin America.

AMS 315 • Ethncty & Gender: La Chicana

30845 • Fall 2017
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM GAR 0.120
CD SB (also listed as MAS 311, SOC 308D, WGS 301)

Description:

The purpose of this course is to examine the various experiences, perspectives, and expressions of Chicanas in the United States. This involves examining the meaning and history of the term, “Chicana” as it was applied to and incorporated by Mexican American women during the Chicano Movement in areas of the Southwest United States, such as Texas and California. We will also explore what it means to be Chicana in the United States today. The course will begin with a historical overview of Mexican American women's experiences in the United States, including the emergence of Chicana feminism. We will discuss central concepts of Chicana feminism and attempt to understand how those concepts link to everyday lived experiences. Specifically, the relationship between gender, race/ethnicity, and class will be key as we discuss issues that have been significant in the experiences and self-identification of Chicanas, such as: family, gender, sexuality, religion/spirituality, education, language, labor, and political engagement. We will be engaging in interdisciplinary analysis not only concerning cultural traditions, values, belief systems, and symbols but also in relation to the expressive culture of Chicanas, including folk and religious practices, literature and poetry, the visual arts, and music. Finally, we will examine media representations of Chicanas through critical analyses of film. By the end of this course, it is my hope that you will not only be more critical readers and thinkers, but that you will also be able to apply themes and elements from the readings and discussions to your understanding of your own experiences.

 READINGS

Anzaldúa, Gloria and Moraga, Cherríe eds. (2015) This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color.

 Anzaldúa, Gloria (2015) Light in the Dark Luz en lo Oscuro: Rewriting Identity,  Spirituality, Reality.

 

AMS 315 • Ethncty & Gender: La Chicana

30850 • Fall 2017
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM GAR 0.120
CD SB (also listed as MAS 311, SOC 308D, WGS 301)

Description:

The purpose of this course is to examine the various experiences, perspectives, and expressions of Chicanas in the United States. This involves examining the meaning and history of the term, “Chicana” as it was applied to and incorporated by Mexican American women during the Chicano Movement in areas of the Southwest United States, such as Texas and California. We will also explore what it means to be Chicana in the United States today. The course will begin with a historical overview of Mexican American women's experiences in the United States, including the emergence of Chicana feminism. We will discuss central concepts of Chicana feminism and attempt to understand how those concepts link to everyday lived experiences. Specifically, the relationship between gender, race/ethnicity, and class will be key as we discuss issues that have been significant in the experiences and self-identification of Chicanas, such as: family, gender, sexuality, religion/spirituality, education, language, labor, and political engagement. We will be engaging in interdisciplinary analysis not only concerning cultural traditions, values, belief systems, and symbols but also in relation to the expressive culture of Chicanas, including folk and religious practices, literature and poetry, the visual arts, and music. Finally, we will examine media representations of Chicanas through critical analyses of film. By the end of this course, it is my hope that you will not only be more critical readers and thinkers, but that you will also be able to apply themes and elements from the readings and discussions to your understanding of your own experiences.

Readings:

Anzaldúa, Gloria and Moraga, Cherríe eds. (2015) This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color.

 Anzaldúa, Gloria (2015) Light in the Dark Luz en lo Oscuro: Rewriting Identity,  Spirituality, Reality.

 

MAS 301 • Intr Mex Amer Latina/O Studies

36130 • Fall 2017
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM PHR 2.114
CDIIWr SB

This course is an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of Mexican-­‐American and Latina/o Studies. It will examine the history, culture, and politics of the major Latina/o subgroups: Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Central Americans, and Dominicans. The course is built around four units that cover different historical stages in Latina/o community formation. During each unit, we will read about real scenarios when politicians, policy makers, and activists were confronted with ethical questions around how to incorporate Latinas/os into the political and social-­‐ historical actors through the four time periods that we will be engaging in the course. Although the context will change depending on the historical period under study in each unit, the underlying ethical tension will be between the interests of state leaders and the interest of minority groups in the United States, or between the United States and nation-­‐states in Latin America.

MAS S374 • Glbl Prspctvs: Race/Ethncty

82042 • Summer 2017
Meets MTWTHF 10:00AM-11:30AM GWB 1.138
CD

Please check back for updates.

