Latina/o studies offers an interdisciplinary perspective on the history, culture, politics, and experiences of the Latina/o population in the United States. This population is now the largest minority group in the United States, and by the year 2060, it is expected that approximately one third of the U.S. population will be Latina/o. Latina/o studies courses introduce the peoples who have had a long-term presence in the United States and in the Midwest and who are increasingly neighbors, classmates, and coworkers.

The Latina/o studies minor helps to prepare undergraduates for careers in medicine, public health, social work, business, education, and the arts, and to respond to the changing demographics of the United States.

Latina/o studies is one of the academic units in the Division of Interdisciplinary Programs.

Undergraduate Program of Study


Latina/o Studies Courses

LATS:1700 Latino/a Literature in the U.S.3 s.h.

Introduction to growing cultural production of varied Latino communities (e.g., Chicano, Puerto Rican American/Nuyorican, Cuban American) that have a strong presence in the United States; recent cultural production from borderland transcultural spaces with physical, cultural, economic, political, and mythical elements; visions of the United States from contemporary Latin American writers who recently have become U.S. residents. Taught in English. GE: Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts; Values and Culture. Same as SPAN:1700.

LATS:1765 U.S. Latino Religions3 s.h.

Beliefs and practices of U.S. Latinos and Latinas, ways that their beliefs and practices are unique and where they overlap with mainstream U.S. society; beliefs, symbols, and practices among U.S. Latinos and Latinas on national and local level; field visits to local churches and religious sites; class visitors share insights. Same as LAS:1765, RELS:1765.

LATS:1898 Introduction to Latina/o/x Communication and Culture3 s.h.

Introduction to fundamentals of communication by and about Latina/o/x in the U.S.; Latina/o/x as one of the fastest growing demographics; how Latina/o/x history, politics, and culture remain little understood despite a longstanding and growing presence in Iowa and across the nation; historical orientation; Latina/o/x social movement and protest (e.g., Chicana/o/x movements, Young Lords Organization), institutional discourses (e.g., congressional, presidential, legal discourses), and Latina/o/x in popular culture (film, television, music, sports). GE: Diversity and Inclusion. Same as COMM:1898, LAS:1898.

LATS:2005 Writing Global Spanish3 s.h.

Spanish in the digital age; linguistic varieties of Spanish spoken globally; emphasis on skill development in writing, critical reading in Spanish, and oral communication. Taught in Spanish. Requirements: SPAN:1502 or SPAN:1503. Same as SPAN:2005.

LATS:2040 Spanish for Heritage Speakers3 s.h.

Development of reading and writing skills for bilingual students who have acquired listening and speaking skills in Spanish; review of grammar and registers of use. Same as SPAN:2040.

LATS:2050 Spanish in the U.S.3 s.h.

Issues related to Spanish in the United States; aspects of linguistics and sociolinguistics inherent to the existence and proliferation of Spanish in the United States. Taught in English. Same as SPAN:2050.

LATS:2280 Introduction to Latina/o Studies3 s.h.

Introduction to field of Latina/o studies through interdisciplinary readings from literature, history, sociology, political science, urban studies, and anthropology; commonalities and differences among long-standing Latina/o populations (Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cuban Americans); challenges faced by newer arrivals (Dominican Americans, Salvadoran Americans, Guatemalan Americans, Central and South American immigrants). GE: Diversity and Inclusion. Same as HIST:2280, SPAN:2280.

LATS:2400 Health Disparities and Intersectionality with U.S. Latina/o Peoples3 s.h.

Exploration of intersectionality (related to gender, immigration status, and more) and U.S. health disparities, particularly as they impact U.S. Latina/o peoples; Latina/o as a heterogeneous group, originating from a variety of countries, with families that may have mixed immigration, education, class, and/or nationality status; public health approaches and concepts; intersectionality, social determinants of health, the Social Ecological Model, Ecosocial Theory, and Critical Race Theory; examination of various levels of racism, sexism, and other forms of intersectional discrimination. Same as CPH:2240, GWSS:2400.

LATS:3000 Writing Skills for Heritage Speakers3 s.h.

Development of writing skills in Spanish, focus on expository writing for academic purposes. Requirements: at least two courses taught in Spanish at the 2000 level or above. Same as SPAN:3000.

LATS:3020 Journalistic Writing in Spanish3 s.h.

Spanish writing skills; introduction to style and practice of journalistic reporting and writing. Requirements: at least one course taught in Spanish at the 2000 level or above. Same as SPAN:3020.

LATS:3104 Immigration Politics3 s.h.

United States immigration policy and political consequences of Latino population growth; contrast of political experiences of Latinos with groups and ideals of democratic political systems; analyses of past immigration policies; studies of public opinion, voter turnout, and campaign tactics. Same as LAS:3104, POLI:3104.

LATS:3400 Chicano Literature and Culture3 s.h.

Recent fiction and poetry by Chicano and Chicana writers; readings in Spanish and English. Taught in English. Requirements: satisfaction of GE CLAS Core Interpretation of Literature, or LATS:2280 or SPAN:2280 or HIST:2280. Same as SPAN:3400.

LATS:3440 Topics in Latino/a Literature and Culture3 s.h.

Examination of special topics in interdisciplinary field of Latina/o studies. Taught in Spanish or English. Requirements: one course taught in Spanish at the 2000 level or above, or LATS:2280 or SPAN:2280 or HIST:2280. Same as SPAN:3440.

LATS:3550 Topics in Latina/o Studies: History and Culture1-3 s.h.

Historical and cultural approaches; topics vary.

LATS:3551 Topics in Latina/o Studies: Comparative and Transnational1-3 s.h.

Comparative and transnational approaches; topics vary.

LATS:4217 Latina/o Immigration3 s.h.

Immigration experiences of people arriving in the U.S. from other regions of the Americas (e.g., Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, South America); what has fueled immigration—social, political, and economic developments in the U.S. and other nations; territorial conquest, colonialism, real and imagined borders, chain migration, formation of immigrant communities, acculturation, circular migration, social networks; how migration restructures gender relations; immigrant communities and pan-Latino identity in the U.S. Same as HIST:4217, LAS:4217.

LATS:4800 Latino/a Popular Culture3 s.h.

Role of Latino/a popular culture as a site of contemporary social practice and cultural politics in both local and global contexts; specific attention to notions of citizenship, identity, and culture. Taught in English. Requirements: either one literature or culture course taught in Spanish numbered SPAN:3200 or above, or LATS:2280 or SPAN:2280 or HIST:2280. Same as SPAN:4820.

LATS:4990 Independent Project in Latina/o Studiesarr.

Independent work under the supervision of Latina/o studies faculty.