The Minor in Chicano/a Studies is an interdisciplinary program that introduces students to the complex experiences, history, cultural practices, and social interactions of one of the largest ethnic groups in the United States. The program has been designed around conceptual and theoretical units that are central to Chicano/a Studies as a field. In the upper division courses, students, in final papers/projects, will be able to critically examine the concepts below as they tie in to each particular. UC Merced’s Minor in Chicano/a Studies is organized around the following central questions that the program will explore, and students will address, from multiple disciplinary perspectives:
- the role that race and ethnicity play and have played in shaping the experiences of different ethnic groups in the United States, with an emphasis on Chicanos/as;
- the dynamics of migration and immigration, and the ensuing changes in identity, language, social and cultural practices, and national (or transnational) allegiances; particular attention will be paid to the borderlands and its role in defining a Chicano/a identity over the years;
- cultural contact and conflict in a historical context, including an in depth examination of activism and its role in raising consciousness, political mobilization (both contentious and non-contentious behavior), building a sense of community, and advancing Chicano/a civil and human rights;
- literature and the ways in which it reflects and advances social changes, produces artistic renditions of Chicano/a and non-Chicano/a life, facilitates a sense of community, and interacts with readers from different cultural backgrounds;
- language, with special attention to bilingualism, the social and the artistic uses of mixing languages, as well as the tension between spoken and written versions of those languages;
- the indigenous component of the Chicano/a identity; Chicanos/as are the descendants of multiple indigenous groups from present-day Mexico and the United States, and exploring that descent is central to Chicano/a studies.
To be awarded a minor in Chicano/a Studies, students must successfully complete at least 20 units.
Lower Division Minor Requirements [4 units]
Complete one of the following courses:
Upper Division Minor Requirements [16 units]
Complete four upper division courses chosen from the following:
Chicano/a Studies Minor Program Learning Outcomes
- Students will be able to identify and analyze (both verbally and in writing) Chicano/a cultural practices, including an understanding of their origins, historical development, and social contexts;
- Students will understand the role that race, gender and ethnicity have played in defining Chicanos/as as a group, and they will be able to apply that knowledge to specific academic areas (e.g. literature, anthropology, etc.);
- Students will be able to recognize and discuss internal differences within the Chicano/a group, and to relate those differences to processes of migration, diaspora, transnationalism, and other forms of geographical displacement, as well as to their indigenous roots in the Americas;
- Students will understand the role that activism and struggle have played in building a Chicano/a consciousness;
- Students will be able to recognize the main elements of a Chicano/a aesthetics, as manifested in literature and language, as well as in cultural practices and rituals.
- For upper-division courses, students will be able to produce research papers exploring topics salient to Chicano/a Studies.
Guidelines Applying to all SSHA Minors
Students should consult an advisor in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts to officially declare the minor and plan their courses. The following guidelines must be adhered to:
- To complete any SSHA minor, students must complete a minimum of five courses, at least four of which must be upper division.
- All courses must be taken for a letter grade.
- All minor course requirements must be completed with a C- or better.
- A minimum overall grade point average of 2.0 (C) in upper division courses is required. The only exception is a minor in Arts, for which the minimum GPA in upper division courses is 2.7 (B-).
- At least three of the five required courses must be taken at UC Merced.
- Only one course may be used simultaneously to satisfy requirements for two minors.
- Only one course may be used to satisfy both a minor and a major requirement.
- Students must consult the UC Merced General Catalog for prerequisites to required courses.