The Department of Chicano/a Studies will introduce a new course for fall 2017 that will integrate lecture on Mesoamerica and internship experience within the Los Angeles community.
The course titled, “Chicana/o Studies 495 HM: History of Mesoamerican Literate Societies” will be taught by Chicano/a Studies assistant professor Xochitl Flores-Marcial. Flores-Marcial states that ethnic courses like CH S 495 HM, will debunk the myths about Latin America.
“Histories tend to be unknown, so it’s important to bring in materials [in these courses] that highlight contributions of women, Afro-Mexicans, Chinese-Mexicans, and all different types of diverse communities that make up people of Mexican heritage,” Flores-Marcial said. “We get to hear those voices that get a chance to tell a different story [in history.]”
Flores- Marcial has a bachelor’s degree in Latin-American Studies with an emphasis in Humanities, as well as a Ph.D. in history from UCLA. She also has training in Mexican literature, geography and is specialized in different fields such as history, anthropology, and linguistics.
“You have a more diverse set of data that you can use to make own assumptions, if you don’t want to believe that Mesoamerican peoples were literate and that they were intellectuals, it’s okay, but the evidence is there,” Flores-Marcial said.
Students who are interested in public history or teaching will experience training with well-known institutions like the Library of Los Angeles or the Getty Foundation.
“This is for students who might not have the time to do this because of other commitments such as jobs or other classes. I think that this course opens up an opportunity for students,” Flores-Marcial said. “Taking a course and getting connected to institutions that few people of color have access to.”
Her goal with the course is to provide the context to an exhibit, which is the first of its kind ever focused on Oaxaca and indigenous language, that will open in the library in downtown Los Angeles. Students have the opportunity to meet curators, poets, artists and authors.
“Students will be representatives of not just of knowledge, but of CSUN,” Flores-Marcial said.
Flores-Marcial explained that the goal in the university setting is to not only be inclusive but to present information on a population that might not have this knowledge as well.
The phrase “I had no idea” is common among students that have taken previous courses with Flores-Marcial, but students may now be able to discover a larger understanding of history in her upcoming course.