Latina/o Studies

Undergraduate

The Latina/o Studies minor provides an interdisciplinary exploration of the history, culture, and experiences of Latinas/os in the United States.

Program Overview

With a presence in the Americas spanning seven centuries, Latinas/os are the largest "minority" in the U.S. and reflect a cultural complexity that includes mode of incorporation to the U.S., cultural productions, political agency, and heterogeneous racial, gender, sexual, class backgrounds and citizenship statuses.

Our curriculum includes modes of incorporation to the US, citizenship statuses, cultural productions, political agency, and examinations of heterogeneous racial, gender, social, sexual, and class backgrounds. Latina/o Studies looks at current issues that affect our communities, including educational equity, social problems, social movements, crime and justice, community organizing and transculturation. Courses in Latina/o Studies place a premium on critical thinking and comparative analyses, as well as historical and contemporary engagement with society.

Courses and Requirements

Learning Goals

The three areas of the Spanish, Latina/o/x and Latin American Studies department share the following common learning goals:

  • Recognize, examine, and interrogate the past, current state, and emerging realities and histories of the societies and cultures of Latin America, Spain, the Caribbean, and the US Latina/o/x population.
  • Describe and interpret the character of their relations with each other and with the wider world.
  • Distinguish among and employ multi/interdisciplinary, transnational, and cross-border perspectives.
  • Analyze critically and articulate with logical arguments the diverse configurations and varying experiences of (classic, post, and neo) colonialism and diaspora in and among the regions, nations, and populations of our concern.
  • Develop the ability to write, read, speak, and conduct research in the primary languages of our area(s) of coverage, particularly English and Spanish.
  • Creatively contribute to the advancement and dissemination of knowledge through different modalities individually and collectively.
  • Engage with and maintain a sustained contact with the local Latina/o/x communities.

Requirements for the Minor

A minimum of 20 credits:

LATST-180Introduction to Latina/o Studies: Structural Inequalities4
At least one Latina/o Studies course at the 300 level4
Three other Latina/o Studies courses at the 200 or 300 level12
Total Credits20

Additional Specifications

  • At least one course must include a Community-Based Learning component.  
  • Students are encouraged to take Latina/o Studies courses offered across the Five Colleges, per department faculty approval.
  • Four Independent Study credits may be included in the minor (LATST-295, LATST-395).
  • Courses in a student’s major field may not be used to fulfill the minimum requirements of the minor. (For example, a Latin American Studies major may not count a Latina/o Studies course towards both the major and the Latina/o Studies minor.)

Course Offerings

LATST-180 Introduction to Latina/o Studies: Structural Inequalities

Fall. Credits: 4

The course is an overview of the social conditions of Latinx people within the US. It addresses laws, policies and institutions that shape the complexity of Latinxes' social location and activism as well as legal constructions of race, citizenship, nomenclature, border politics, public health, education, and labor. We will consider the intersections of class, gender and sexuality as well as inequality in relation to other persons of color. Students will develop a firm sense of the importance and breadth of the Latinx political agenda and acquire skills to think across social issues. The course may include a Community Based Learning (CBL) Mentor.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning
M. Diaz

LATST-250 Special Topics in Latina/o Studies

LATST-250BR Special Topics in Latina/o Studies: 'Borderlands Literature and Film'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

In Borderlands/La Frontera, Gloria Anzaldúa asserts that material change is impossible without changing the cultural imagery in our minds. Latinx Borderlands artists have effected such change through their cultural production. This course will introduce students to Borderlands literature and film, and will provide an overview of Mexican American, Chicanx, and other Latinx artistic production from the U.S- Mexico border region. The course will closely examine how these texts reflect borderland folklore, social issues, and "fronterizo" identities. Students will read multiple registers of artistic production, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, testimonio, and folk song lyrics.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
R. Gutiérrez

LATST-250LR Special Topics in Latina/o Studies: 'Latina/o/x Urbanism'

Fall. Credits: 4

This course examines the relationship between the urban and Latina/o/x placemaking, identities and culture(s). Urban scholars have long studied the "evolving" city-this course explores the changing city in relation to Latina/o/x populations and urban social change movements. We examine historical and contemporary conditions and cover a broad range of topics including: urbanization, urban planning, "new urbanism," placemaking, gentrification, migration/immigration, segregation, and more. The readings in this course aim to provoke a consideration of the dynamic between space and place, as well as how urban life, culture, and form impacts Latina/o/x populations and vice versa.

