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ERIC Number: EJ764775
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Nov-30
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1557-5411
An Ethnic Studies Evolution
Boulard, Garry
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, v23 n21 p30-33 Nov 2006
As a student in the Chicana/o studies program at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), Jesse S. Arrieta decided that her classroom instruction about the culture and history of people of Mexican origin wasn't enough. Arrieta, 27, who graduated from UTEP in 2002 before earning a master's in American history from the University of California, Irvine, says for her, what she was studying and reading never truly resonated until she went into the community. As part of her undergraduate honors thesis, Arrieta interviewed Mexican-American women who had been involved in labor organizing in the 1960s and beyond. She did nearly the same thing after moving on to graduate school in California. There, she talked to Mexican-American women who were active in the Bus Riders Union, a group dedicated to promoting public transportation for low-income people in the Los Angeles area. That project would ultimately become her master's thesis. Arrieta, now teaching U.S. history in UTEP's Chicana/o studies program, says her goal was twofold in both cases. She wanted to "find a place for such stories within the larger context of Chicano studies," while also doing what she could to "alter perceptions that these types of programs are mostly masculine in their focus." The programs have been emphasizing social issues since they first appeared on campuses in the 1960s and '70s. Arrieta's decision to challenge the gender-based issues associated with some programs illustrates that the field remains open to change. It is a sign of academic fluidity that many educators believe is absolutely necessary if such programs expect to be relevant to a new generation of students, especially those who are emigrating from Mexico. That change is particularly pronounced in El Paso, where thousands of Mexican students, many crossing the border daily, study at UTEP. Their presence on campus has prompted additions to the curriculum that school officials hope are more responsive to their needs and academic interests.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mexico; Texas