Latin Americans and Latinos inspire. In my thirty year career in the public setting as an artist, lecturer, instructor of College English, Literature and Artist for a private school I have been inspired by countless Latin American students, parents, scholars and regular folks who teach compassion, duty to a cultural heritage, and foremost, faith in God and family life. A worthwhile endeavor would be to befriend a Latin American or Latino friend.  They are yours for life. The scope and function of Latin American and Latino Literature validly adds to our multicultural vision of literature as a transamerican platform within the models of academic clarity through fluid transformative voices through oral and written personal histories, paradigms such as family and faith, and my original frameworks based on the Latin American and Latino cultural heritage.

A timeline of Latino Historical and cultural events form 1492 to the present is reviewed in publications of Latino Studies in such works as the following:

Acuna, Rodolfo. Occupied America: A History of Chicanos. New York: Harper Collins,


Anzaldia, Gloria. Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. San Francisco: Spinsters

Aunt Lute Book Company, 1987.

Brown, David. Santeria Enthroned. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.




Latin American and Latino Studies explores emerging cultural issues that impact major literary collections with poetry, drama and fiction about personal rights, dignity and freedom paramount to the establishment of an understanding of the human condition through literary topics applicable in technology enhanced, distance and traditional elementary through college classrooms.  “Latin American and Latino Studies, An Inquiry into Curriculum Models, Paradigms, and Frameworks” explores emerging cultural issues that impact major literary collections and initiate new themes for applications in technology enhanced, distance and traditional elementary through college classrooms. Consequently, the field of Latin American and Latino Studies offers the educator new themes for classroom investigations that permeate the threads of thematic works of poetry, fiction and drama that execute a dialogue about personal rights, dignity and freedom paramount to the establishment of an understanding of the  human condition through literary topics.  New research organizations such as Latin American Network Information Center LANIC’s facilitate access to Internet-based information to, from, or on Latin America. With resources are designed to facilitate research and academic endeavors, the virtual library  site has also become an important gateway to Latin America for primary and secondary school teachers and students, private and public sector professionals, and just about anyone looking for information about this important region.

Moreover, new scholarly works in the field include Marc Zimmerman ‘s  U. S. Latino Literature, An Essay and Annotated Bibliography   commissioned by a Director’s Discretionary Grant from the Illinois Humanities Council, with support from the National Endowment of the Humanities. The intention was to update and highlight the growing Chicago and Illinois contribution to a burgeoning literary corpus. Zimmerman explains that  “the bibliography itself was specifically designed for new readers of Latino literature*I have tried to include most of the major works, or at least one or more representative works, by each of the more important or successful writers.” Other scholars question the validity of works within the new genre. For example,  Eva Paulino Bueno explores the peculiarities of the reception of some testimonial texts in the North American University.


Immigration and Beyond

The Mythic Past World

Self Discovery

African Presence

Recreating the Past

Code Switching

Nuyorican Movement





MODELS and Paradigms

     First of all, let us ask what is going on in the field to collect data and promote artist, writers, and scholars.  The Smithsonian Institution has been active in forming National Events to establish Latino Studies. For example, “ ‘The Interpretation and Representation of Latino Cultures: Research and Museums’ National Conference at the Smithsonian Institution took place during November 20 to 23, 2002 in Washington, D.C… scholars in Latino studies, archivists, and museum professionals …examin[ed] the current status of research and educational literature on the interpretation, representation, and documentation of Latino cultures in museums and academic programs within the United States and Puerto Rico… Conference sessions reflected the interdisciplinary field of Latino research and a variety of approaches to the interpretation and representation of material and expressive cultural practices (Magdalena Mieri from the Center for Latino Initiatives).
Magdalena Mieri, Conference Organizer, explains that the content of lectures explored answers to the following questions: “Who are we as Latinos portrayed in museums?  Who are we, in the museums, or in academia to decide or “define” that? How can we be best advocates for inclusion when our stories are ignored? What are the many messages imbedded in cultural materials? How can we best record/register cultural practices? And who and how are they going to be de-codified? What are the stories that objects, images, people care about? Which ones should we place in museums?”   

