Course Description

Course Description

Latino Root Course Sequence

The academic year 2010-2011 was the first time the course Latino Roots I and II was offered at the University of Oregon. A sequence course developed by professors Lynn Stephen (Anthropology and Ethnic Studies) and Gabriela Martínez (School of Journalism and Communication). The sequence course was initially funded thank to a grant from the UO Tom and Carol Williams Fund for Undergraduate Education and a grant from the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity. The success of the sequence course, and its experiential learning and transformative appeal for students made possible establishing the course permanently to be taught every other year.  The course is offered during winter (Latino Roots I) and spring (Latino Roots II) and it continues to be taught by professors Gabriela Martínez and Lynn Stephen. The course focuses during winter term on giving a historical, ethnographic, and documentary understanding of the processes of Latino immigration and settlement in Oregon in the past 200 years. In spring term, the class taught students how to produce a video documentary based on audiovisual oral history interviews and archival materials, using documentary film and journalistic techniques. Each student produces a documentary video telling the story of a Latino Oregonian, and in doing so the students are documenting the Latino experience in Oregon.

The documentaries can be viewed in our LR Video Gallery.

Byron Sun with his video project.


The Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies (CLLAS) has made a significant contribution to building a foundation for the study of Oregon’s Latino and Latin American History through working with UO Special Collections and University Archive to archive the papers of Pineros y Campesinos del Nordoeste (PCUN, Oregon’s farmworkers union). This collaboration makes available to researchers, educators, students, and the public in Oregon and beyond, a rich array of documents, photos, posters, and audio and video recordings that capture the evolution of Oregon’s largest Latino organization.  

On June 6, 2011, the University of Oregon and PCUN celebrated their partnership cemented through the archiving project and UO students deposited their documentary videos which are available through this website and hosted by Special Collections at the Knight Library as well. Initial support for the Latino Roots projects came from the Williams Council, the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Journalism and Communication, and the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity. These documentary projects and other research are doing much to build the historical record in Oregon and to provide resources for future generations. Students are transformed by the experience of documenting the stories of Latino and Latin American immigrants and the sequence course has provided a model for how to enrich the state’s historical record to include other groups as well.

Professors Lynn Stephen and Gabriela Martínez continue teaching the Latino Roots courses every other year and remain committed in their partnership with the community.