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Wednesday, October 27, 2021 — Houston, TX °

Isabella Bowers


OPINION 10/13/21 12:30am

​​Reconsider using the terms Hispanic, Latino and Latinx

Before Hispanic Heritage Month officially ends, I would like to take a moment to write about the labels those of us of Latin American heritage use to describe ourselves. At Rice, club names, course titles and survey questions often defer to pan-ethnic labels even though most people tend to use their national origin group as a primary identifier. These pan-ethnic labels are problematic. Although they in some ways unify Latin American communities, they often leave out others, like Afro-Latinos and indigenous Latinos. My goal here is not to dissuade people from using pan-ethnic labels; as history has shown, they can be useful, to some degree. However, my intention is for all of us, Latinos and non-Latinos alike, to use them wisely — with the understanding that the Latino community cannot be condensed into one culturally, ethnically or even linguistically homogeneous group. With that in mind, I hope that we as a Rice community continue to discuss and re-evaluate our language even after Hispanic Heritage Month ends. 


OPINION 10/6/20 9:38pm

Now is a crucial time for Latin American Studies: Let’s protect it, not neglect it

This July, I received an unexpected email stating that the Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American studies department no longer exists. It was dissolved, as a result of a merger between six different majors and programs. As a student majoring in Latin American studies, I was surprised to learn that I belonged to a new entity named the department of modern and classical literatures and cultures, which includes the former SPLAS department and the department of classical and European Studies. The African and African American studies department and Asian studies department, however, remained separate and apart from the merger. Among the reasons cited for the merger was a desire on the faculty’s part to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration as well as to boost the weight and visibility of the humanities departments at Rice.