9 courses to learn about the histories, cultures & experiences of Latino/a/e/x communities

At Portland State, an emerging Hispanic-Serving Institution, Latino/a/e/x students make up 17.1% percent of our student body and 25% of the incoming first-year class.

Whether you want to better explore your own identity or learn more about the perspectives and experiences of the U.S.’s largest minority group, we’ve got you covered with a variety of courses and programs.

Here are nine courses to check out for fall term spanning Chicano/Latino Studies, Black Studies, anthropology, art history, and English — you have until Sunday, Oct. 2 to add classes! 

At least two of the courses can help you fulfill the Race & Ethnic Studies Requirement, a new requirement in place this fall that ensures students graduate with an understanding of how historically rooted and ongoing racism affects institutions in Oregon, the U.S. and the world. If you’re entering PSU with fewer than 90 college credits, you must select two courses from the approved list: one focused on the U.S. experience (domestic) and another that centers the experiences of groups under European and U.S. colonialism and imperialism beyond the U.S. (international). If you’re entering PSU with 90 or more credits, you just need to complete one course from the approved list.

Bilingualism in U.S. Latinx Communities (CHLA 360)

Even though English and Spanish coexist in the U.S., the political, economic, and social capital that English represents accords it a dominant status over Spanish. From an interdisciplinary perspective, this course critically analyzes Spanish-English bilingualism through sociohistorical, sociopolitical, and sociocultural lenses with the goal of dismantling monolingual ideologies and empowering speakers of multilingual discourses. (In-person)
*Race and Ethnic Studies Requirement-approved course (domestic)

Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico (BST 326U)

Explore the history, culture, politics, geography, gender relations, race, ethnicity, and spirituality of the people of the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. (In-person)
*Race and Ethnic Studies Requirement-approved course (international)

Latin American Women Artists (ARH 333U)

This course focuses on modern women artists in the Latin American region, as well as the contributions of Latinx/Chicanx artists in the United States. You’ll learn how Latin American women artists challenged traditional understandings of artistic practice, exploring and critiquing women’s social roles in the process. (In-person)

Latinx Comics (ENG 306U)

In this course, you’ll read comic strips, comic books, and graphic novels by Latinx authors and artists in order to examine how verbal/visual texts represent and reimagine Latinx community and identity. You’ll also examine concepts critical to Latinx studies, including identity, race, gender, family, community, sexuality, and the self, as they are depicted in the hybrid medium of comics. (Online)

Latinos in Education (CHLA 450U)

Survey historical and contemporary social science research on the factors influencing the educational status of Latinos in the United States. A brief history of the Latino schooling experience serves as an introduction to current issues such as bilingual education, school segregation, and higher education access. Special attention is given to educational inequalities among Latinos and to the relationship between schooling and limited class mobility. Prerequisite: upper-division standing. (In-person)

Latino Pop Culture (CHLA 330U)

You’ll explore a wide scope of Latino popular culture, and examine how Latino groups (Mexicans, Cubans, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, etc.) reinvent their culture, heritage, and ethnic identity in the United States, and how, in the process, Latinos are changing American popular culture and national identity. (Online)

Mayas, Aztecs, and Chicanos (CHLA 340) 

This course focuses on the flourishing of Mayan civilization and the cultural and artistic contributions of other Mesoamerican societies, such as the Aztecs, during the Classic and Post-Classic period. (Online)

Peoples and Cultures of Latin America (ANTH 311U) 

Get an introduction to the peoples and cultures of Latin America, including Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Course topics include religion, ecology, race and ethnicity, gender, urbanization, conflict, and social change. (Online)

Southwestern Borderlands  (CHLA 375U)

Explore the social, economic, political organization, and representation of the United States/Mexico borderlands. (Online)




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