Crosslisted as: CST-249LR
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
V. Rosa

LATST-250MT Special Topics in Latina/o Studies: 'Multicultural Theater and Latina/o Experience'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course examines the landscape of American theater and its relationship to the politics of diversity in the United States. We will study the theater work of Latina/os in the U.S. to broaden our understanding of multicultural theater. In addition to studying dramatic texts, we will consider the political implications of the work and its relationship to social activism. We will look at theater companies whose primary missions are to produce Latino/a theater and at the history of the representation of Latinos on stage in this country. We will draw upon theory from fields such as cultural studies, feminist studies and dramatic criticism as we think and write about the creative work in this course.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
P. Page

LATST-250NY Special Topics in Latina/o Studies: 'Nueva York'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course will explore the history of Latina/o/x populations in New York City. Students will learn about histories of migration and settlement, urban inequality, community building, and urban transformation with particular focus on the Puerto Rican population in New York City. The course will examine the many ways Latinas/os/x have transformed New York City and built vibrant communities.

Crosslisted as: CST-249NY
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive
V. Rosa

LATST-250PB Special Topics in Latina/o Studies: 'The Politics of Borders'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course interrogates the normative construction and meaning of nation-state borders. We do so from the United States/Mexico border, and utilize a comparative approach, relating Latinx Studies to critical Indigenous feminist perspectives. While focused mainly on the United States landmass the course also critically foregrounds Native/Indigenous land and sovereignty to re-conceptualize the United States as a settler colonial, imperial state. Utilizing the knowledges of Latinx and Indigenous thinkers, students will trace the construction of modern borders and will productively re-frame assumptions around immigration/migration, citizenship, nationalism and indigenismo/Indigeneity.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning, Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
R. Gonzalez Madrigal

LATST-250RP Special Topics in Latina/o Studies: 'Race, Racism, and Power'

Spring. Credits: 4

This course analyzes the concepts of race and racism from an interdisciplinary perspective, with focus on Latinas/os/x in the United States. It explores the sociocultural, political, economic, and historical forces that interact with each other in the production of racial categories. We will focus on structural, systemic, and institutional racism and processes of racialization. The course examines racial inequality from a historical perspective and investigates how racial categories evolve and form across contexts. The analysis that develops will ultimately allow us to think rigorously about social inequality, transformation, and liberation.

Crosslisted as: CST-249RP, GNDST-204RP
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
V. Rosa

LATST-295 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 4

The department
Instructor permission required.

LATST-350 Special Topics in Latina/o Studies

LATST-350AC Special Topics in Latina/o Studies: 'Latina/o/x Studies in Action'

Fall. Credits: 4

Latina/o/x Studies in Action explores university/college-community partnerships and civic engagement with/in Latina/o/x communities in the United States. Drawing from the field of Latina/o/x Studies, the course explores and interrogates "traditional" academic understandings of knowledge production, research, and service learning. Focusing on questions of power, inequality, and social change, this course will examine how university/college-community partnerships can be based on reciprocity, exchange, and the centering of community assets, needs, and voices.

Crosslisted as: CST-349AC
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning
V. Rosa

LATST-350FM Special Topics in Latina/o Studies: 'Latina Feminism(s)'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

In this seminar, we will explore the relationship between Latina feminist theory and knowledge production. We will examine topics related to positionality, inequality, the body, reproductive justice, representation, and community. Our approach in this class will employ an intersectional approach to feminist theory that understands the interconnectedness between multiple forms of oppression, including race, class, sexuality, and ability. Our goal is to develop a robust understanding of how Latina feminist methodologies and epistemologies can be tools for social change.

