The Latina/o Studies Program at OSU offers an interdisciplinary Minor and a Graduate Specialization in Latina/o Studies.  As an academic inter-discipline, Latina/o Studies offers a unique education in the critical analysis of the experiences (social, political, medical, urban, gendered), histories, literatures, arts, and cultures of the multiethnic, multiracial, and multilingual population of Latina/os in the U.S.  Latina/o Studies is a part of The Center for Ethnic Studies. The Center of Ethnic Studies is also partnered with Asian American Studies and American Indian Studies.

We educate students to engage critical issues of our day with this knowledge.  Latina/o Studies prepares students to answer problems through training in varied disciplinary methods.  We join with students in examining the educational, cultural, social, political, geographic, economic, artistic, and literary phenomena created and influenced by Latina/os, as well as the impact of trends in these areas on Latina/os. We include attention to the ways that power and difference affects Latinas/os in multiple spheres, and we, therefore, contribute to the educational need to prepare students to fully participate in the contemporary U.S. and global spheres with valuable knowledge and skills.

Now the nation’s largest minority group, Latina/os “accounted for more than half of the nation’s population growth” between 2000 and 2010.[1]  The populations we now know as Latina/o have resided in what is now the U.S. for centuries were first formally incorporated into the U.S. in 1848, and have experienced steady growth.  In 2012, Latina/os made up 17% of the U.S. population with large populations in California, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois.[2]  These figures do not include Puerto Rico, an unincorporated territory of the U.S., whose approximately 3.6 million inhabitants are also U.S. citizens.

From its inception as Chicana/o and Puerto Rican Studies in the 1970s, the field of Latina/o Studies has also explored the relationship between Latinas/os and Latin America. Today,  much scholarship is underway on the transnational spheres and communities created by the juncture of migration and contemporary technologies, the diasporas created in the U.S. by Latin American migration, as well as the negotiations of new generations of Latinas/os in the U.S.  Research and discussion in transnational ethnic studies continues and new research in transnational Latin American studies is emerging.  There is also growing recognition of the need to examine inter-ethnic relations within the U.S., mapping, and understanding Afro-Latina/o, Asian-Latina/o, Native American-Latina/o, and similar social and cultural formations in comparative perspective. Finally, Latin American migration to some European nations has spurred the use of the term “Latina/o” to describe these new populations, suggesting a parallel experience to that of U.S. Latina/os, and the importance of Latina/o Studies research in multiple global sites.[3] Latina/o Studies remains attentive to the analysis of gender and sexuality in all these areas of inquiry. We value collaborations with individuals, Departments, Programs, and Centers with an interest in the work of Latina/o Studies and look forward to learning from the expertise of our partners as we also share our expertise.

Please see our “People” page for brief information on faculty who have chosen to affiliate with Latina/o Studies at OSU to further their research or teaching in Latina/o Studies.  Please see our “Faculty Research” page for a sample of current research projects by Latina/o Studies faculty.


Latina/o Studies Program Director

Inés Valdez, Associate Professor, Political Science, College of Arts and Sciences - valdezi@polisci.osu.edu


[1]Brown, Anna and Mark Hugo Lopez. “Mapping the Latino Population, By State, County and City.” 29 August 2013. Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project. www.pewhispanic.org/2013/08/29/mapping-the-latino-population-by-state-county-and-city/


[2]Lopez, Mark Hugo. “In 2014 Latinos Will Surpass Whites as the Largest Racial/Ethnic Group in California.” 24 January 2014. Fact Tank: News in the Numbers. Pew Research Center. Web. n pag.  www.pewhispanic.org/2014/01/24/in-2014-latinos-will-surpass-whites-as-largest-racialethnic-group-in-california/

“Latinos by Geography.” “State and County Databases: Latinos as Percent of Population, by State, 2011.” Pew Hispanic Trends Project. www.pewhispanic.org/states/

[3]Delgadillo, Theresa. “Latino/a in Spain?” 10 July 2012. Mujeres Talk. https://library.osu.edu/blogs/mujerestalk/2012/07/10/latinoa-in-spain/