Welcome to the Department of Chicano and Latino Studies (CALS) at Sonoma State University

The department is housed in the School of Arts and Humanities at Sonoma State University and offers several programs of study. Our degree programs offer students the opportunity to employ an interdisciplinary approach to the study of one of the fastest growing populations in the United States. Courses in CALS invite students to critically examine the experiences and contributions of Latino populations in relation to issues of political representation, linguistic policy, educational inequality, poverty, immigration, and symbolic struggles in media, literature, and the arts.

  • KNOWLEDGE: Students in our programs explore the concerns, social problems and political issues that inform contemporary Latino experiences. They become familiar with the history of Latino populations in the United States, including forms of resistance and activism such as Chicano rights movement, labor activism, the Puerto Rican struggle for independence, and others.
  • SKILLS: The CALS curriculum aids in the development of students’ writing ability, critical thinking, group project planning and public speaking. All of our majors are required to design and conduct an original capstone research project. to hone their skills in qualitative data collection and analysis, written communication, and time management.
  • FUTURE CAREERS: CALS alumni have embarked on a variety of career paths after graduation in fields such as banking, sales, law enforcement, administration and labor organizing. As broadly trained and culturally astute professionals, CALS graduates can take on the challenges of careers in either public service or private enterprise. Graduates who select a Spanish emphasis further enhanced their marketability by refining their oral and written skills in a second language.

Our programs are designed to make a double major/minor possible. We encourage our students to develop a flexible, interdisciplinary approach to the study of Latinos in the United States.


Department of Chicano and Latino Studies Arts and Performance Series Fall 2015

Screening of Mosquita y Mari and Q&A with writer and director Aurora Guerrero
Warren Auditorium
September 10, 6pm
Set in a predominately Mexican, immigrant neighborhood in Los Angeles, this filmI tells the story of two 15 year old Chicanas growing up in Huntington Park. When Yolanda Olveros (“Mosquita”) meets her new neighbor, Mari Rodriguez, all they see in each other are their differences. As a sheltered, only-child to her older, immigrant parents, Yolanda’s sole concern is securing her college-bound future. Street-wise Mari hustles to help her undocumented family stay above water. But despite Yolanda and Mari's contrasting approach to survival, they forge a friendship that soon proves more complex and sensual than anticipated. Pushed to the edge, Yolanda and Mari are faced with taking hold of their own lives. Since premiering at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival,Mosquita y Mari has garnered multiple awards including Best First Feature at Outfest while picking up a Spirit Award and GLAAD nomination for Best Film under 500k. The screening will be followed by a question and answer session with writer and director Aurora Guerrero.


Las Cafeteras
Weill Hall
October 27, 7:30pm
Las Cafeteras are a Los Angeles-based musical ensemble that fuse Afro-Mexican (son jarocho), hip hop, folk, native american & more styles. They use their performances to inspire social change. Since forming they have toured extensively and opened for Ozomatli,Aterciopelados, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes, Lila Downs, & more. They recently released their first studio album It’s Time, which was featured on NPR, KCRW, and the Los Angeles Times.

The Imaginists
Weill Hall
November 19, 7:30pm
The Imaginists completely re-think theatre; who participates, where it happens and what it is. We honor the power of live performance to create a vital space for ideas & dialogue. The Imaginists is a performance laboratory investigating the intersection of art and community. We explore the possibilities of theatre, from new works & classics to bilingual & site-specific works, rooted in an ensemble approach. We engage new audience through community-based theatre projects and unexpected collaborations inviting diversity and new artistic voices.