Surviving on a Shoestring Chicano studies in the North Bay

About This Item

A brief history of the Chicano and Latino Studies department at CSU-Sonoma (SSU), from "Mexican-American" to "Chicano and Latino Studies" title, its ups and downs in enrollment and faculty during various budget cuts, and the University committees' occasional attempts to merge it away under one "Ethnic Studies" department. Now in its 39th year, it has survived, and is thriving with vibrant younger faculty, while mediating the strain between serving large-capacity GE classes and its Majors and Minors needs. This semester, this department was able to create a Minor in Latin American Studies (which previously floated in the catalog w/o a home dept) under its domain.

Provided by
College of Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University
Recorded on
Friday, October 9, 2009
Rights for this video belong to
College of Ethnic Studies San Francisco State University
Type of material
College of Ethnic Studies 40th Anniversary

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Chicano and Latino Studies emerged as an interdisciplinary field that drew from a range of disciplines, including history, sociology, literature, and anthropology, to explore the experiences and struggles of Mexican Americans and other Latino communities in the United States. The field aimed to challenge and rectify the exclusion of Latino perspectives from mainstream academic curricula and to provide a space for critical analysis of the social, cultural, and political dimensions of Latino life.

Following the walkouts, Chicano and Latino students and community activists began organizing and advocating for the establishment of Chicano Studies programs at universities and colleges. The first Chicano Studies program was established in 1969 at California State University, Los Angeles, and many other universities soon followed.

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