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

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

Esther Castro, Senior Lecturer in Spanish; Spanish Language Program Director

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

Vanessa Rosa, Mount Holyoke Fellow; Visiting Lecturer in Latina/o Studies

Ana Soltero-López, Mount Holyoke Fellow; Visiting Lecturer in Latina/o Studies

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 Articulations 4
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-212 Introduction to Latina/o Literatures

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

We will explore a number of readings across different genres (the novel, play, poem, short story, graphic novel). Students will endeavor to understand how each author defines Latinidad. What characterizes Latina/os for each of these writers and how do their works articulate the historical conditions out of which they emerge? How is Latina/o literature marked by notions of language, nationality, gender, sexuality, class, race, politics, form, and genre? The readings will provide both a survey of general ideas in the study of Latina/o literatures as well as specific case studies and historical examples. The reading list is not meant to be comprehensive but to provide a sampling of texts.

Crosslisted as: GNDST-204LT, ENGL-218LT
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
J. Hernández

LATST-230 Afro-Latina/o Diasporic Performance

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 this growing field 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

LATST-235 Performance in the Americas

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course offers Latina/o and Latin American transnational approaches to the theory and political practice of performance in the Americas with a focus on issues of race, sexuality, class, gender, indigenous and diasporic identities. Employing multiple modes of performance from theater, dance, performance art, ritual, visual art, and folkloric music, we will explore how these practices have functioned and continue to allow for politically subversive or resistant transformation.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives

LATST-240 Latina Theatre and Performance

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course offers transnational approaches to the theory and political practice of performance in the Americas with a focus on work by Latinas in the United States and women in Latin America. We will interrogate the ways in which race, sexuality, class, gender, indigenous and diasporic identities inform the methodological and aesthetic mandates of an array of artists from across disciplines. Employing multiple modes of performance from theater, dance, performance art, ritual, visual art, and folkloric music, we will explore how these practices have functioned and continue to allow for politically subversive or resistant transformation.

Crosslisted as: THEAT-234LT
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive

LATST-250 Special Topics in Latina/o Studies

LATST-250CU Special Topics in Latina/o Studies: 'Imagining Cuba: Between History and Memory'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course introduces students to critical and creative works that center Cuba and its diasporas. The primary questions of the course are: How have authors varyingly imagined Cuba over time and across space? How are these imaginings of Cuba politically, economically, and culturally situated? Students will question the personal/national and the public/private across a range of texts that explore issues of exile, nostalgia, memory, and nationalism. Readings include works by Cristina Garcia, Ana Menendez, Pablo Medina, Achy Obejas, Roberto G. Fernandez, Carmelita Tropicana, Richard Blanco, and Rachel Kushner and readings by Gustavo Perez Firmat, Sheila Croucher, and Louis A. Perez, Jr.

Crosslisted as: GNDST-204CU, LATAM-287CU
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
J. Hernández

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. Students will be asked to bring a critical lens to the ubiquitous, yet frequently misunderstood concepts of race and racism. We will study the sociocultural, political, economic, and historical forces that collaborate and compete with one another in the production of racial categories. This approach will require us to draw connections between wide-scale processes and everyday interactions. This will involve a consideration of a range of issues and concepts, including colonialism, nation, multiculturalism, representation, and violence. The analysis that we develop will ultimately allow us to think rigorously about social inequality, difference resistance, and liberation.

Crosslisted as: CST-250RP
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'

Fall. 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'

Fall. 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-332 Modern Families: Race/Ethnicity, Kinship and U.S. Popular Culture

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course examines the social construction of the family unit in the United States across a range of historical periods and cultural texts. Students will dismantle universalist notions of what constitutes a family (particularly the nuclear family), understanding it instead as a social unit articulated by issues of race/ethnicity, gender, and sexuality and (re)produced with spatial and temporal specificities. Engaging first with historical texts to understand kinship as a legal, political and economic project, we will then turn to cultural production to investigate the role that literature, film, television, and art play in reifying, challenging, and/or reproducing the family.

Crosslisted as: CST-332, GNDST-333FA
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
J. Hernández
Notes: This course is of particular relevance for students interested in American Ethnic Studies as we will examine the family across multiple contexts including African American, Asian American, Native American, Latina/o, Anglo American, and queer populations.

LATST-335 Race and Representation in Latina/o Film

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This seminar offers an interrogation of the ways in which Latinas and Latinos are represented in the cinema. We will explore early portrayals of Latinas and Latinos in film history and then explore contemporary cinema with a focus on race, class, gender and sexuality in these representations. Employing multiple aesthetic and disciplinary approaches, we will analyze commercial films alongside independent films with particular attention to the market-driven and political mandates of these projects. We will focus on films by both Latina/o filmmakers and non-Latina/o filmmakers, interrogating the multifarious points of entry of these artists.

Crosslisted as: FLMST-370RR
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives

LATST-345 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.

Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
D. Hernández
Restrictions: This course is open to Juniors and Seniors.
Notes: Plus 2-3 special screenings

LATST-350 Special Topics in Latina/o Studies

LATST-350DS Special Topics in Latina/o Studies: 'Displacement and Dispersion: Theorizing Diasporic Literatures'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

What is a diaspora? How do displaced populations make sense of the self, the community, and the homeland when they are no longer in a place they call home? How does the fractured subject suture their identity? This seminar combines: theories on the definitions of diaspora; scholarly research on particular diasporic communities; and literary depictions of the diasporic subject's experience. Students gain the intellectual frameworks that prevail amidst Diaspora Studies while simultaneously grounding these scholarly concepts in the field of literature. Readings include works by: Tllyan, Safran, Hall, Clifford, Hayes Edwards, Siu, Eng, Gopinath, Hartman, Diaz, Lahiri, Garca, and others.

Crosslisted as: CST-349DS
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
J. Hernández
Advisory: Preference for juniors and seniors if course is overenrolled.

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

Spring. Credits: 4

What is Latina Feminism? How does it differ from and/or intersect with other feminisms? This interdisciplinary course explores Latina feminism in relation to methodology and epistemology through a historical lens. We will explore topics related to knowledge production, philosophies of the "self," positionality, the body, and representation. Our approach in this class will employ an interlocking analysis 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
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning
V. Rosa

LATST-350MC Special Topics in Latina/o Studies: 'Latinas/os 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. This interdisciplinary seminar explores Latinas/os' relationship to housing and home ownership by examining: the history of housing policy in the United States; national identity, assimilation and housing; and discriminatory housing policies/programs and housing inequality. We will explore topics including immigration, housing policy, public housing, segregation, gentrification, the suburbs, and community building. Exploring this range of topics will help us develop a more clear understanding of why housing is one of the most pressing issues for Latinas/os today.

Crosslisted as: CST-349MC
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
V. Rosa

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

Spring. 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'

Spring. 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-395 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 4

The department
Instructor permission required.