Welcome to Chican@ Studies!

Official statement in support of #BlackLivesMatter here.

Spanish version of official statement in support of #BlackLivesMatter here.

Established in Fall 1970, the Chicana/o Studies Department emerged from Black and Chicana/o student activism, most notably the North Hall building take-over in Fall 1968 and the El Plan de Santa Barbara conference held at the Francisco Torres residential hall in April 1969. 

The UCSB Chicana/o Studies Department was the first such unit in the entire UC system.  Chicanx/Latinx student organizing, namely the 1989 and 1994 hunger strikes, strengthened the Department over time, leading to the creation of the world's first doctoral program in Chicana/o Studies which began in 2003.  The Chicana/o Studies Department engages students in the interdisciplinary study of Chicana and Chicano history, culture, and politics. 

The Department is fully committed to social justice and uprooting all systems of inequality.  In partnership with affiliated faculty from across campus and Feminist and Black Studies Ph.D. emphasis programs, the Department's B.A./M.A./Ph.D. programs challenge students to link theory with practice, scholarship with teaching, and the academy with the community.


UCSB Chicana/o Studies' honors students and graduating seniors will be recognized on May 24th in Mosher Alumni Hall!

UCSB Chicana/o Studies Alum, Dr. Nicholas Centino (CSUCI) will deliver the next installment of our Alumni Speaker Series!

The Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies stands in firm solidarity with our colleagues in the Department of Black Studies in their statement and their call to protest UCSB’s failure to protect our students and freedom of expression. 
We express our deep concern with the harassment that many students, faculty, and staff have confronted in the past months in discussing the Israeli government’s human rights abuses and violence in Palestine. We want to make it clear that we do not condone anti-semitism, and that critiquing and protesting the government of Israel is not equivalent to anti-semitism. To racialize and dehumanize others, to strip us of human rights by referring to us as “terrorists,” “illegals,” “savage,” and  “primitives,” is a common tool of settler colonial logics to justify genocide and displacement. 
We are deeply alarmed that many of our undergraduate and graduate students have been and continue to be doxed and harassed online. Our concerns for their personal safety led our department to take the difficult but necessary decision to temporarily remove our graduate student’s profiles from our webpage during Fall quarter, as it contained their photos and names. In the case of our graduate students, this impacts them in various ways as they are unable to use our department webpage to network and make their crucial work visible. Moreover, potential graduate students for our program see that we had to remove our students’ photos, names, and emails. This has prevented them from easily contacting our graduate students, while giving them the sense that UCSB is not a safe space for critical thinking and academic freedom. This situation alone illustrates the harsh reality and insecurity graduate students, undergraduate students, staff, faculty, and visitors are all confronting at UCSB. 
Recently, undergraduate student staff at the MCC have been doxed online; in one list almost all were women of color. Several of these students are majoring in Chicana/o Studies. Some have stated that the students’ legal status has been published online. Deeply alarming, these students are put at risk for further harassment and harm. 
Our department was created by Black and Brown student activists who sought to create a better future through education. We, students and faculty, have since been at the forefront of internationalist struggles and academic freedom in pursuit of social justice. For decades, our students have engaged in protests, hunger strikes, sit-ins, and international solidarity movements, often at great risk; today they carry on that legacy of speaking truth to power. It should alarm the administration that undergraduate and graduate students, staff, and faculty across UCSB do not consider themselves secure on campus because of their solidarity with the people of Palestine, who are currently undergoing violence, displacement, and starvation by the government of Israel. It is a reminder that the struggle continues.   

Moreover, we strongly condemn the recent mounting use of force by university enforcement across UC and college campuses nationally on campus communities. Their activism and encampments call attention to the mass violence against Palestinian communities. As scholars, we are also deeply concerned about the destruction of higher institutions of learning in Gaza, what experts at the United Nations aptly calls scholasticide; defined as the “systemic obliteration of education through the arrest, detention or killing of teachers, students, and staff and the destruction of educational infrastructures.”

In solidarity, 
Some concerned faculty of Chicana and Chicano Studies
[Updated from letter originally posted on March 7, 2024]
  1. June 6, 2024 - 8:00am