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¡Sí Se Pudo!: A Critical Race History of the Movements for Chicana and Chicano Studies at UCLA, 1990-1993

  • Author(s): Aguilar, Jose M.;
  • Advisor(s): Solorzano, Daniel G.;
  • et al.

There is a paucity of scholarship that centers the experiences and resistance efforts of Students of Color in higher education institutions. More specifically, there is a need to grow Chicana/o student activism literature in the late 20th Century through a Critical Race Theory lens. This study centers the multiple people that participated in the 1990-1993 movements for Chicana/o Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). By focusing on this historical moment, the dissertation contributes to a variety of academic discourses.

The theoretical framework used in this study is Critical Race History (CRH) that draws from existing scholarship in Critical Race Theory in Education, Critical Race Theory in the Law, Chicana Feminisms, and Jotería Theories. The CRH lens is used to analyze a number of academic writings that inform the topic, hundreds of archival documents in institutions as well as with individuals, and 39 oral histories of students, community leaders, faculty, staff, and administrators that witnessed and took on leadership roles during the 1990-1993 period.

The dissertation finds that the racial climate in the 1990's in California impacted the discourse on departmentalizing Chicana/o Studies at UCLA. Specifically, the dissertation finds that race is complicated by elements of class and citizenship in a number of archival documents. The oral histories also surface racial, class, and citizenship tensions, and further include gender and sexuality into the narrative.

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