banner reading Syllabus

Department of Black and Latinx Studies 

Baruch College 

Spring 2024 LTS 3012 – Section: ETRA

Latinas: A Social and Cultural Survey

Tuesday/Thursday 2:30-3:45

VC 9-175

Professor: Dr. Rebecca L. Salois 


I will periodically check email Monday through Friday throughout the day until approximately 4:00pm. Please include your name and course number in your emails for reference. 

Drop-In Hours

Where: VC 4-273

When: Tuesdays 12-1pm, Wednesdays by appointment, Thursdays 9:30-10:30am

Required Texts

  • Spit and Passion, by Cristy C. Road (ISBN: 9781558618077, New Print Copies $16)
  • Hijas Americanas, by Rosie Molinary (ISBN: 9781580051897, New Print Copies: $22)
  • La Gringa, by Carmen Rivera (ISBN: 97-0573663352, New Print Copies: $14)

You may utilize print, digital, or audio versions of these texts where available. Additional required readings will be provided in the “Required Readings” channel in Teams. I will also add texts to the “Optional Readings” channel that may be of interest to you in your own research but will not be required to fulfill your class obligations.

Required Technology 

You should have access to Blackboard, Blogs@Baruch, and (possibly) Zoom.

Class Description 

Latinas is a collaborative design course in which the students and the professor work together to choose the readings for the semester, the assignment types, and the class code of engagement. We read literary and critical works by and about Latina women in the United States and address a wide range of subjects including gender and sexuality, language, politics, family relationships, education and labor relations, literary and artistic expression, and the construction and expression of Latina identities. The class is discussion-based and designed to enhance student appreciation and awareness of the many roles of Latinas in the family, the community, and the country.

Through an exploration of literature by and about Latinas, students explore the social, political, cultural, and economic histories of Latinas throughout the United States. We explore Latina identities and develop an understanding of Latina experiences through class discussions and assignments. Additionally, students engage in a variety of communication-intensive activities, both oral and written, designed to enhance their appreciation and awareness of the role of Latinas on the local and national levels.

Learning Goals

  • Using interdisciplinary methods to build and support arguments addressing issues concerning Latinas in the United States
  • Assessing the role of US Latinas in both local and global contexts
  • Engaging in issues of social and racial justice as they relate to US Latinas
  • Analyzing knowledge production (written and visual literatures, economics, history, art, politics, etc.) of Latinas using multidisciplinary perspectives
  • Critically evaluating and identifying reliable sources of research and information
  • Communicating ideas and arguments in written, oral, and digital forms

Statement of Care

I will do my best to assist you in whatever way I can. My door is open for discussions, and I will always engage in thoughtful and respectful conversations with you. With that in mind, there will be times when I do not have the tools or resources to fully help you. If you are in any need of assistance beyond that which I can provide, please contact the following departments/individuals:

  • Baruch’s One Stop Shop (BOSS):This is a one-stop resource for students. It contains links and information that will connect you to assistance with tech needs (including computers), emergency funds, and guides for academic success as they study remotely.
  • Baruch Computer and Technology Center (BCTC): For technology-based help including logging in to your Baruch account, Blackboard access, Baruch student email, assistive technology, CUNYFirst, and more.  
  • 646-312-1010 (M-Th: 8am-8pm)  
  • Baruch Counseling Center: The stress that students experience has always been high, and now with the pandemic and social-political turmoil, students are experiencing increases in depression, anxiety, substance and alcohol use, grief and loss, family conflict, and more. Combined with the demands of on-line learning, and stress levels are becoming debilitating for many. The Counseling Center offers free and confidential services to help you deal with these challenging times.  

Majoring and Minoring in BLS/LTS

Baruch College now offers a bachelor’s degree in Black and Latino Studies! You can learn more about the requirements and courses here.

The Black and Latino Studies major offers interdisciplinary, intersectional approaches to the study of the ideas, history, politics, literature, music, religions, cultures, economic and social contributions by people of African and Latin American descent, including the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America. You can declare a BLS major here.

The department’s learning goals are real-world career skills. They cultivate student thinking in ways that support theoretical knowledge and practical skills for work and for life after college. Its commitment to active and empowered teaching and learning supports cultures of creativity, problem solving, and community engagement. Through course content, research practice, and fieldwork, upon completion of the BLS major students will be able to:

  • Closely read and contextualize texts and artifacts related to Black and Latino Studies
  • Articulate multiple scholarly and applied theories of culture, power, and social change.
  • Assess and evaluate both quantitative and qualitative evidence and arguments.
  • Analyze knowledge production using interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary perspectives.
  • Communicate complex ideas and arguments in written, oral, and digital forms.
  • Identify, explain, and analyze key dynamics in cultural, political, economic, and/or ecological issues that specifically affect Black and Latino peoples.
  • Develop community-engaged, practical applications to classroom learning.
  • Reflect on the ethics of cross-cultural research, representation, and collaboration.
  • Practice skills that support career preparedness and/or graduate studies.
Public Knowledge Projects
  • Create and share accessible content and resources that advance racial and social justice.
  • Design and conduct critical research that offers practical solutions concerning relevant social and cultural questions.
  • Connect coursework with community interests and concerns.
Minors in Black and Latino Studies

The department currently offers minors in the areas of Black Studies (BLS), and Latino Studies (LTS), and in Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS). The minor is 9 credits, including a capstone course.

