Latina/o, Latin American, and Caribbean Studies Option

Liberal Arts A.A. Degree with Latina/o, Latin American and Caribbean Studies Option

The Latina/o, Latin American, and Caribbean Studies Option offers students the opportunity to critically engage the histories and cultures of the people of the Caribbean, Latin America, and their diasporas in the United States throughout the centuries. It consists of an interdisciplinary course of study through which students develop critical thinking, reading, and writing skills applicable across disciplines such as History, Literature and Cultural Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, or Political Science. This interdisciplinary knowledge constitutes an invaluable career tool for students pursuing jobs as teachers, lawyers and paralegals, social workers, managers of cultural institutions, and other positions in which they will work with and advance the plight and understanding of Latina/o and Latin American peoples. LAC Option students will also develop a solid knowledge and skill base transferrable to CUNY senior colleges in which Bachelor’s Degrees in Latina/o, Latin American, and Caribbean Studies are offered, which include John Jay College, Lehman College, Hunter College, and City College, among others.

LAC Option courses typically include an experiential learning component. Students typically participate in, and reflect on, curriculum-integrated, Bronx-based, city- based, and campus-based cultural, educational, and social events. These events focus on the U.S. Latina/o experience, the Afro Latina/o and Afro-Caribbean, and Latin American experience, Puerto Rican, and Dominican Studies, and Border and Immigration Studies. Literature, art, and cultural expressions, specifically, are often explored through activities organized by the Latin American Writers Institute of Hostos and the Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture. In addition, our faculty encourage and facilitate students’ participation in relevant student clubs, such as the Caribbean Student Club, the Puerto Rican Student Club, and the Hostos DREAMers Club, which supports immigrant and undocumented students.

The Latina/o, Latin American, and Caribbean Studies Option supports all students with developing English language skills and all of our faculty are bilingual (English/Spanish). Students also have access to a small bilingual (English/ Spanish) library and conference room devoted to Latina/o, Latin American, and Caribbean Studies.

Student Learning Outcomes in the LAC Option:

Students who complete the LAC Liberal Arts Option will be able to:
  • Identify and discuss key historical and cultural issues in Latina/o, Latin American, Caribbean Studies.
  • Develop an understanding of the great diversity of Latina/o, Latin American, and Caribbean heritages, histories, cultures, and identities.
  • Make meaningful interdisciplinary connections in LLAC Area Studies.
  • Demonstrate active knowledge of key concepts and principles specific to LLAC Studies.
  • Demonstrate development of critical reading, writing, and thinking skills as applied to LLAC Studies.
Option Requirements

Students must successfully complete at least three of the following courses in addition to any courses taken as part of the Common or Flexible Core. One course is required in each area: A, B, and C.
  1. Required Foundational Course
LAC 101 The Latino Experience in the United States (USED)
Pre-requisites: ENG 91 and SPA 121 when taught in Spanish
3 credits, 3 hours

This survey course will introduce students to the Latino experience in the United States: The immigration history of the various Latino groups, a consideration of competing theories of international labor migration and examine the position of Latinos in the U.S. economy. Student will learn ways in which economic restructuring has impacted on the ability of the Latino population to achieve upward economic and social mobility, the Latino experience with the social welfare and criminal justice systems, the way in which Latinos have been portrayed in the U.S. media and will study the history of Latino literature and music.
  1. History and Political Science
LAC 106 History of Dominican Republic
3 credits, 3 hours
Pre-requisite: ESL 91 or ENG 91 when offered in English; SPA 121 when offered in Spanish

The student will discuss the geography of Hispaniola. The student will also discuss and analyze: the events that led to the arrival of Spain in America; the subsequent Spanish conquest and colonization; the relations of Santo Domingo, Haiti, and France; the historical turn of events in the 19th century; the political and economic factors that led to U.S. intervention, the new “caudillismo” and the Trujillo regime.

LAC 108 History of the Caribbean
3 credits, 3 hours
Pre-requisite: ESL 91 or ENG 91 or higher when offered in English; SPA 121 when offered in Spanish

The student will discuss the concept of history and its application to the historical and geographical reality of the Caribbean. The varied colonial developments of the area and their effects upon the development of a modern Caribbean community will be analyzed. The student will compare the historical and geographical differences of the area in order to develop personal interpretations of the Caribbean reality based upon careful analysis. The student will also compile facts, categorize, explain, analyze, and summarize historical events in the different written assignments that will be given.

LAC 132 Hispanic Migrations to the United States
3 credits, 3 hours
Pre-requisite: ESL 91 or ENG 91 or higher when offered in English; SPA 121 or higher when offered in Spanish

This course will survey the major Hispanic migrations to the United States during the twentieth century, particularly in the period after 1960. Consideration will be given to Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Dominican settlement in this country. In each case, attention will be drawn to the political, social, and economic forces that influenced migration, the history of the movement of these groups to the U.S., their impact on society, and their current socio-economic status in the United States. Additional subtopics include: the conditions of Latinos in U.S. society and their contribution to the economy, the particular experiences of Hispanic women, the portrayal of Latinos in the mass media, and contemporary Hispanic migration to this country from other areas of the Caribbean, Central America and
POL 207 Political Systems of Latin America (WCGI)
3 credits, 3 hours
Pre-requisite: ENG 110

This course analyzes and compares the history and the political and economic structures prevalent in Latin America. Case Studies include Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Cuba, Argentina and Brazil.
  1. Cultural Studies.
LAC 118 Caribbean Society & Culture (WCGI)
3 credits, 3 hours
Pre-requisite: ESL 91 or ENG 91 when offered in English; or SPA 121 or higher when offered in Spanish
This course will provide a general perspective on the different territories that comprise the modern Caribbean, including the Hispanic and non-Hispanic Caribbean. Organized by themes, the assigned readings and class discussions will focus on the region’s political development, economic history, women’s status, issues of race and racism, the development of popular music, and contemporary labor migrations.

