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Stories, podcasts and videos to enrich your Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month

School of Humanities at UC Irvine
5 min readSep 29, 2021

Celebrated from September 15 to October 15, Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month remembers the contributions of Hispanic and Latinx Americans on the history and culture of the U.S. Last year, the UCI School of Humanities awarded bachelor’s degrees to 186 students of Hispanic-descent — 35% of the Humanities student population and the largest ethnic group in the School. This Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month, learn about UCI Humanities scholars, students and opportunities we’re proud to recognize year-round. What follows is a series of multimedia opportunities to engage with the people and research making a difference today.

A primer on the words and works that illuminate Latinx experiences

What is the difference between Latinx and Hispanic? What is Latinx? Scholars from the UCI School of Humanities demystify the terminology.

Photo: Susan Guilfoyle

UCI minor paves the way for future bilingual teachers

UCI is offering undergraduate and graduate students new pathways to become bilingual K-12 teachers. Through our Spanish/English bilingual education minor, students prepare for careers in bilingual education.

A revolution in language

UCI’s accelerated language courses for Spanish speakers are designed to teach a related language — either French or Italian — to students with native or second-language fluency in Spanish. Modeled on a program pioneered at California State University, Long Beach in 2010, UCI’s Accelerated French and Italian for Spanish Speakers courses are currently the only such courses in the UC system.

Setting Philadelphia’s historical record straight

In his new book, Rodrigo Lazo, professor of English, broadens the historical record of the original capital of the United States to include and showcase the contributions of Spanish-speaking intellectuals.

Celebrating Latinx excellence

Carlos Colmenares Gil, a Ph.D. student in comparative literature, and Héctor Tobar, associate professor of English and Chicano/Latino studies, were among UCI’s 2021 Latino Excellence and Achievement Award honorees. Administered by UCI’s Office of Inclusive Excellence, the awards celebrate faculty, staff and alumni whose research and service provide encouragement and support for Latinx communities.

Photo: Adolph J. Lopez

Mastering hope

Audrey Casas, a Lynwood educator and UCI alumna (B.A. English ’19), has been holding “pandemic drive-through parties” that provide free groceries, gift cards, baby essentials and other supplies along with entertainment for South Los Angeles communities hit hardest by the pandemic.

Documenting Chicana history

Professor emerita of history Vicki L. Ruiz has been narrating Latina lives for over 40 years. A new edited collection compiles her most influential essays: Latina Lives, Latina Narratives: Influential Essays by Vicki L. Ruiz, edited By Miroslava Chávez-García.

How the Latinx Community Copes and Endures in a Pandemic

Watch Tyrus Miller, dean of the School of Humanities, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Héctor Tobar, associate professor of English and Chicano/Latino studies, discuss why Latinx communities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

Over Coffee: Leaders Talking Humanities, a chat with Fernando Niebla

Tyrus Miller interviews Fernando Niebla, president and founder of International Tech Partners, about his career and philanthropic endeavors.

UCI Podcast: Uncovering the cause of the soil lead crisis in Santa Ana

In this episode of the UCI Podcast, Juan Manuel Rubio, a Mellon Humanities Faculty Fellow in the School of Humanities at UCI, discusses his historical research into the source of lead contamination in Santa Ana and why historians should partner with scientists.

UCI Podcast: Héctor Tobar on the diverse faces of Latino America

Héctor Tobar joins the UCI Podcast to discuss the origins of the term “Latino,” the various Latinx cultures he encountered during a road trip across America for a story he published in Harper’s Magazine, and how the lives of all Latinx people are influenced by U.S. imperialism.

Meet new faculty and fellows working in Latinx studies:

Arcelia Gutiérrez, assistant professor in the Department of Film and Media Studies, researches media activism, Latinx studies, media industries, broadcasting history and digital media.

Abigail Lapin Dardashti, assistant professor in the Department of Art History, examines modern and contemporary Latin American, Latina/o/x, and African diasporic art with a focus on international exchange, migration, racial formation and activism.

Jorge Delgadillo, Chancellor’s Advance Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of History, is a historian of slavery, Afro-descendants and social differentiation processes in Mexico and the Atlantic world at large.

E. M. Hernandez, UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Philosophy, researches and writes about normative ethics, moral psychology, philosophy of race and trans philosophy.

Heider Tun Tun, ACLS Emerging Voices Fellow in the Department of History, studies how marginalized communities, particularly women and Indigenous people, have influenced human rights in Latin America.

Within the UCI School of Humanities, there are several ways to engage with Latinx scholarship, events and initiatives:

  • We are home to the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. As an undergrad, you can major or minor in Spanish, and minor in Spanish/English bilingual education and/or Latin American studies. As a graduate student, you can earn a Ph.D. in Spanish or a graduate emphasis in Latin American studies.
  • Our Latin American Studies Center is a hub for research and programming around the study of Latin America across disciplinary boundaries.
  • Our Department of European Languages and Studies offers accelerated French and Italian language courses for fluent Spanish speakers.
  • Our departments focus on a range of Latinx issues either through courses, faculty research and/or student research projects.



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