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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Devon G Pena
CHSTU 101
Seattle Campus

Introduction to Chicano Studies

Selected themes in Chicano experience; studies in Chicano politics and Chicano socioeconomic concerns.

Class description

An interdisciplinary introduction to Chicana/o Studies as a field of social science inquiry, cultural and artistic production, and history as a social movement. The themes addressed by professor Peņa in 2014 include: (1) IMMIGRATION: the history and politics of immigration and the rise of the "homeland security state"; (2) FOOD: the study of food, cuisine, and food ways as windows to an understanding of Mexican-origin and Mexican American cultures including indigenous food ways and ancient Mesoamerican traditions; (3) HEALTH: the politics of health and medicine including studies of migrant workers and the medical anthropology of structural violence and historical trauma; (4) ENVIRONMENT: the study of the relationship between ecology, culture, and history in the study of the Mexican American experience.

Student learning goals

Become familiar with the general outline and critical events shaping Chicana/o history.

Understand the diversity of the Mexican-origin people and especially the diversity of indigenous ethnic groups and communities.

Learn the interdisciplinary range of methods and materials used in Chicana/o Studies.

Understand the role of theory including decolonial theory, feminist, queer, and marxist theories, social movement theories, intersectionality, etc.

Learn to read and present quantitative data (e.g., statistics) and qualitative data (e.g., archives, ethnographic narratives, biographies).

Understand the methods and materials of transborder/borderland and transnational studies.

General method of instruction

1. 3-4 lectures per week by the instructor and visitors. 2. Weekly quiz/discussion sections run by TA 3. GoPost discussion board activity supervised and run by instructor.

Recommended preparation

No pre-requisites.

Class assignments and grading

1. Take-home mid-term and final exams (concept definitions + short essays) 2. Group blog. Groups of 4 students will do research and publish a blog entry in Professor Peņa's Mexmigration or Ejfood blogs. 3. Group presentations on a topic related to the research for group blog assigmment; presented to peers in quiz sections. Some peer review required. 4. Participation in GoPost discussion board.

1. Exams (50 percent) 2. Group Blog (30 percent) 3. Group Presentations; peer reviews (20 percent) 4. GoPost Participation (extra credit)


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Devon G Pena
Date: 10/10/2013