Q: Why should I minor in Latina/o Studies? How will it benefit me if I’m majoring in another field?”
A: The population of Latina/os in the United States is growing exponentially, and Latina/os are increasingly present in and important to the study of many fields, including economics, sociology, literary studies, the arts, political science, etc. The minor will allow you to explore the historical and cultural background of Latina/os, and you will examine issues of class, gender, sexuality, and race/ethnicity in relation to Latina/o identities. Further, growing fields like medical Humanities intersect with Latina/o Studies, fomenting the study of the hard sciences and health sciences.
In fact, you may find yourself working for or with Latina/os in the future; you may even find yourself drafting policies, designing programs, conducting research, or selling products with the Latina/o population in mind. This minor will prepare you for these kinds of future scenarios, and you will enter the job market with a distinct advantage.
Q: “Why do I need to learn about Latina/o cultures?”
A: The minor will challenge you to study the dynamics of Latina/o cultures and histories to better understand this demographic in the United States. Further, the minor will allow you to explore areas that go beyond culture, including political, social, and economic trends and events and how they affect the Latina/o population. Salient topics like immigration, language, education, urban, and rural economies are studied from different perspectives and disciplines. You will learn about the relationship between U.S. Latina/os and their home countries’ economics, politics, cultures, etc. You will also learn about Latina/o, art, literature, and film in some courses for the minor. By focusing on Latina/os, the minor prepares you to examine and engage issues of difference in the U.S. and the rest of the Americas.
Q: “I grew up in a Mexican/Honduran/Nicaraguan family! I already know all there is to know about being Latina/o!”
A: This may be feel true for you. But, do you really think you know everything about your ethnic subgroup’s history, culture, literature, and experience? The minor will deepen your knowledge about the ethnic group with which you identify. Further, the Latina/o Studies minor will explore many different ethnic groups: Mexican American, Dominican, Cuban American, Puerto Ricans, etc. You will learn about their points of convergence and divergence and explore the larger narratives of Latina/os in the United States.
Q. “What do I need to do to get a minor in Latina/o Studies?”
A. It’s easy. Email the program director, Dr. María DeGuzmán, or the graduate RA, María J. Durán. Complete the requirements for the minor, and you’re done! Please let us know when you’re graduating so we can celebrate your achievement!