LAC 202 Latin American Film and Literature
3 Credits, 3 Hours
Pre/Co-requisites: ENG 93 or higher / ESL 91 or higher; SPA 121 when taught in Spanish.

In this course students will be introduced to the rich literary and cinematic traditions of Latin America. They will gain an appreciation for some of the milestones in these two artistic media and examine the social and cultural contexts in which these expressions were produced. The course will be structured thematically around a series of significant films and literary texts. Evaluation of students’ work will be based on short papers and other written assignments, as well as class participation and a final exam. Attendance at special events and activities, such as talks or film presentations, will be encouraged.

LAC 246 Latina/Latino Literature in the U.S.
3 credits, 3 hours
Pre-requisite: ENG 93/ ESL 92 or higher or higher when offered in English or SPA 222 or SPA 202 or higher when offered in Spanish

This course will focus on the literature of the Latino population in the United States. It begins with an overview of Hispanic literary production in this country and a brief survey of the writings of the early Spanish explorers and colonizers of what is now the U.S. Organized by themes, the course will examine the Latino experience as it is reflected in the literature of the Hispanic population of the United States. Major topics to be considered include the literature of the immigration, the defense of culture and civil rights, attempts to preserve cultural traditions, militant aesthetics, and contemporary reflections on identity.

Recommended Electives:
BLS 122 Negritude
3 credits, 3 hours
Pre/Co-requisites: ENG 91; ESL 91

This course is designed to explore the cultural, literary, intellectual, political, moral, artistic and social values of people of Africa and the African Diaspora as represented in the literature of the Negritude Movement. The course will trace the development of Negritude as a political, literary, cultural, moral movement which attempts to rehabilitate the people of African descent from the psychological and moral degradation of slavery, colonialism and imperialism. The inter-relationship between the Negritude Movement, the Harlem Renaissance and the Pan Africanist Movement will be explored. The critique of Negritude by Anglo-phone African writers and intellectuals will be examined. The issue of alienation, and the dilemma of the assimilated African (l’evolue, l’assimile) will be emphasized.

BLS 141 The African-American & Latino Family
3 credits, 3 hours
The student will consider the family as a social institution and those behavior patterns that are specific to the African- American and Latino family. Emphasis will be placed on the affective influence of the family environment.

EDU 131 Language Arts in a Bilingual Classroom
3 credits, 1.5-hrs. lecture/5-hrs. fieldwork per week Pre-requisites: EDU 101 and EDU 130
Co-requisites: ENG 91 or ESL 91 or higher and SPA 222
Students will plan, organize and implement language arts activities in a bilingual school environment. They will also demonstrate their familiarity with children’s literature and reading readiness skills. Students are expected to demonstrate their ability to effectively read, tell and dramatize children’s stories and participate in language games and reading/writing readiness activities. The course is required for all students in the Bilingual Education Option. Students not in the bilingual program must have the instructor’s permission to register for this course.

EDU 132 Social Studies in a Bilingual Classroom
Pre-requisites: EDU 101 Foundations of Education; and EDU 131 Language Arts in a Bilingual Classroom
Co-requisites: ENG 93 or ESL 91 or higher, SPA 222

The student will become familiar with the concept of the social studies curriculum in a bilingual class, as well as the basic concepts and skills to be taught. Students will demonstrate his/her familiarity with the resources and methods used in developing social studies concepts through the preparation of materials and activities. This course is required for all students in the Bilingual Education Option.

HUM 100 Introduction to Global Humanities (WCGI)
3 credits, 3 hours
Co-requisite: SPA 121 or ENG 91

This course will offer a global awareness and understanding of the expansive history of humanity and the diversity of cultural forms and practices. Its aim is to give foundational knowledge from multiple perspectives that describe the chronological and geographical relationships between cultures. This course will also pique students’ interest in history, philosophy, literature, social sciences, art, and music. This will encourage the student to reflect on how personal origins and beliefs affect actions and values.

LAW 101 Law & Social Change
3 credits, 3 hours
Pre/Co- requisite: ENG 110

Through historical investigation and critical analysis, the student will gain an understanding of the relationship between law and social change. The student will examine historical movements such as: the abolitionist movement, labor movement, women’s rights movement, and civil rights movement.

LAW 125 Immigration Law
3 credits, 3 hours
Pre-requisite: LAW 101

Fundamentals of current immigration and nationality law in the United States, its history, and proposals for change.

SOC 140 Race and Ethnicity
3 credits, 3 hours
Pre/Co-requisite: ENG 110

The student will be exposed to an in-depth analysis of the diverse ethnic and racial structure of the urban community. The student will explore the different aspects of multi-pluralism, but also searching for common experiences, theories of assimilation, amalgamation, and prejudice and discrimination will be discussed.