Academic Diaspora: Why Harvard Doesn’t Have Latinx Studies

Our friends at the Harvard Political Review just posted a great piece discussing the gap in institutional space at Harvard for the study of the Latinx experience. One highlight that resonates with why we think HJHP matters:

“At the simplest level, Latinx Studies matter because of the changing demographics of the United States. According to the Pew Research Center, in 2012 there were 53,027,708 Latinxs living in the United States, a 592 percent increase in population size since 1970. In contrast, the overall U.S. population has grown by 56 percent over the same period. Data from the 2014 U.S. Census indicates that by 2060, there will be almost 120 million Latinxs in the United States. The massive increase in size of the Latinx population suggests that there might be value in constructing a program of study that encourages thinking critically and academically about the country’s fastest-growing demographic group.

However, the sheer number of Latinx people in the United States is not reason enough to create a Latinx Studies program. The impetus to create the program should be derived from the immense value in studying Latinx experiences in the United States, which are inherently intertwined with the history of this country. Like previous immigrant groups, Hispanics have infused this nation with diversity, and their experiences comprise a significant part of the broader U.S. cultural identity. The interdisciplinary characteristics of Latinx Studies allow students to explore the social, political, economic, cultural, and historical identity and experiences of Latinxs. By building bridges between various fields of study, Latinx Studies hopes to gain a better understanding of what it means to be a “Latinx” in the United States.”

Thanks, HPR!

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