Chicana-Chicano Studies

Chicana and Chicano Studies


Mural depicting a crowd of hispanic individualsChicana and Chicano Studies is an Area Studies field that advances a critical understanding of the Chicana/o and Latina/o experience in the United States. Courses reflect a multidisciplinary approach to the understanding of Chicana/o and Latina/o histories, politics, culture, language and education.

Chicana/o Studies was established in 1969 in response to the educational needs of Chicana/o students. 

At the height of the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Rodolfo Acuña was recruited by students, faculty, and community and became the Department's founding faculty member. In a short span of time, he developed forty-five courses and by April 1969 the Department had been born.

Courses were designed to provide students with an awareness of the social, political, economic, historical and cultural realities in our society. It  was structured as an inter-disciplinary, area studies department in order to offer a Chicana/o critique and perspective within the traditional disciplines. 

Initially, the mission of the department was primarily to meet the needs of the Chicana/o student. In the intervening years that mission has been broadened to meet the needs of the credential student preparing to teach in our schools and to provide a multicultural and enriching experience to all students in the university. A Master of Arts program was subsequently developed and now prepares students for academic, public service, education, artistic and cultural performance careers.

As demographics change, the Department has compiled a critical mass of faculty, a community of scholars and practitioners in their respective fields, to prepare US students as well as exchange and foreign students to critically assess cultural expression, power relations, intellectual inquisitiveness, and the process of student and community self actualization in an increasingly global world.

Currently the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at California State University, Northridge is the largest of its kind in the country housing 25 full time and 35 part time professors. Between 160-170 class sections are offered every semester. 

Featured Events

EOP Free Speech Event

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - 11:00am to 1:00pm

EOP Free Speech Event Lede Image

CSUN EOP invites you to celebrate and exercise your First Amendment right at its annual EOP Free Speech event, which will take place on Wednesday, October 26th at Matador Square from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Read more

2016 Latin American Film and Art Festival

Friday, November 18, 2016 - 6:00pm to Monday, November 21, 2016 - 7:00pm

Oviatt Library

The Latin American Festival is taking place at California State University Northridge from November 18 through 21, 2016. The four day event will feature films highlighting some of Latin America's most talented filmmakers, including entries for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2017 Academy Awards. Read more