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Home > Academics > Undergraduate > Ethnic Studies >
Ethnic Studies
Course Description

Ethnic Studies 159
History of Latinas/os in the U.S.

Latinas/os constitute the fastest growing population in the United States. They are arguably the most hotly pursued new marketing target and political constituency, while their music, food, and styles have hit the popular mainstream "big time." However, very little of this new interest in Latinas/os translates into knowledge of who they are, or of their greatest concerns.

This course addresses both the striking diversity and strong commonalties among Latinas/os in the United States. We begin by reviewing the origins, distributions, and characteristics of these diverse communities. We then discuss relevant contemporary issues such as bilingualism, education, race and ethnic (cultural? political?) identity, gender roles and sexuality, cultural nationalism and trans-nationalism. We conclude with student presentations on particular Latina/o communities and issues. 

Meets the following Gen Ed Requirements: Multicultural; Historical; Woman and Gender
Note: ETHS 159 Section 2 includes a Service Learning Component and is worth 1.25 credits

Required Texts
González, Juan. 2011. Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America. New York: Penguin.
MacDonald, V (ed). 2004. Latino Education in the United States: A Narrated History from 1513-2000. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.
Ramírez, C. 2009. The Woman in the Zoot Suit: Gender, Nationalism, and the Cultural Politics of Memory. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. 

Additional readings will be linked to the course intranet site (library e-reserve).

Grading Criteria
1) Two in-class examinations (20+20) 40%
PLEASE NOTE: There is NO final exam.

2) Term paper 25%

3) Student teams lead discussions 10%

4) Student research presentations 15%

5) Attendance and participation 10%

Note: Students who choose to enroll in Section 2 will also complete a minimum of 30 hours volunteering in a local organization that serves Latinas/os; they also will complete an additional paper analyzing the organization and their own participation. The instructor will help place interested students with the organizations. 

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Last Updated: 6/22/17