Questions? Contact any BLS/LTS professor, or Department Chair Professor Shelly Eversley

Academic Integrity

The Department of Black and Latino Studies fully supports Baruch College’s policy on Academic Honesty, which states, in part:

“Academic dishonesty is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Cheating, forgery, plagiarism, and collusion in dishonest acts undermine the college’s educational mission and the students’ personal and intellectual growth. Baruch students are expected to bear individual responsibility for their work, to learn the rules and definitions that underlie the practice of academic integrity, and to uphold its ideals. Ignorance of the rules is not an acceptable excuse for disobeying them. Any student who attempts to compromise or devalue the academic process will be sanctioned.”

Academic sanctions in this class will range from an F on the assignment to an F in this course. A report of suspected academic dishonesty will be sent to the Office of the Dean of Students. Additional information and definitions can be found at


AI is plagiarism. Therefore, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) is prohibited in any assignment. This includes, but is not limited to, the use of AI-generated text, speech, or images, as well as the use of AI tools or software to complete any portion of a project or assignment. Any violations of this policy will result in a failing grade for the assignment and/or course. One of the goals for this class is to encourage critical thinking and creativity, and the use of AI detracts from this goal. Students are expected to use their own knowledge, research, and analysis to complete all assignments.

Policies and Requirements 

This class is an in-person course. As such, we will meet every Tuesday and Thursday on campus. Exceptions may occur and class may take place online if circumstances change or things arise.

You are expected to complete all readings, podcast episodes, and/or videos prior to the class session in which they are assigned. These items will vary in length, so be sure to give yourself sufficient time to complete them prior to completing any assignments. Do not save it until the last moment! Additionally, you are expected to actively participate in class sessions as well as meet any deadlines.  

Ungrading allows me to prioritize student knowledge over student grades. By giving you an opportunity to reflect on the work you have done rather than the grade you might receive, my hope is that you will grow more confident in your ability to achieve the learning goals for this course.

Keeping that in mind, assignments will be assessed as follows:

  • Low-stakes assignments (Attendance/Participation) will be graded for completion. If you attend each class and participate at least once during that session, you will receive full credit. Make-up attendance assignments will be permitted after a one-on-one discussion with the professor (see attendance/participation guidelines below).
  • Mid-stakes assignments (Blog Posts, Event Reflection) will receive feedback based on content, organization, and completion. This feedback is intended to help you improve your work on future assignments. Depending on the assignment type, students will either self-assess and grade their work or they will receive a grade from the professor.
  • High-stakes assignments (Research Project) will be graded on content, structure, and organization. There will be multiple components to this project that will be assessed throughout the process of completing it which will allow students to earn a satisfactory grade. I will provide detailed feedback along the way and after the final submission. Students will reflect on their work in a project self-assessment, and I can take this into consideration but will have the final call on the grade.

Late Policy

  • Work that is fully completed and submitted on time will receive full credit.
  • Attendance/Participation “make-up” assignments must be completed within one week of the student meeting with the professor in order to receive credit.
  • Blog Posts are due at 11:59pm on their assigned date but there will be a grace period until 9:00am the following day before they will be considered late. Late submissions must be accounted for with an explanation and potential point deduction by students when completing self-assessments.
  • Event Reflections are due at 11:59pm on their assigned date but there will be a grace period until 9:00am the following day before they will be considered late. Late submissions will receive a 10% deduction for each day they are late.
  • The Research Project will be due at 11:59pm on 4/18 but will not be marked late if it is received by 9:00am on 5/1. Any projects submitted after 5/1 will receive a 10% deduction for each day they are late. Projects not received by 9:00am on 5/5 will not be accepted.
  • If work is not submitted on time due to emergencies or extenuating health/family circumstances beyond the students’ control, students are required to have a one-on-one conversation with the professor to decide on the best plan of action.

Course Participation/Class Discussion

Our expectations for engaging in class sessions includes always arriving to class on time. Because this is a small class, prompt arrival will ensure that we are able to have deeper discussions with multiple perspectives and opinions shared. Participation in class discussions is important and will help make the class interesting and engaging for everyone.

