"Everybody has a story. Everybody has a history, but it's not always told," says Dr. Maisha Mitchell, the Professor teaching the inaugural U.S. Latino/a History course, cross-listed with both History and Latin America & Latino/a Studies (LALS) this upcoming Spring 2019.
The U.S. Latino/a History course will examine the plurality of people who are of Latino heritage with the history of the U.S., going from the period of colonialism to the modern day. This class is open to all students with no prerequisites required. For those majoring or minoring in either History or LALS, taking the class will provide an in-depth background on U.S. Latino/a History through a multidimensional lens.
Professor Mitchell earned her B.A. from Cornell University and her Ph.D in Spanish and Portuguese Literatures and Cultures from Georgetown University. She has taught a variety of courses for the past 15 years including Spanish literature, culture, and grammar to university students. Her expertise is concentrated in Hispanic Caribbean Women's Literature, with a focus on Dominican and Dominican American women writers. She has even taken her students to the Dominican Republic for spring break community service trips. She is also multilingual, speaking Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Japanese.
In the classroom, Professor Mitchell instructs students to examine historical narratives through a critical and exploratory perspective. "There's lots of different ways to look at things and what I encourage my students is to think on their own, to think critically, and always challenge what's being given to them," Professor Mitchell said.
Since this is the first time U.S. Latino/a History is being offered, Professor Mitchell was stunned but excited when she was asked to teach the course. She wants all students to know that Latino History matters and so does the history of other cultures, too. "We are all crashing into each other. So no one lives in an isolated island or bubble anymore, that world doesn't exist. You can't have certain parts of history exist without other groups. You have to know about these other groups, they affect you."
Professor Mitchell is looking forward to teaching the course and is thankful for the opportunity to be doing so next semester. The Latino Institute is grateful to Dr. Mitchell, the History Department, and the LALS program for offering the class to all students on campus.
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For any questions, please contact the Institute's Graduate Assistant, Mr. Spencer Hinton at email@example.com.