Chicano and Latin American Studies
The Department of Chicano and Latin American Studies was created amidst the changing social structure of the late 1960’s and 1970’s. The Department emerged as a result of activism, changing demographics, and student demands for a more inclusive and socially just educational curriculum. Throughout the Department’s development from a La Raza Program to a Chicano-Latino Studies program, to today’s Chicano and Latin American Studies, the Department and its faculty maintains its commitment to advocating for a critically conscious, anti-sexist, and anti-racist education for our students.
Chicano and Latin American Studies (CLAS) is an interdisciplinary department that has been successful in presenting a highly informed, active, and challenging view of the Chican@/Latin@ experience in the United States, of U.S./Latin American relations, and of Latin America. Chicano and Latin American Studies provides an opportunity for a pluralistic exchange of ideas in an interdisciplinary academic setting, where faculty, students, and visiting Chican@ and Latin American scholars can share experiences and create a dynamic intellectual environment.
The Department has a threefold mission: to empower our students with the tools to critically examine the histories, experiences, and lived realities of Chican@s, Latin@s, and Latin Americans; to promote an understanding and appreciation for the diversity and crossing of borders of Chican@s, Latin@s, and Latin American societies, histories, and culture through community events and outreach; and to produce scholarship and an intellectual exchange of ideas that promote the socioeconomic and political advancement of Chican@s, Latin@s, and Latin Americans, and that demystify U.S./Latin American relations.