Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2022
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in ETHN 53.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area VI: United States Cultures & Communities, Area I: Humanities
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable
Formerly: ETHN 53


An exploration of the field of Latinx Studies: history, literature, arts, and culture, as well as sociological, political, economic, and philosophical perspectives on the experiences of Latinx people and the Latinx diaspora in the United States. An analysis of the relationships between distinct Latinx communities and identities, historical legacies, and contemporary issues and their impact, and socio-political and economic institutions and their effects on the Latinx individual. An examination of the values, leadership, activism, and contributions of Latinx peoples in the United States.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Analyze race as a social construct, changing definitions of race, and the way race shapes and influences individual and collective identities and determines political, and socio-economic realities.
  2. Evaluate the intersections of race and ethnicity with gender identity, sexuality, ableism, class, and social position within Latinx lived experiences.
  3. Describe the broader history and development of comparative Ethnic Studies as an interdisciplinary discipline and as a political project.
  4. Evaluate the origins of Latinx Studies and Chicanx Studies both as academic disciplines and political projects.
  5. Identify the major theories, philosophies, challenges, and debates of the discipline, including debates surrounding the term or identity of Latinx, the omission of Blackness or anti-blackness, and anti-indigeneity within Latinx studies.
  6. Evaluate and critique the impact of European colonialism and imperialism, the slave trade, conquest, and the genocide of Indigenous populations in the Americas.
  7. Analyze the making of modern Latin America and evaluate the impact of neoliberalism as it relates to the Latinx diaspora.
  8. Apply the conceptual framework of decolonization to critically analyze the Eurocentric, historical, pedagogical, and structural approach to teaching and learning within the United States educational system.
  9. Apply various critical theories and frameworks to evaluate historical and contemporary examples of racist and sexist practices informed by dominant, stereotypical narratives of Latinx people in the United States, and the impact these practices have on public policy, initiatives, and laws imposed on Latinx communities.
  10. Describe and analyze historical, cultural differences and intersectional relationships, and historical, cultural differences in the experiences of distinct Latinx identities and communities, such as Afro-Latinx, Chicanx, Central American, South American, Puerto Rican, and Caribbean American.
  11. Evaluate broad issues within the Latinx community of the U.S. as they are linked to grassroots activism, cultural resistance, and the social movements of the late 1960s, 1970s, and contemporary society, with a focus on influential activists within these movements.
  12. Appraise the presence, impact, and contributions of the Latinx community on U.S. arts and culture, language, education, society, politics, labor, and economy.

Course Content

  1. Construction of race, changing definitions, and how race shapes and influences individual and collective identities and determines political and socio-economic realities
    1. Race as a social construct
    2. Critical race theory and other anti-racist frameworks for analyzing the impact race has on individuals and collective communities
    3. Significant policies, laws, and practices that have been informed by racist ideologies
  2. Evaluate the intersections of race and ethnicity with other elements of identity, such as:
    1. Gender and non-binary identities
    2. Sexuality
    3. Ableism
    4. Class
    5. Social position/positionality
  3. Origins of Chicanx and Latinx Studies
    1. Third World Liberation Front at SF State
    2. Chicanx Studies
    3. Disciplinary trends and debates in Ethnic Studies and Latinx Studies
    4. Academic and systemic challenges to the discipline of Latinx and Ethnic Studies with special attention to historical examples, such as:
      1. Arizona's HB 2281 - ban on Ethnic Studies in K-12
      2. Banned books
    5. Theories, philosophies, critiques, such as:
      1. Functional theory
      2. Conflict theory
      3. Critical race theory
      4. Assimilation and cultural pluralism
      5. Ethnic nationalism
      6. Counter-narratives
      7. Third World feminism
      8. Liberation theology
      9. Borderlands and Nepantla
      10. Queer identities
      11. Postmodernism
      12. Decoloniality
      13. Differential consciousness
      14. Latinidad
      15. Critiques of the Latinx label and/or identity, colorism, anti-Blackness, and anti-indigeneity
  4. Evaluate and critique impact of European colonialism and imperialism
    1. Meso-American indigeneity
      1. Major societies, such as: Tainos, Incas, Olmec, Mexica, Mayan
      2. Erasure of major societies, indigeneity, and Blackness through frameworks such as the Spanish Casta System
    2. Influence of Africans in the Americas
    3. Colonial roots and genocide
      1. Columbus
      2. The Spanish conquest and empire
      3. The Portuguese conquest and empire
      4. The Atlantic Slave Trade
      5. Independence
  5. The making of modern Latin America with a focus on various countries, such as:
    1. Argentina
    2. Chile
    3. Brazil
    4. Peru
    5. Colombia
    6. Cuba
    7. Puerto Rico
    8. Mexico
    9. The Caribbean
    10. Central American countries
  6. Age of neoliberalism and its impact
    1. Military and imperial presence and influence in Latin American politics
    2. Impact of Free Trade Agreements
    3. Borderlands and US immigration policies
    4. Undocumented movement
    5. Labor + economy + control of land
  7. Ideological frameworks of decolonizing education and education systems, such as:
    1. Banking model of education vs. problem-posing education
    2. Dialogical education
    3. Praxis (action/reflection)
    4. Conscientization
    5. Experiential education
    6. Codification
    7. Representation in academia
    8. Anti-racism in academia
    9. Critical Race Theory
    10. Validation Theory
    11. Cultural Wealth Theory
  8. Historical and contemporary examples of racist practices, policies, and initiatives, such as:
    1. Lynchings of Mexican Americans
    2. Texas Rangers and annexation
    3. Segregated schools
    4. California Land Act of 1851
    5. Bracero Program
    6. Operation Wetback
    7. Mexican Repatriation
    8. Zoot Suit Riots
    9. Proposition 187
    10. Arizona's SB 1070
    11. Efforts to end birthright citizenship and "anchor babies"
    12. Obama administration's fast track to deportation and detention
    13. Trump's Zero Tolerance Policy and separation of families at the border
    14. Proliferation of for-profit detention centers
  9. Making communities and understanding identity
    1. Mexican, Central American, South American, Puerto Rican, and Caribbean American communities in the U.S.
    2. Racism, anti-Blackness, anti-indigeneity internalized racism, imposter syndrome and positionality, and colorism in Latinx communities
    3. Identity formation, including the historical detachment and/or omission of African roots and Indigenous American roots
  10. Activism, cultural resistance, and social movements, such as:
    1. Language, code-switching, and cultural impact/influence in the arts, journalism, literature, music, etc.
    2. Education and student-organized movements (e.g., East LA Walkouts, Ethnic Studies, Dreamers, DACA, etc.)
    3. Undocumented and Unafraid - coming out as undocumented movement
    4. Chicanx movement from 1960s to present
    5. Labor organizing and the United Farm Worker movement
    6. Immigration and human rights activism
    7. Intersectional feminism and queer activism in the Latinx community
    8. Political leadership
    9. Important legal cases