Crosslisted as: GNDST-333FM, CST-349FM
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
V. Rosa
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors
Prereq: 8 credits in Latina/o Studies, Gender Studies, or Critical Social Thought.

LATST-350MC Special Topics in Latina/o Studies: 'Latinas/os/x and Housing: Mi Casa Is Not Su Casa'

Spring. Credits: 4

Housing is closely tied to quality of life and the health of neighborhoods and communities. As a main goal of the "American Dream," homeownership has important significance on an individual and societal level. For immigrants, this goal is often out of reach as a result of racism and discriminatory housing policies. This interdisciplinary seminar explores Latinas/os/x relationship to housing and homeownership by examining the history of exclusionary housing policies in the United States. By exploring a range of topics (affordability, ownership, gentrification, etc), we will develop a sharper understanding of why housing is one of the most pressing issues for Latinas/os/x today.

Crosslisted as: CST-349MC, GNDST-333MC
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning, Speaking-Intensive
V. Rosa
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors

LATST-350RF Special Topics in Latina/o Studies: 'Critical Refugee Studies'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Critical Refugee Studies will address a unique and growing portion of the migration flow to the United States -- refugees and asylum seekers. The course will discuss the historical development of persons in flight from their home nations and the U.S.'s ability (and sometimes reluctance) to receive them. The course will address their legal and popular categorization, the various reasons for their displacement abroad, and overt and buried expressions of their identities based on their categorization and displacement.

Crosslisted as: CST-349RF
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
D. Hernández
Restrictions: This course is open to juniors and seniors
Prereq: 4 credits in Latina/o Studies or Critical Social Thought.

LATST-350VN Special Topics in Latin American Studies: 'Visualizing Immigrant Narratives: Migration in Film'

Fall. Credits: 4

This course offers an interrogation of overt and embedded narratives of migrants and the migration process in popular and documentary film, paying specific attention to cinematic representations of non-citizen bodies confronting migration, deportation, labor, acculturation, and anti-immigrant hysteria. Film screenings and class discussions comprise the interpretative lens through which students will examine the aesthetic, cultural, economic, gendered, historical, political, racial and sexual dimensions of cultural texts. The course is supplemented with readings about immigration policies and histories.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
D. Hernández

LATST-360 Latina/o Immigration

Spring. Credits: 4

The course provides an historical and topical overview of Latina/o migration to the United States. We will examine the economic, political, and social antecedents to Latin American migration, and the historical impact of the migration process in the U.S. Considering migration from Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, we will discuss the social construction of race, the gendered nature of migration, migrant labor struggles, Latin American-U.S. Latino relations, immigration policy, and border life and enforcement. Notions of citizenship, race, class, gender, and sexuality will be central to our understanding of the complexity at work in the migration process.

Crosslisted as: GNDST-333UU, CST-349UU
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning
D. Hernández
Notes: Community-based learning is optional in this class.

LATST-365 Disposable People: A History of Deportation

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Taught in English, the course explores comparative racial and ethnic politics in the U.S. during the 20th century. We will analyze the creation and maintenance of structural inequalities through laws and policies targeted at persons of color in the areas of healthcare, transportation, immigration, labor, racial segregation, and education. Through readings, lectures and films, we will discuss critical histories of community struggle against social inequality, registering the central impact that race, class, gender, sexuality, and citizenship have had on efforts toward social justice.

Crosslisted as: CST-349HD
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
D. Hernández

LATST-395 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 4

The department
Instructor permission required.

Contact Us

The Department of Spanish, Latina/o, Latin American Studies helps students understand the past, current state, and emerging realities of the cultures of Latin America, Spain, the Caribbean, and the Latina/o heritage populations within the United States.

Cara Lapenas
  • Academic Department Coordinator

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