The Latina/o Studies program at UNC teaches the true, undistorted historical framework of the Latina/o American people. This program enriches my knowledge of not only the African Diaspora, but also the major contributions of literature, art, architecture, etc. that people of Latin descent have given to the United States and other countries within the Americas. Truly, without adding Latina/o Studies to my intellectual foundation, I would be doing a major disservice to my academic growth and to the students that I will teach in the future. Thank you, Latina/o Studies!
-Don Holmes, Doctoral Student
UNC’s Latina/o Studies classes challenged me to develop robust interdisciplinary and intersectional critical thinking skills. As an English major searching for ways to connect literature with lived experience, I was drawn to Latina/o Studies for its focus on non-dominant literary and theoretical narratives, and discussion of power and privilege on a daily basis. Latina/o Studies classes taught me the importance of considering general and specific contexts: from the long history of Latina/os in the United States to economic, social and political factors that brought my ESL partner Lulu to the U.S. Because of these experiences, I am now better equipped to think critically and creatively—to question conventions, to see the broader picture, and imagine alternate realities—all of which will be essential to my budding career in environmental justice.
-Zoe Ackerman, Class of 2014
When I arrived at UNC, professors and students alike recommended I take a class offered by UNC’s Program in Latina/o Studies. Today as I prepare for a new position as Assistant Professor Latina/o Studies at Florida State University, I am thankful I followed their advice. The classes, mentoring, programming, and service opportunities the Latina/o Studies Program offers provided knowledge, preparation, and skills necessary to succeed in a brutally competitive academic job market, which is why UNC’s Program in Latina/o Studies is not only a great program, but a model that I was hired to replicate at FSU.
The multiple Latina/o literature courses I took at UNC introduced me to Latina/o historical, political, philosophical, and theoretical contributions and paradigms that expanded my understanding of US history, politics, and literature as well a notions about Latinidad in all of its non-heteronormative diversity. As someone interested in comparing literatures from across different historical periods and national, cultural, class, and gender borders, the Latina/o courses I took are invaluable to my current and future work as a scholar in the diverse, multidisciplinary fields of Multi-ethnic literature and Latina/o Studies.
-Geovani Ramirez, Doctoral Student