LAS 322 • Latino Migrations And Asylum

40380 • Spring 2017
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM PAR 105
CDEII (also listed as MAS 374)

DESCRIPTION:

The purpose of this seminar is to study the politics of asylum practices in the United States and forced migration from Latin America. Students will gain knowledge on Latino migrations, asylum and detention through both the lens of global political economy, critical race theory and neo-Gramscian theory and through practical engagement with refugee and migrant organizations/legal practitioners. The course will focus on asylum policies and practices from the 1980s to the present and will draw upon case studies based on asylum seekers from Mexico and Central America among other migrant sending regions. There will be an emphasis on how groups with competing interests and visions struggle to conserve or transform the contemporary asylum regime in a transnational model of society and economy between the United States and Latin America. Finally the seminar will also consider the relationship between asylum and the growth of detention practices and explore the efforts of refugees and legal practitioners to challenge and reform the contemporary asylum regime.

 

TEXT:

  • Andrew I. Schoenholtz, Philip G. Schrag, Jaya Ramji-Nogales(Eds). Lives in Balance: Asylum Adjudications by the Department of Homeland Security. New York, NY: NYU, 2014.
  • Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Gil Loescher, Katy Long, Nando Sigona (Eds).

The Oxford Handbook of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. Oxford, UK: Oxford Univesity Press, 2014.

  • Garcia, Maria Cristina. Seeking Refuge: Central American Migration to Mexico, The United States, and Canada. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006.
  • Gonzales, Alfonso. Reform Without Justice: Latino Migrant Politics and the Homeland Security State . New York , CA: Oxford University Press, 2014 .
  • Loyd, Jenna Et al. Beyond Walls and Cages: Prisons, Borders and Global Crisis. Atlanta, GA: University of Georgia Pess, 2012.
  • Paley, Dawn. Drug War Capitalism. AK Press, 2014.
  • Rosa Linda Fregoso and Cynthia Bejarano (Eds.). Terrorizing Women: Feminicide in the Américas. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010.

 

GRADING :

Participation (20 points)

Students are required to participate in course discussions and are expected to attend all the course sessions. Participation will be evaluated based upon the student’s contributions to class discussion and presentations.  Each student will be required to facilitate select reading assignments during a week of class discussion.  Students must turn in a summary of the readings for the day that they chose to facilitate discussion. The two-page summary and analysis should also have thoughtful discussion questions for the class.

Asylum Group Project (30 points) 

Each student will be required to work on an immigration relief project/case study. This will require doing country specific research on a particular social group seeking relief from deportation. Each student will be required to be responsible for one of four components of each project. The Four components are 1) Coordinator, 2) Expert Witness, 3) Researcher 1, and 4) Researcher 2.

Midterm (25 Points)

Students will receive a take home midterm comprised of a series of questions related to the contents covered in class. The midterm will be in essay format and will be roughly 6-8 pages long.

Final (25 Points)

Students will receive a take home final comprised of a series of questions related to the contents covered in class. The final will be in essay format and will be roughly 6-8 pages long. As an alternative to the final advanced students may do a research paper under the supervision of the professor.

MAS 314 • Mexican American Lit And Cul

36050 • Spring 2017
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM GEA 114
CDWr

Description:  Gloria Anzaldúa famously called the border between México and the United States a “1,950 mile-long open wound,” “una herida abierta,” where “a third country—a border culture” has arisen on either side of the Rio Grande/Río Bravo and beyond.  In this course, we will traverse the borders of language(s), geography, history, and identity negotiated by Mexican-American artists from Texas in a variety of literary genres, visual art, and film.  Our methods will be intersectional—attending to class, gender, sexuality, religion, etc., in addition to race—as we explore these (re)definitions of what it means to be, in Cherríe Moraga’s words, American “con acento.”

The primary aim of this course is to help students develop and improve the critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed for success in upper-division courses in English and other disciplines.  They will also gain practice in using the Oxford English Dictionary and other online research tools and print resources that support studies in the humanities.  Students will learn basic information literacy skills and models for approaching literature with various historical, generic, and cultural contexts in mind.

This course contains a writing flag.  The writing assignments in this course are arranged procedurally with a focus on invention, development through instructor and peer feedback, and revision; they will comprise a major part of the final grade.

