The mission of the Latino/a Studies program at Kenyon is to consider the Latino/a experience as a major force in American culture and society through an in-depth exploration of its powerful literature, diverse research and expressions, and influential social movements. The program prepares students with a comprehensive knowledge base to enable scholarly inquiry and analysis committed to social justice.
Latino/s Studies takes a rich interdisciplinary approach to study diverse experiences of peoples who trace their origins to the countries of Latin America and Spanish Caribbean, and diasporic communities. Offered as a concentration, the program embraces coursework in American studies, English, history, political science, psychology, sociology, Spanish, and women’s and gender studies. The professors include experts in modern Mexican and Latin American history and culture, international development, mental health, decolonial studies, immigration and border studies, and transnational feminisms. Students pursuing the concentration choose from a number of core and seminar courses and a variety of electives focusing on Latino/a culture and society.
Our program pursues the following interrelated goals in the context of a liberal arts education:
1. To develop critical thinking and research skills through ethnic-specific interpretative frameworks and theories, and the application of new categories and forms of analyses;
2. To develop close reading skills through the analysis of literary text, visual art, film, and Latino/a social and cultural discourses;
3. To enhance cultural awareness, intercultural sensitivity, and global perspective through critical engagement with various fields of academic inquiry;
4. To expose students to community-engaged learning pedagogy, ethnographic studies, oral history, and action driven research in order to apply academic knowledge to social reality;
5. To examine Latino/a experiences empirically through the study and research of history, politics, social movements, and cultural change.
Students demonstrate achievement of the above learning goals through:
1. Written reports ranging from applied research, blogs, and experiential journals
2. Exhibitions and digital projects
3. Community-engaged learning projects
4. Publications and conference presentations
5. Social justice engagement and community organizing
6. Internal and external grants, internships, and fellowships
8. Extra-curricular community-oriented programs
The program evaluates the quality and content of the curriculum through:
1. Course evaluations
2. Student testimonials
3. Exit interviews and written questionnaires
Revised and Approved by Advisory Board on December 12, 2019