We expect the following from ourselves and each other during class discussions:

  • We will all verbally participate in the class conversations (whether in small groups or as a whole class) at least once per class session.
  • We will listen attentively and respectfully to the opinions and perspectives of others and take turns contributing to the conversations, always being mindful of if we are dominating or minimally participating in the conversation.
  • We understand that this is a safe space where we can ask questions freely, provide new perspectives to one another, and be welcoming of new and diverse points of view.
  • We will encourage different opinions and bring new ideas to the conversations. We will also encourage questions that will broaden our understanding of the topics being discussed.

Dr. Salois will do her best to create questions that allow for thoughtful responses. She will guide the conversation but not dominate it. She will be sure to give students time to think through their thoughts before asking them to share them, understanding that some students may be shy. She will be supportive and patient and will not be preachy or invalidate the experiences of the students. While some digressions may be fruitful to the conversation, she will do her best to bring things back to the central topic if they diverge from it too far. She will do her best to engage all students and will provide feedback when necessary. She will help foster a safe space for open discussions and free thought, both in the classroom and during drop-in hours.

Grade Breakdown

The final grade for this course will be determined as follows. Descriptions and details of each component follow. Please contact me with any questions or concerns you may have about any part of this grade breakdown.   

  • Attendance/Participation – 15%
  • Blog Posts/Replies – 30%
  • Research Project – 35%
  • Event Reflection – 20%


This class is an in-person course. You will be expected to attend in-person class meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays during the scheduled time. You will be expected to arrive on time, be present for the duration of the class, and actively participate in each class session. You may miss up to 3 classes without a penalty toward your grade. Arriving more than 10 minutes late to class will be considered ½ an absence. If you know you will be unable to attend at least 25 classes, please meet with me one-on-one so I can provide you with a make-up assignment.

Blog Posts/Replies

These will be either written (500-600 words), audio (3-5 minutes) or visual (6-8 images with brief captions) sharing your thoughts on a specific text. I will provide at least two prompts for each of the required posts. There will posts on the 6 subjects listed below and you are expected to complete 3 of them and reply to a peer on the other 3. Each original post will be worth 25 points (for 75 points total), and the three replies, combined, will be worth the remaining 25 points. Blog posts will be self-assessed at two points during the semester: once on March 14th and again on May 14th. Replies will be graded for completion.

  • Latina Voices (due Sunday 2/11)
  • Latinas, Family, and Education (due Sunday 2/25)
  • On Spit and Passion (due Sunday 3/10)
  • On Hijas Americanas (due Sunday 3/31)
  • Latinas: Race, and Ethnicity (due Sunday 4/14)
  • On La Gringa (due Sunday 5/12)

Event Reflection

If you are able to attend a performance of La Gringa at Repertorio Español, you may choose to either write a 1-2 page double spaced essay, record a 3-5 minute podcast, or create 6-8 images or a collage with brief captions reflecting on the experience. You should include what you learned from the performance, any questions you thought of while watching the play, how it compared with reading the text, and what your overall takeaways were from the performance. Be sure to include an introduction, organize your ideas in a thoughtful manner, and tie everything together in the end (conclusion).

If you are unable to attend a showing of La Gringa, you may instead choose to attend one of the approved events found on the BLS Events page on our class blog. For this assignment you will connect the content we have covered in class this semester to the event that you attend. While many of these are not exclusively connected to Latinas, there are likely to be thematic issues that are brought up that you can tie back to what we have discussed in class. To demonstrate these connections, you may choose to write a 1-2 page (double spaced) essay that shows your understanding of the ways in which the event connects to the course themes, record a 3-5 minute podcast demonstrating the similarities, differences and/or connections between the two, or create 6-8 images or a collage comparing and contrasting the course content with the specific event. Whether you choose to write, speak, or visually interpret, you will want to be sure to explain what you have learned from considering this event in conversation with our course.

Research Project

For your research project, you will choose a specific topic on which to conduct further, detailed research. The purpose of this project is to give you the opportunity to analyze, in greater depth, a topic connected to US Latinas that interests YOU. You may choose to focus on one or more of the texts we read in class, to expand on a class discussion topic, or to investigate a new subject.

You may choose to present your research in whatever way you think is most appropriate to your topic and your own personal strengths. This could be in the form of a paper, a video, a podcast, a website, an art project, a live presentation, a performance, or anything else you can come up with. The project must demonstrate your research and analysis of the subject you have chosen but can otherwise be open-ended.

Guidelines and details for this project will be distributed and discussed later in the semester.  

Final Exam Day 

On the day of the final exam, you will complete a detailed self-assessment for your overall work for the semester. This assessment will be taken into consideration for the calculation of your final grade.