Latino Studies at OSU
The Latino Studies mission is to ensure continued growth, success, and increased Latino student enrollment of students at the Ohio State University. We provide a forum and community of scholars that fosters the continued growth of cutting edge disciplinary and interdisciplinary research at OSU. We aim to achieve excellence in research, service, and teaching so as to continue to grow a national and international prominent reputation.
The Latino Studies program strives to foster a community of scholars and generate curricula that will allow for the building, revising, and disseminating of new knowledge that explores the social, cultural and historical realities facing Latinos residing in the United States as well as how such realities interface with those of Central and Latin America and the Hispanophone Caribbean.
The Latino Studies mission is to increase the extent, quality and impact of our program and scholarship that is linked to the Academic Plan’s core strategies: building a world class faculty and helping to build Ohio’s future. Achievement of the aim will contribute to the University’s plan to achieve greater recognition for sustainable educational excellence.
The Latino Studies interdisciplinary curricula together with the complementary collaboration with the Center for Latin American Studies realize the university’s vision to forge one Ohio State University. Latino Studies today as tomorrow recasts its research agenda not only to stimulate new discoveries and to foster Latino Studies faculty success, but does so to build bridges with Latin American Studies in a way that draws on and complements—and vice-versa—to reflect more the way our university is moving toward a better reflection of the one world we inhabit.
What is Latino Studies?
Latino Studies is an interdisciplinary field of study. At Ohio State University, Latino Studies is housed in the Spanish and Portuguese Department. Disciplinary tracks offered in Latino Studies include culture and liemphases on literature and culture, the social sciences, and history--all with the sense of how Latinos participate in the shaping of the Americas.
We are in the process of expanding our course offerings and approaches. Undergraduates can obtain a Minor in Latino Studies and Graduate Students can obtain a Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization (GIS). Latino Studies courses reflect a commitment to student-centered learning, critical thinking, and social engagement. We teach students to interrogate the exclusion of Latino peoples and histories from discursive constructions of identity in the Americas (North and South). Our courses expose students to scholarship, literature, and cultural production that place Latino history and culture in the center of the analytical frame, while representing the complexity of Latino social formations within the Americas. The overarching goal of courses in Latino Studies is to produce transnational citizens who will make creative, thoughtful, and effective transformations of our world.
Who are Latinos?
"Latinos" are people of Latin American descent who live in the US. Latin America includes Mexico, Central and South America, and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean.Another word sometimes used to describe "Latinos" is "Hispanic." "Hispanic" is a highly contested term: Many Latinos/as refuse to use "Hispanic" because it is a term created by the US government and because the term implies identification with Spain, the colonizing power. Another term you may encounter in Latino Studies is "Chicano/a." This term, unlike "Hispanic," signals identification and solidarity with indigenous peoples and colonized histories. The term Chicano is more specific than "Latino" and is used to describe people of Mexican origin living in the US. Similarly, the term "Boricua" is used by some Puerto Ricans to reclaim an indigenous past and to indicate a commitment to decolonization.
Who is included in the identity "Latino"?
Latino Studies at OSU recognizes the diversity of the Latino population in the US. In our courses and programming, we emphasize an inclusive definition of latinidad. We question narratives of "authentic" ethnic identity, which tend to center particular identity formations and marginalize others.
We understand Latinos to be an extremely diverse and heterogeneous group encompassing people from diverse class backgrounds and social locations, people living in every region in the US (including, of course, the Midwest), people of all sexual identities (GLBTQ, heterosexual, and unlabelled), and people of all races (African, Asian, Indigenous, European, mestizo/a, mulatto/a, and mixed-raced).
All students are welcome in Latino Studies classes.