Latina/o Studies

Justin Crumbaugh, Chair

Debra Morrissey, Academic Department Coordinator


105 Ciruti Language Center
413-538-2347
https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/spanish/latina/o-studies-us

Overview and Contact Information

The Latina/o Studies minor provides an interdisciplinary exploration of the history, culture, and experiences of Latinas/os in the United States. 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. Courses in Latina/o Studies place a premium on critical thinking, comparative analyses, and historical and contemporary engagement with society.

Faculty

This area of study is administered by the Department of Spanish, Latina/o, and Latin American Studies:

Lowell Gudmundson, Professor of Latin American Studies and History

Dorothy Knight-Mosby, Professor of Spanish; Associate Dean of Faculty

Nieves Romero-Díaz, Professor of Spanish

Justin Crumbaugh, Associate Professor of Spanish, Latina/o and Latin American Studies, Teaching Spring Only

David Hernández, Assistant Professor of Spanish, Latina/o, and Latin American Studies

Vanessa Rosa, Assistant Professor of Latina/o Studies

Esther Castro, Senior Lecturer in Spanish; Spanish Language Program Director, Teaching Spring Only

Dimaris Barrios-Beltrán, Visiting Language Instructor in Spanish

Flávia Cunha, Language Instructor in Spanish

Elena García Frazier, Language Instructor in Spanish

Antonio Illescas, Language Instructor in Spanish

Adriana Pitetta, Visiting Lecturer in Spanish, Latina/o and Latin American Studies

Requirements for the Minor

A minimum of 20 credits:

LATST-200Introduction to Latina/o Studies: Social and Cultural Articulations4
or LATST-201 Introduction to Latina/o Studies: Structural Inequalities
At least one Latina/o Studies course at the 300 level4
Three other Latina/o Studies courses at the 200 or 300 level 112
Total Credits20
1

A first-year seminar offered by Latina/o Studies faculty may be substituted for one of these courses.

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 her major and the Latina/o Studies minor.)

Course Offerings

LATST-200 Introduction to Latina/o Studies: Social and Cultural Articulations

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course offers an introduction to the study of Latina/o communities in the United States. We will explore major concepts and debates in the growing field of Latina/o Studies, through the study of texts across disciplines including history, sociology, performance theory, personal narrative and ethnography. This interdisciplinary approach will provide us with rich frameworks to interrogate how Latinas/os negotiate complex identities across communities and specific geographic and political contexts.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
The department
Notes: Community-based learning is optional in this class.

LATST-201 Introduction to Latina/o Studies: Structural Inequalities

Spring. Credits: 4

The course provides an overview of current and past social conditions of Latinas and Latinos within the U.S. We will address laws, policies and institutions that shape the complexity of Latinas'/os' social location and serve as critical sites of resistance. The course addresses legal constructions of race and citizenship, nomenclature, border politics, public health, education, and labor. We will consider the critical 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 Latina/o political agenda and acquire skills to think across social issues.

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

LATST-250 Special Topics in Latina/o Studies

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

Spring. 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: SOCI-216LR, CST-249LR
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
V. Rosa

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

Fall. 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 and racial "difference." In particular, we focus on racial ideologies, racial formation theory, and processes of racialization, as well as the relationship between race and ethnicity. 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, resistance and liberation.

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

LATST-250SP Special Topics in Latina/o Studies: 'Scholarly Pathways: Research, College Achievement and Post-Baccalaureate Futures'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course demystifies college by focusing on three areas: 1) benefits of undergraduate research, 2) how to capitalize on the college experience, and 3) how to prepare for post-baccalaureate opportunities. Specifically, this course will teach students the elements of a research proposal by guiding them with original research. Moreover, students will learn strategies to thrive as undergraduates by exploring interests as means to finding their passion. In addition, this course will decipher the graduate/professional school application process. The overall goal of this course is to encourage and empower students to take their education and pre-professional experience into their own hands and equip them with the necessary tools to be successful.

Crosslisted as: EDUST-250SP
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning
A. Soltero López

LATST-250YE Special Topics in Latina/o Studies: 'The Undocumented Latina/o Youth Experience: Struggles, Resiliency, and Futures'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course provides an overview of the immigrant rights movement, emphasizing diverse undocumented Latina/o students throughout the K-20 pipeline. Readings and discussions will: address the socio-political construction of 'illegality'; critically examine the creation and implementation of pro- and anti-immigrant legislation, particularly policies that impact undocumented students; survey the challenges and resiliency of the undocumented youth movement as it pertains to education, social mobility, and health; and deconstruct the legislative, political, economic, and cultural factors that impact the undocumented community in the U.S.

Crosslisted as: CST-249YE, EDUST-250YE
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
A. Soltero López

LATST-295 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 4

The department
Instructor permission required.

LATST-350 Special Topics in Latina/o Studies

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

Spring. Credits: 4

What is Latina Feminism? How does it differ from and/or intersect with "other" feminisms? In this seminar, we will explore the relationship between Latina feminist theory, knowledge production, and social change in the United States. This interdisciplinary course explores Latina feminism in relation to methodology and epistemology through a historical lens. This will help us to better understand how Latina feminist approaches can inform our research questions, allow us to analyze women's experiences and women's history, and challenge patriarchy and gender inequality. We will explore topics related to knowledge production, philosophies of the "self," 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. Central to seminar discussions and student learning is a substantial community-based learning requirement that will facilitate a deeper engagement and analysis of the relationship between the concepts we explore in the course. 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
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning
V. Rosa
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.

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

Fall. 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: 1. the history of housing policy in the United States; 2. national identity, assimilation, and housing; and 3. discriminatory housing policies/programs and housing inequality. We explore topics including immigration, housing policy, public housing, segregation, gentrification, the suburbs, homelessness, eviction, affordability, and community building. Exploring this range of topics will help us develop a clearer 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): Speaking-Intensive
V. Rosa
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.

LATST-350RT Special Topics in Latina/o Studies: 'Critical Race Theory in Education'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course focuses on Critical Race Theory, its history and application in the field of Education. Through course readings and assignments, students will explore and discuss key issues such as race/racism, class/classism, gender/sexism among other "isms" and how they impact the teaching and learning experiences of students of color. This course is specifically designed to challenge students and make them think critically about their multiple identities, privileges and challenges as students and future leaders. The goal is gain a critical understanding of the connection between theory, research, and practice in order to better understand educational structures, processes, and discourses.

Crosslisted as: EDUC-351RT; CST-349RT
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
A. Soltero López
Notes: Students interested in careers within Education are highly encouraged to enroll.

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

Not Scheduled for This Year. 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.

Crosslisted as: FLMST-370VN
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
D. Hernández

LATST-360 Latina/o Immigration

Fall. 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, SOCI-316MM
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

Spring. 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. The course also offers an optional Community-Based Learning (CBL) component.

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

LATST-395 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 4

The department
Instructor permission required.