Tentative Texts:  Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (nonfiction, memoir, theory); Alonzo, Jotos del Barrio (play); Silva, Flesh to Bone (short stories).

Requirements & Grading:  There will be a series of 3 formal writing assignments, the first of which must be revised and resubmitted (70% of the final grade in total).  Excluding the final project (critical or creative), the second assignment may also be revised and resubmitted by arrangement with the Instructor.  Students will also have the opportunity to practice writing in a variety of other genres, including reading journals (or the occasional quiz), creative writing exercises, and in-class presentations (30% of the final grade).

MAS 314 • Mexican American Lit And Cul

36055 • Spring 2017
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM GAR 2.128
CDWr

Description:  Gloria Anzaldúa famously called the border between México and the United States a “1,950 mile-long open wound,” “una herida abierta,” where “a third country—a border culture” has arisen on either side of the Rio Grande/Río Bravo and beyond.  In this course, we will traverse the borders of language(s), geography, history, and identity negotiated by Mexican-American artists from Texas in a variety of literary genres, visual art, and film.  Our methods will be intersectional—attending to class, gender, sexuality, religion, etc., in addition to race—as we explore these (re)definitions of what it means to be, in Cherríe Moraga’s words, American “con acento.”

The primary aim of this course is to help students develop and improve the critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed for success in upper-division courses in English and other disciplines.  They will also gain practice in using the Oxford English Dictionary and other online research tools and print resources that support studies in the humanities.  Students will learn basic information literacy skills and models for approaching literature with various historical, generic, and cultural contexts in mind.

This course contains a writing flag.  The writing assignments in this course are arranged procedurally with a focus on invention, development through instructor and peer feedback, and revision; they will comprise a major part of the final grade.

Tentative Texts:  Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (nonfiction, memoir, theory); Alonzo, Jotos del Barrio (play); Silva, Flesh to Bone (short stories).

Requirements & Grading:  There will be a series of 3 formal writing assignments, the first of which must be revised and resubmitted (70% of the final grade in total).  Excluding the final project (critical or creative), the second assignment may also be revised and resubmitted by arrangement with the Instructor.  Students will also have the opportunity to practice writing in a variety of other genres, including reading journals (or the occasional quiz), creative writing exercises, and in-class presentations (30% of the final grade).

AMS 315 • Ethncty & Gender: La Chicana

30585 • Fall 2016
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM GEA 127
CD SB (also listed as MAS 311, SOC 308D, WGS 301)

Please check back for updates.

AMS 315 • Ethncty & Gender: La Chicana

30587 • Fall 2016
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM GAR 1.134
CD SB (also listed as MAS 311, SOC 308D, WGS 301)

Please check back for updates.

MAS 301 • Intr Mex Amer Latina/O Studies

35955 • Fall 2016
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM BUR 108
CDEWr SB

In 2006, the massive nation-wide May Day protests and marches, were not only emblematic of immigrantworker resistance, but a turning point in evolving Latina/o/x pan-ethnoracial identities. Through the rallying cry of “Day Without an Immigrant,” across cities from Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago to Atlanta, diverse peoples of the United States became exposed to the fundamental ways Latin@/x populations are embedded within the very fabric of the nation through their endless labor, contributions, innovations, and community-building. In this introductory course, students study the field of Mexican American and Latina/o/x Studies as an interdisciplinary and intersectional arena of academic inquiry, which centers on challenging and dismantling the inherent inequalities and multiple oppressions foundational to the making of the United States through the eyes of the Mexican American, Chican@/x, Latin@/x experience. We survey the historical, political, socioeconomic, and cultural fabric, which shapes this heterogenous populace and examine the formation of Latin@/xs as an ethnoracial group(s) in the United States. We explore the multifaceted histories of colonialism in the Americas and U.S. imperialism through an investigation of transnational, transborder contexts of corporate, military, and political interventions that have (re)defined national boundaries and human migrations in the Americas. Last, students use an intersectional approach to unravel how race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, language, migration, indigeneity, and citizenship are integral to the multiplicity identities forming Latinidad.

Curriculum Vitae


Profile Pages



  • Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

    University of Texas at Austin
    SRH 1.310
    2300 Red River Street D0800
    Austin, Texas 78712