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Posts Tagged ‘Chicano Writing’

arturo islas Arturo Islas, click on photo to get to Arturo Islas Page

“Every one of you has inside of you the power to catch fire.Right now, with your writing, you are simmering.But at some point in your life, at least one time, you will catch fire.My hope is that you will do it some time during this course.”

We listened to his hushed, gentle, captivating voice as he spoke to us, becoming almost inaudible, when he spoke the phrase “catch fire.”We had been brought together on that hot day in late September of 1975, in the basement of Casa Zapata, the Chicano theme house, to take a course in Chicano Writing from Arturo Islas, the first Chicano in the United States to earn a Ph.D. in English and who would, later that year, become the first tenured Chicano professor at Stanford University.

Arturo’s teaching in the English Department was legendary and his Chicano Writing course was so popular that students dreamed of getting in then feared that they’d fall short of Arturo’s expectations once they got in.The class, taught only one quarter per year, had a maximum enrollment of ten students. (more…)

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