     She continues to explain that, “All these questions and many more are the driving energy in analyzing objects, images, documents, performances, and music. They ultimately affect how we conceive exhibitions, programs, and plan for collections acquisition… Numbering 40 million (including the 3.8 million residents of Puerto Rico), Hispanics and Latinos comprise the largest minority population in the United States. This country’s U.S. Hispanic heritage is centuries old, predating the arrival of other immigrants by many years. Indeed, colonies of Spanish and American Indians have been traced back to the early 1500s…Across the nation, however, the diversity of the Latino experience in North America—when it is portrayed at all—most often reflects a romantic notion of imported folk culture. The mix of U.S. Latino contributions from past generations and contemporary Latino culture is rarely explained within museums and educational programs…As U.S. Hispanics and Latinos grow in numbers and significance, it is increasingly important for the nation to know and understand what Hispanics and Latinos have contributed to the United States for more than 400 years and what Hispanics and Latinos contribute to U.S. culture and society today.”
On February 18, 2004 – April 25, 2004 at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution,   Our Journeys / Our Stories: Portraits of Latino Achievement explored the diversity of the Latino experience in the United States through stories and portraits of men and women who have led extraordinary lives. Twenty-five newly commissioned portraits were displayed.  The works depicted Nobel laureates, scientists, artists, athletes, entrepreneurs, politicians, community activists, and people from all walks of life. Stories of Latino achievement, self-discovery, and roots and traditions were celebrated in biographical highlights and excerpts from recent oral history interviews were conducted by the Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives. These inspirational narratives explored how the 25 featured Latinos pursued their goals, were inspired by their forebears, or mentored others.  Oral histories are the voices of the disenfranchised—the famous and the lesser known. Artists, musicians, laborers, survivors, immigrants, and students are just a few of the silent people to whom oral histories give voice. Groups whose stories otherwise might remain unnoticed—the illiterate, common people and others who rarely see their stories published—can finally be heard through oral histories.
Latin American and Latino Studies offers the literary scholar the opportunity to forge a new genre filled with a plethora of emotionally charged ideas. Statistical results of research have suggested that the themes connected to the new emerging genre are grounded in theory and can be applied to K-graduate traditional, enhanced and distance classrooms globally. Literature is the voice of culture ringing the songs of change.  Latin American Literature is such a genre. “Latinos in the United States are a composite of diverse historical realities, national experiences, and collective existential traumas  (Torres-Saillant 435).”    Stanford University Press Latin American Studies Book Award 2005 is The Guaraní under Spanish Rule in the Río de la Plata.
Winner of the 2005 Book Prize, sponsored by the Latin American and Caribbean Section, Southern Historical Association. Barbara Ganson is the author. This ethnographic study is a revisionist view of the most significant and widely known mission system in Latin America—that of the Jesuit missions to the Guaraní Indians, who inhabited the border regions of Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil. It traces in detail the process of Indian adaptation to Spanish colonialism from the sixteenth through the early nineteenth centuries. The book demonstrates conclusively that the Guaraní were as instrumental in determining their destinies as were the Catholic Church and Spanish bureaucrats. They were neither passive victims of Spanish colonialism nor innocent “children” of the jungle, but important actors who shaped fundamentally the history of the Río de la Plata region. The Guaraní responded to European contact according to the dynamics of their own culture, their individual interests and experiences, and the changing political, economic, and social realities of the late Bourbon period.

     Latino Literature is bicultural. “Although plots and characters may be centered on the U.S. side of the border, Latin American cultural attitudes and traditions are present beneath the surface of characters’ personalities, provoking their actions and emotions (Christie and Gonzalez 2). The style mirrors the efforts Latino writers make as they construct identities form the fragmented and changing world around them (Christie and Gonzalez 9). As readers of Latin American Literature, we must do more than understand U.S. history. We must see the same events from a Latin American point of view and rewrite history. Visit alternative perspectives on religious beliefs, economic status, and the role of women. Latino writing stretches the reader’s imagination across cultural borders. In the work Latino Boom, the authors identify word choices that clarify terminology:

  1. Latino is a term rooted in the Spanish tradition.
  2. The term Nuyorican or Neorican refers to New York based Puerto Rican community.
  3. The term Chicano refers to Mexican American men and women who live within the United States.

Conclusively,    the events of Latino history sometimes repressed, certainly neglected, and often rewritten by mainstream sources are continually surfacing as scholars explore the records and oral histories of the hidden past. As Latinos reimagine the past, they will present the issues from new angles. Through personal memoir, realistic prose, magical narrative, or transgenre form as yet unrecognized, Latino writers will find surprising and dynamic new avenues for their fictional expression of Latino culture.



