Q: "How will a Latina/o Studies Minor benefit me if I’m majoring in another field, such as Engineering, Data Analytics, Architecture, Psychology, Education, History, English (or any other major)?
A: Latinas/os are the fast growing population in the U.S. and are increasingly present in and important to multiple fields. Future OSU graduates may find themselves working for or working with Latinas/os, providing services to or selling products to Latinas/os, designing programs or products for Latinas/os in the U.S. In that future scenario, those with a background in Latina/o Studies will have a distinct advantage. Today, there are literally thousands of students at other universities taking courses in Latina/o, Chicana/o, and Puerto Rican Studies every school term (UCSB alone enrolls 600 students every term in the Intro course) and they will enter the job marketplace or graduate degree programs with an important advantage in addressing the needs of this growing population.
Q: "Why do I need to learn about Latina/o cultures?"
A: In the Introduction to Latina/o Studies, CS 2322, and other courses in the Minor we study the dynamics of Latina/o cultures and new cultural phenomena so that we can better understand the groups that make up the U.S. However, we also go beyond culture to study how Latina/o populations are particularly affected by political, social, and economic trends and events. We look at many sides of important topics such as immigration, language, education, urban, and rural economies. We study key issues affecting Latinas/os as well as Latina/o history, art, literature, and film. Latina/o Studies allows you to learn about Latina/o populations and what is distinct about the participation of Latina/o groups in U.S. society. We also examine the relationship between U.S. Latina/o groups and the economies, cultures, politics, and languages of their home countries. Through a specific focus on Latinas/os, we will prepare you to engage issues of difference more broadly both in the U.S. and globally.
Q: "I grew up in a Mexican family! I already know about being Latina/o!"
A: First, Latina/o Studies is a field that allows you to deepen your knowledge about multiple ethnic groups -- Puerto Ricans, Mexican American, Dominican, Cuban American, Salvadoran American -- not just the one with which you are already familiar. Second, whatever your ethnic subgroup, do you really think you already know all there is know about that particular group's literature, history, and experience?
Q. “Okay. What do I need to do to get a Minor in Latina/o Studies?”
A. It’s easy. See Academic Advisor Emily Carpenter in Hagerty 355 (firstname.lastname@example.org, Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.) or e-mail Latina/o Studies Coordinator Professor Inés Valdez (email@example.com) to officially sign up for the Minor. Take the Introduction to Latina/o Studies and four other courses from our course list of offerings (several also count for GEC requirements) and you’re done! Let us know when you’re graduating so we can celebrate!