The Latina and Latino Studies Program at Northwestern University engages in teaching, research, and service activities that represent current production of knowledge about Latina and Latino communities in the United States.
Latina and Latino Studies focuses on the historic and contemporary circumstances that shape Latina and Latino lives, spaces, subjectivities, and politics in the United States. This field encompasses diverse communities and nationalities while also offering critical attention to transnational dynamics or to how Latinas and Latinos relate and connect to cultural or geographical origins across the Americas. Similar to other race/ethnic studies fields, Latina and Latino Studies has origins outside of universities. To a large extent, it originated in social movements led by organizers, thinkers, artists, students, workers and teachers who were opposed to legacies of racial injustice, ethnic prejudice, exploitation, criminalization and neglect. Latina and Latino Studies represents the academic branch of this dynamic political culture. As an interdisciplinary field, it sustains this activist impulse by honoring the diverse mediums and methods through which Latinas and Latinos have advocated for social justice and dignity. Latina and Latino Studies produces ways of knowing and seeing that challenge normative and stereotypical representations of Latinas and Latinos in U.S. society. In solidarity with other race/ethnic studies interdisciplines, Latina and Latino Studies unsettles traditional and Eurocentric modes of knowledge production in order to recuperate, speculate and illuminate other possible worlds. Our courses particularly explore: political economies, decolonial thought, expressive cultures, histories, inter- and intra-group dynamics, social movements, race and racialization, critical analysis of gender and sexuality, transnational processes, electoral politics, indigeneity and settler colonialism, slavery and anti-blackness, nepantla and border thought, and critical interrogations of heteropatriarchy.
Majors and minors meet with the Advisor for advising, including review and approval of course selections and review of progress toward timely completion of the major or minor.