Latina and Latino, or Latinx Studies, include historic and contemporary scholarship relevant to communities of diverse cultural and geographical American origins in the United States. This field focuses on the sociopolitical aspects of language, race, gender and ethnicity that have shaped people’s lives, and continue to impact the changing demographics and transnational relationships of the 21st century.
The Latin American and Latin@ Studies (LALS) Program at City College of New York, CUNY, is a comprehensive and multi-disciplinary study in the areas of Latin America and the Caribbean, Latinx in the United States, Latin America and Caribbean diaspora in the U.S., and race and ethnicity in the Americas. Historically, this program emerged from the 1969 student protests at City College that successfully created the Department of Urban and Ethnic Studies in 1970. Their efforts led to the first Black and Puerto Rican Studies departments at the City University of New York, along with Asian Studies and Jewish Studies that were created in 1972. Today, many of the LALS courses are cross-listed with the Department of Sociology. The LALS program offers a major and a minor in Latin American & Latinx Studies.
Majoring in LALS at City College will enable students to develop the critical reading and writing skills essential for graduate study and careers in the law, education, public policy, and international relations, social work, and public health among others. LALS students become part of our academic community and are supported and encouraged by faculty advisors. As with every discipline in the Humanities and Social Sciences, professors provide guidance for research, seeking academic resources, applying to graduate schools, and mentorship in post- graduate endeavors. See the REQUIREMENTS for the LALS major and minor.
During the senior year, students who major in the program can engage in independent research under the supervision of LALS faculty. Hours will be arranged with the permission of LALS advisors and in coordination with LALS faculty.
The dynamic LALS curriculum offers courses on special topics taught by core LALS faculty and associated faculty, as well as adjunct faculty affiliated with CUNY and other colleges and universities. Among the broad issues covered by special topics courses are included the following: diaspora, exile, and culture; bilingual sociopolitics; literature; Latina feminisms; criminal and social justice systems; border politics and migration as well as citizenship and public policy; and issues of identity, including Afro–Latinidad, and queer and non-binary gender identities, and ethnicity.
In the field of Latinx Studies, we examine the cross cultural and historical realities of Native Americans, Latinos and Chicanos in the U.S. We study the relationship between the racial and ethnic origin of Native populations and mestizo populations born in the aftermath of settler colonialism in the Southwestern United States. This foundation enables us to make the necessary political connections between the effects of Spanish colonialism in tandem with an U.S. settler expansionism current migration and peoples’ other ongoing struggles for justice in the 20th and 21st centuries. With this interdisciplinary approach, the LALS Program at City College continues to maintain its curricula relevant to the lives of all CUNY students.
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