Major Latino Poets, Dramatists, Essayists, Novelists Poets

  • Jack Agueros
  • Miguel Algarin
  • Julia Alvarez
  • Naomi Ayala
  • Jimmy Santiago Baca
  • Ana Castillo
  • Lorna Dee Cervantes
  • Victor Hernandez Cruz
  • Diane de Anda
  • Martin Espada
  • Sandra Maria Esteves
  • Magdelana Gomez
  • Jose B. Gonzalez
  • Carolina Hospital
  • Tato Laviera
  • Demetria Martinez
  • Julio Marzan
  • Pat Mora
  • Cherrie Moraga
  • Aurora Levins Morales and Rosario Morales
  • Achy Obejas
  • Ricardo Pau-Llosa
  • Willie Perdomo
  • Pedro Pietri
  • Miguel Pinero
  • Alberto Rios
  • Aleida Rodriguez
  • Michele Serros
  • Gary Soto
  • Carmen Tafolla
  • Gina Valdes
  • Gloria Vando
  • Tino Villanueva
  • Adeline Yllanes


Major Latino Dramatists, Film Directors, Screenplay Writers


  • Patricia Cardoso
  • Gary Nava
  • Josephina Lopez
  • Jose Rivera

Major Latino Essayists

  • Jose Antonio Burciago
  • Gloria Anzaldua
  • Judith Cofer
  • Richard Rodriguez
  • Luis Alberto Urrea





Major Latino Novelists


  • Alex Abella
  • Julia Alvarez
  • Rudolfo Anaya
  • Alba Ambert
  • Ron Arias
  • Raymond Barrio
  • Sandra Benitez
  • G. Carrillo
  • Elena Castedo
  • Ana Castillo
  • Daniel Chacon
  • Daniel Cano
  • Denise Chavez
  • Sandra Cisneros
  • Angie Cruz
  • Debra Diaz
  • Junot Diaz
  • Roberta Fernandez
  • Roberto G. Fernandez
  • Rosario Ferre
  • Montserrat Fontes
  • Cristina Garcia
  • Guy Garcia
  • Dagoberto Gilb
  • Francisco Goldman
  • Rigoberto Gonzalez
  • Oscar Hijuelos
  • Rolando Hinojosa
  • Arturo Islas
  • Ivonne Lamazares
  • Graciela Limon
  • Diana Lopez
  • Jaime Manrique
  • Demetria Martinez
  • Luis Manuel Martinez
  • Pablo Medina
  • Ana Menendez
  • Ernesto Mestre-Reed
  • Nicholasa Mohr
  • Alejandro Morales
  • Achy Obejas
  • Judith Ortiz Cofer
  • Himilce Novas
  • Loida Maritza Perez
  • Gustavo Perez Firmat
  • Cecile Pineda
  • Estela Portillo Trambley
  • Ernesto Quinones
  • John Rechy
  • Tomas Rivera
  • Abraham Rodriguez
  • Nelly Rosario
  • Benjamin Alire Saenz
  • Gary Soto
  • Francisco X Stork
  • Virgil Suarez
  • Piri Thomas
  • Hector Tobar
  • Carla Trujillo
  • Alfredo Vea
  • Edgardo Vega Yunqe
  • Helena Maria Viramontes



Framework I

Maryann DiEdwardo Original Framework

1. Identify Transcendent Qualities

2. Organize Topic into Narrative Structure

3. Write Histories of Students

4. Write Oral Histories of Literary Figures

5. Presentations

6. Conclude

7. Evaluate
Suggested Reading



Magical Realism

Short Fiction

Fragmented Stories


Scholarly Publications


Historical Fiction


Works Cited

Bueno, Eva Paulino.  “Carolina Maria de Jesus in the Context of  Testimonios:

Race, Sexuality, and Exclusion.”   Criticism.     Spring 1999.  Online. Available.

Access data July 17, 2006.

Christie, John and Gonzalez, Jose. Latino Boom. An Anthology of U.S. Latino Literature. New York: Pearson, 2006.

Latin American Network Information Center.  Online Virtual Library.     Online.

Available.  Date of Access July 18, 2006.

Martin and Martin. Research with Hispanic Populations.  Vol. 23.   Applied

Research Methods Series.

  Newbery Park: Sage Publications, 1991.

Miller, Susan. CAUGHT BETWEEN TWO CULTURES A fresh generation of

       Latino writers is creating a new and distinctive literary landscape Newsweek,

April 1992.

Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives. Calendar of Latino Events.   Online.

     Available Date of Access August 6, 2006.

Summer, Doris. “Afterword: American Projections.” Suarez-Orozco and Paez eds.

     Latinos, Remaking America. LosAngeles: University of California Press, 2002,


Torres-Saillant, Silvio.  Epilogue. “Problematic Paradigms, Racial Diversity and

     Corporate Identity in the   Latino Community. “ Suarez-Orozco and Paez eds.

     Latinos, Remaking America. LosAngeles: University of California Press, 2002,

  1. 435-455.

    Zimmerman, Marc.  U. S. Latino Literature, An Essay and Annotated Bibliography.

     Chicago: MARCH/ Abrazo Press,  1992.

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