Why Study With Us?

Students sometimes ask why they should do a concentration in Latina/o Studies, and there are many answers that come from faculty, students and others. Latinas and Latinos have a long, rich history in the United States and they are rapidly becoming one of the largest racial/ethnic groups in the United States. Learning about Latina/o history and contemporary issues provides an opportunity to explore complex dynamics globally and within the United States. What causes large migrations, historically and today? How have Latinas and Latinos reshaped urban space and inter-ethnic relations? How are identities and communities reformulated in the United States? How has popular culture reflected and contributed to Latina/o identities? When the mainstream United States has sought to define, label, and stereotype them, how have Latinas and Latinos used artistic expression, aesthetics, and visual and popular culture to assert their own sense of themselves? With broad questions and attention to comparative race and ethnic relations, our concentration provides a solid foundation in understanding the experiences of Latinas and Latinos, as well as of other racial and ethnic groups. This foundation is critical for Latina/o students and for all students. Our courses and our concentration invite students from all backgrounds.

“[Latina/o Studies] allows students and faculty to observe, critique and address current social and political issues throughout the hemisphere in an interdisciplinary way…”
Hannah Noel ’08

Our concentration also contributes to a strong liberal arts foundation. Our courses are interdisciplinary, comparative, and transnational. Many of our courses are small in size, and students work closely with faculty in a wide variety of ways. Our courses foster critical thinking, and help students hone their research, writing, and oral presentation skills. In this way, the concentration is a great compliment to students who are majoring in the sciences, and many of our concentrators are science majors. The honors program enables students to delve into their specific interests, build on their majors and further develop crucial skills. As part of a strong liberal arts foundation, our concentration prepares students for a wide variety of graduate programs and jobs. And there is an added benefit to many employers as those with a concentration in Latina/o Studies know a great deal about globalization and about a large segment of the U.S. population.