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. When taught on campus, no special facility or equipment needed.
2. When taught via Foothill Global Access, on-going access to computer with email software and capabilities; email address.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Critical papers
Class presentations
Reading journals
Midterm examination
Final examination
Social justice/service learning project

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Readings of multidisciplinary texts from fields including history, social and political sciences, literature, cultural studies
Viewing and analyzing various media regarding contemporary Latinx issues
Viewing/observing/hearing Latinx cultural artifacts, including art, performance, film, theater, music
Class discussion on relevant topics
Writing analytical responses to course materials
Actively engaging in social justice/service learning
Guest speakers
Field observation and field trips
Collaborative learning and small group exercises
Discussion of course topics and videos in relation to real life examples drawn from students' experiences and observations

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Acuna, Rudolfo. Occupied America: A History of Chicanos, 7th ed.. 2010.

Anzaldúa, Gloria. Borderlands: The New Mestiza = La Frontera, 4th ed./25th anniversary ed.. 2012.

Flores, Juan, and Renato Rosaldo. A Companion to Latino/a Studies, 1st ed.. 2011.

Galeano, Eduardo. Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent (translated by Cedric Belfrage). 1997.

Gonzalez, Juan. Harvest of Empire, revised ed.. 2011.

Grandin, Greg. The Last Colonial Massacre: Latin America in the Cold War, 2nd ed.. 2011.

Carrigan, William D., and Clive Webb. Forgotten Dead: Mob Violence against Mexicans in the United States, 1848-1928. 2017.

Loza, Mireya. Defiant Braceros: How Migrant Workers Fought for Racial, Sexual, and Political Freedom. 2016.

Ortiz, Paul. An African American and Latinx History of the United States. 2018.

Ramirez, Mark D., and David A. M. Peterson. Ignored Racism: White Animus Towards Latinos. 2020.

Ramos, Paola. Finding Latinx: in Search of the Voices Redefining Latino Identity. 2020.

Villavicencio, Karla Cornejo. The Undocumented Americans. 2020.

Texts older than five years are considered foundational texts.

Note: Text(s) may be chosen at the instructor's discretion.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Reading multidisciplinary texts from fields including history, social and political sciences, literature, cultural studies
  2. Viewing and analysis, including information literacy and media regarding Latinx communities and narratives
  3. Attending Latinx theater or musical performances, or museums, and responding in writing
  4. Analytical essays on readings
  5. Journal entries
  6. Social justice/service learning project (e.g., Foothill Research and Service Learning Symposium)
  7. Group projects
  8. Reflective essays on personal experiences or interviews


Ethnic Studies