Course Description

  • Instructor: Aldo A. Lauria-Santiago, Ph.D.
  • Description:

    Open to Juniors and Seniors
    Fulfills Capstone and Upper-Level Elective for LCS Major, Upper-Level Elective for LCS Minor
    Fulfills Upper-Level Elective for History Major and Minor

    This seminar will examine the presence of Latinos in US cities since the mid-nineteenth century. How have Latinos, defined as an immigrant or culturally alien racialized ethnic demographic, been part of urban spaces in the United States over the last 150 years? How have Latinos, in their diverse origins and conditions, participated in processes that define and transform the urban space? We will examine residential patterns, voting, work, industry, ethnic conflict and racism, urban decline and reform, policing, public housing, gentrification, cultural production, and other. We will also look at discussions of Latino urbanism and Latino urban cultures. The course will provide in-depth views into cities, drawing on a mix of historical and social science materials. We will spend about ten weeks studying the experience of Latinos in these cities, with their different regional, economic, political, racial and social contexts.

    1. Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants in San Antonio, Texas: internal colonialism, labor history, WWII, Chicano music
    2. Puerto Ricans in New York City: Colonial citizen immigrants, industrial work, pan-Latino culture, labor unions, urban crisis, radical movements, anti-poverty
    3. Mexican-Americans and Puerto Ricans in Chicago: urban renewal, housing, social movements, immigration
    4. Cubans in Miami: exile and enclaves
    5. Mexican-Americans and Central Americans in Los Angeles: industrial work, civil rights, urban protest, riots, immigration
    6. Dominicans in Washington Heights (NYC) and Providence (RI): housing, policing, race relations, urban crisis
    7. Mexicans and Central American immigrants in sanctuary and deportation cities: New York City, Phoenix, Arizona and Birmingham, Alabama

    My approach to Latino studies involves the careful study of local urban contexts and constant questioning of the categories we use to research, understand, and explain the past. The course will review the strengths and weaknesses of race/ethnic studies, as well as provide a critique of mainstream US history which leave Latinos out of the national historical narrative. Students will produce their own modest research projects that focus on New Jersey urban spaces using assigned sources to answer defined questions. Student research projects will involve census data, newspapers, government reports, and other sources. I will provide training sessions in
    research methods and will leave the last four weeks of the semester for individual advising and the presentation of student work.

  • Required Reading:

    Readings and other materials are in Sakai or Canvas. Reading averages 100-125 pages per week.

    Consult Rutgers Barnes & Noble for current books for the course.

  • Evaluation:

    Participation = 20%
    Three Short Papers (4 pages each, based on readings) = 45%
    Research Paper (10-12 page) = 35%

  • Credits: 3
  • Disclaimer: The information in this course description is subject to change. For up-to-date course information, please refer to the syllabus on your course site (e.g. Canvas).