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  6633, Lattie F. Coor Hall
  Arizona State University

  P.O.Box 873502
  Arizona State University
  Tempe, AZ-85287-3502



Curriculum for Department of Transborder Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies ( TCLS )

     The Department of Transborder Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies is an interdisciplinary degree program whose central mission is to provide a value added environment that increases the direct participation of Chicana/o, and Latina/o populations in the formation of human and capital development. We prepare students in fundamentally understanding the many dimensions of transnational and transborder processes. These include giving students the knowledge necessary to understand the manner in which Chicana/o, Mexican, and Latina/o populations are influenced by and also negotiate political, social, cultural and linguistic borders of multiple sorts. An equally important dimension for our preparation of students is that they become able to function in transnational and transborder contexts and processes. They will be able to traverse political borders because capital expansion is practically unlimited in time and space. We will prepare students to develop literary, policy, and applied projects that benefit their communities and regions. Therefore our intellectual mission embraces both material, cultural, and applied approaches to the study of transborder and transnational phenomena.

Pre-Columbian figure respresenting Chicana/o studies research
on Mesoamerican heritage

Olmec head


Transborder Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies--BA



Mission Statement

The Department of Transborder Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies is a centre of rese arch, learning, trai ning and application that seeks to enhance the intellectual, educational and professional opportunities of Mexican origin and other Latino populations.


The Concentrations

The Department focuses on three major areas: Media, Literature and Arts; U.S. and Mexican Regional Immigration Policy and Economy and Transborder Community Development and Health. Future concentrations include Transfrontier Language, Education, and Culture; and Transnational Indigenous Mexico .

Where appropriate, each develops a strong emphasis in multiple quantitative and qualitative methodologies and bilingual capacities. Buttressed by a focused fieldwork, application, and internship framework, the undergraduate program is designed to promote strong and rigorous intellectual and technical preparation for careers in transnational communications, the transborder public and private sector, transnational public policy, transnational arts and letters, and indigenous education. 

We are presently planning a doctoral program in Transborder Studies and Development. It is an interdisciplinary "field" degree that emphasizes two optional major concentrations: Option 1. Transborder Social and Applied Policy of Community Development, Immigration, and Health, and Option 2. Transborder Media and Expressive Cultures. Option 1 focuses strongly on the application of information and training to addressing and resolving issues of transborder political ecology and economy of the region. These include community formation and development, transnational migration and immigration policies, and community and environmental health policy development and implementation. Option 2 is an integrated analytical and creative transnational program in expressive culture that integrates film, electronic media and digital arts and communication, literature, and the arts. It seeks to cross the creative and disciplinary boundaries of all of these expressive forms in order to engage students in the development of a program of study and creativity expressed in multiple forms.

Following are the fielded tracks:


Media, Literature and Arts

The Department enjoys great faculty strengths in this area. Its media focus includes cinematography, film production, video and electronic communication, performance art, cultural and literary studies, and long distance learning and development. This area will prepare students with critical, analytical and some technical skills, as well as the theoretical underpinnings of the use of media for human communication within the context of transnational and transborder processes. Simultaneously, the literary and creative study of the major works and canons in Chicana/o, Latina/o, Mexican and Latin American corpuses provide the academic templates for understanding the emotive and psychological basis of identity and cultural change of border and transnational populations. Literary and artistic works are templates of creativity from whence broader discussions of theory, history, and multiple identities emerge ensconced within broad criticisms situated in transcultural settings.


