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Chicano Studies

The Genesis of a Discipline

Michael Soldatenko

Publication Year: 2012

Chicano Studies is a comparatively new academic discipline. Unlike well-established fields of study that long ago codified their canons and curricula, the departments of Chicano Studies that exist today on U.S. college and university campuses are less than four decades old. In this edifying and frequently eye-opening book, a career member of the discipline examines its foundations and early years. Based on an extraordinary range of sources and cognizant of infighting and the importance of personalities, Chicano Studies is the first history of the discipline.

What are the assumptions, models, theories, and practices of the academic discipline now known as Chicano Studies? Like most scholars working in the field, Michael Soldatenko didn't know the answers to these questions even though he had been teaching for many years. Intensely curious, he set out to find the answers, and this book is the result of his labors. Here readers will discover how the discipline came into existence in the late 1960s and how it matured during the next fifteen years-from an often confrontational protest of dissatisfied Chicana/o college students into a univocal scholarly voice (or so it appears to outsiders).

Part intellectual history, part social criticism, and part personal meditation, Chicano Studies attempts to make sense of the collision (and occasional wreckage) of politics, culture, scholarship, ideology, and philosophy that created a new academic discipline. Along the way, it identifies a remarkable cast of scholars and administrators who added considerable zest to the drama.

Published by: University of Arizona Press


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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-7

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pp. vii-viii

Like most acknowledgments, mine are tied to my life. As part of an attempt to bring my wife to the Department of Women’s Studies at Arizona State University (ASU), in the fall of 1995 the Hispanic Research Center...

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pp. 1-11

My interest with Chicano Studies as an academic discipline originated with the struggle at the University of California at Los Angeles for a department of Chicana and Chicano Studies in the spring of 1993.1 While I had done some research in the area...

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1. The Genesis of Academic Chicano Studies, 1967 – 1970: Utopia and the Emergence of Chicano Studies

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pp. 12-37

As Chicanos and Chicanas protested social, political, and economic inequalities, Chicanos(as) on university and college campuses demanded the introduction of courses and eventually programs that examined the Mexican American experience. By the late 1960s, the first...

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2. Empirics and Chicano Studies: The Formation of Empirical Chicano Studies, 1970 – 1975

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pp. 38-66

Most Chicanos(as) visualized an academic program that could serve and transform the Mexican American community. University activists, of course, differed in their interpretation of how to serve their communities and who the communities...

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3. Perspectivist Chicano Studies, 1967 – 1982

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pp. 67-93

Although many intellectuals followed the political and intellectual agenda established by El Plan de Santa Bárbara, the empiric position was not the only possible option for Chicanos(as) in the academy. The activism that led to the...

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4. Chicano Studies as an Academic Discipline, 1975 – 1982

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pp. 94-129

By 1975, empirics had consolidated their control of Chicano Studies. Its competitors were banished. Empirics subjugated the discipline, using their presence in research institutions, especially in California, to manage the...

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5. Chicanas, the Chicano Student Movements, and Chicana Thought, 1967 – 1982

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pp. 130-167

Although some Chicana scholars found an intellectual space in the perspectivist or empiricist camp, a number desired a different intellectual program. Women began the intellectual work of constructing a feminism that first challenged Chicano political practices, then aspects of Chicano studies, before turning to an articulation of Chicana...

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pp. 168-188

In 1968, there were many Chicano studies that sought to establish a space in U.S. higher education. Fourteen years later, there remained one dominant expression of Chicano studies at major universities. Many of the earlier versions had...


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pp. 189-229


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pp. 231-270


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pp. 271-276

About the Author

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pp. 277-288

E-ISBN-13: 9780816599530
Print-ISBN-13: 9780816512751

Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2012