Chicana and Chicano Studies Department Records
Scope and Contents
The Chicana and Chicano Studies Department Records (1968-2003) document the development and administration of the department and its curriculum. Highlights include materials relating to the department's incorporation into the College of Professional Studies and the resulting backlash from students. The majority of the material dates from the 1970s and details early department organization and curricula. The collection includes correspondence, syllabi, memorandums, course files, faculty meeting minutes, and reports. The collection is filed alphabetically.
- Majority of material found in 1970-1979
- Chicana and Chicano Studies Department (Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
The copyright interests in some of these materials have been transferred to or belong to San Diego State University. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections means that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.
Initially developed in 1968 by students and faculty inspired by the Civil Rights and Chicano movements, San Diego State College (SDSC) officially established the Mexican-American Studies Department, now known as the Chicana and Chicano Studies Department, in 1969, and offered both a major and a minor. SDSC faculty and students followed El Plan de Santa Barbara as a blueprint for the codification of Chicana/o Studies at the university level, which had been created at the 1969 UC Santa Barbara Conference of Chicano students, professors, and activists. The purpose of the newly-formed department was to teach an accurate and complete history of Chicanos and Mexican-Americans and their contributions to the United States. In addition, the department hoped to recruit more Chicana/o students to the campus, and teach and develop skills that students could use to help their communities politically and economically.
In the beginning, students under the guidance of the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA) ran the department. They actively participated in departmental meetings and decisions, taught classes, hired and fired faculty, and helped to develop the curriculum. In 1975, however, with San Diego State College's change to university status, SDSU incorporated the Mexican-American Studies Department into the College of Professional Studies. As a result of this institutionalization, the department's decision-making process became faculty and staff centered. Later, in 1980, the department became part of the College of Arts and Letters.
Today, the department maintains a multi-disciplinary curriculum offering classes in film, history, anthropology, sociology, literature, and politics. The curriculum also features classes in immigration and border studies, and encourages community outreach through internships, cultural exchanges, research, and advocacy. Faculty and students participate in cultural documentation projects, such as the Chicano Park Historical Documentation Project, oral interviews, and original research.
1.67 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
Method of Acquisition
This collection was acquired from the Chicana and Chicano Studies Department (date unknown); material was added in October 2006 from Barbara Friedrich, wife of Dr. Will Kennedy, one of the founders of the Mexican American Studies Department.
Accruals and Additions
Other Descriptive Information
This collection was processed as part of the Chicano Studies Archives Project, made possible by a grant from the President's Leadership Fund.
- Chicana and Chicano Studies Department Records
- Amanda Lanthorne
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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