U.S. and Mexican Regional Immigration Policy and Economy

This concentration has a strong applied orientation and focuses on the regional and transnational policies and practices that have led to enormous demographic changes in: (1) the borderlands where close to 12 million persons live in the immediate U.S.-Mexico border region and (2) the entire country with a total of 20.6 million persons of Mexican origin, either born or migrated to the United States. Our focus concerns the manner in which economic and political decisions between Mexico and the United States, as well as other transnational policies concerning other countries, strongly influence the present state of human migration, ecological conditions, economic policy towards trade, demographic transitions, and the nexus of relations that are established across borders at local, regional, and transborder levels. We will focus primarily on the U.S. Mexico region but transnational economics and political policies have, and will continue to, affect the manner in which Spanish speaking Caribbean , and Central and South American regions respond. We will pay special attention to those policies concerning trade, agriculture, manufactured and assembled goods, and such major policies as NAFTA and CAFTA.


Transborder Community Development and Health

Chicana author Gloria Anzaldúa once described the US-Mexico border as a “place where the third world grates against the first and bleeds.” By developing a program of social science research and teaching with an emphasis on community development and health, students will concentrate on patterns of physical, mental and social health disparities closely associated with poverty, limited access to insurance, reliance on emergency measures and facilities, and differential health care, as well as learn how to develop the appropriate mitigating applied programs. Other major orientations with an applied focus will include environmental home health; vulnerable population's well being through the life cycle, work and labor accidents, ecological and environmental degradation, and epidemiological trends and issues of Mexican origin and Latina/o populations. The department enjoys the presence of one medical anthropologist and we will in the very near future search for one more person in a medically oriented social science or policy area. Deeply embedded within local and transborder communities, methodological instruction and skills will be especially stressed.


Transborder Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies--BA

The major in Transborder Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies requires 45 hours of course work. A minimum of 33 semester hours must be in TCLS courses. The remaining course work may be in a related field.


Core Requirements (18 credit hours)

All TCLS majors must take 18 semester hours in the following core courses:

TCL 201 Transborder Society and Culture I: Interdisciplinary Approaches (3)

TCL 202 Transborder Society and Culture II: Contemporary Issues (3)

TCL 303 Transborder Theory (3)

TCL 304 Transborder Method (3)

TCL 332 Mexican American History since 1900 (3)

TCL 498 Pro Seminar Capstone of Integration (3)


Within the 45 semester hours, TCLS majors must also take 18 semester hours in one of three concentrations: 1. Media, Literature and Arts; 2. U.S. and Mexican Regional Immigration Policy and Economy; and 3. Community Development and Health. However, students my select a combination from two of the three concentrations to develop more specific interested, such as combining a minimum of 9 credit hours from one concentration and the remaining from another. Such students are required to take the core of each combined concentration. As well, the student may seek to expand the number of credit hours taken in one or more concentrations by using up credit hours from the remaining 9 elective credit hours available after meeting the 18 unit requirement.


Language Proficiency

Majors are expected to fulfill the College of Liberal Arts and Science's language requirement in Spanish. In addition, all majors must demonstrate proficiency in Spanish by earning a “C” or better in an upper division course taught in Spanish specifically by TCLS faculty.

Transborder Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies Minor

The Transborder Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies minor requires 18 semester hours of TCLS course work.


Core Requirements (6 credit hours)

TCL 201 Transborder Society and Culture I: Interdisciplinary Approaches (3) OR

TCL 202 Transborder Society and Culture II: Contemporary Issues (3)

AND pick one from:

TCL/HST 331 Mexican American History before 1900 (3) OR

TCL/HST 332 Mexican American History since 1900 (3)


It is recommended that students taking TCL 201 take TCL 332 and those taking TCL 202 take TCL 331. Students must take the remaining 12 credit hours in upper division TCLS courses in concentrations of their choice.


BIS Concentration

A concentration in The Department of Transborder Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies is available under the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) degree, a program intended for the student who has academic interests that might not be satisfied with existing majors. Building on two academic concentrations (or one double concentration) and an interdisciplinary core, students in the BIS program take active roles in creating their educational plans and defining their career goals.


Secondary Education—BAE ( Applications are not being accepted at this time.)


For further information, please contact Norma A. Valenzuela, Academic Specialist, at (480) 965-9426 or via email at .

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