Continuing the Narrative


Freshman Isabella Avila and Maria Contreras study before their classes begin. Photo by Miranda Martinez

Miranda Martinez, Reporter

Every year, Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, with the goal of celebrating the Hispanic population and its contributions to American society. While this period of celebration spans only a month, students who are inclined to learn year-round about the Hispanic contributions to the United States are able to do this with two history courses offered at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi: Mexican American History and Mexican American Women’s History. 

The Mexican American History course focuses on a wide timeline, beginning with Mesoamerica, moving all the way to the Chicano Movement in the 1970s. The Mexican American Women’s History course, taught by Professor Amanda Marquez, explores how women have impacted the United States since the Mexican Cession. The topics in these classes range from political movements to cultural trends Hispanic women have established within the nation.

“I focus on the average everyday Mexican American woman who contributed to the larger movements. There are visible women in these particular moments who are leaders taking on these challenges, asking the hard questions, and leading these labor strikes,” Professor Marquez said. “But ultimately it’s the women living these experiences that are compelling this progress forward.”

These two courses are especially important within the Coastal Bend and TAMU-CC, since they have both been impacted by the contributions of Hispanics with their activism and social justice movements. From groups like the National Farm Workers Association, to the American GI Forum that paved the way for increased representation. 

“There is a legacy that exists in this region of activism and social justice,” Professor Marquez said. “By making the choice to be here at TAMU-CC, they’re [students] part of the community. It gives them the opportunity to learn more about the place and space they are going to spend four to five years of their lives.”

These courses also allow for students to be exposed to the historical narrative of Hispanic contributions to the United States that have been previously neglected by the American education system. 

“The women we are focusing on and the struggles that they faced and persisted through, has led us to this particular point in the 21st century,” Professor Marquez said. “I’m trying to show over time those struggles that started in the early 20th century up to this point that has led us to this progress in our own lives.”

Students interested in learning more are eligible to obtain a minor in Mexican American studies through the University. For students to achieve this they must complete an additional 21 credits, including classes like Introduction to Mexican American Studies, Pre-Columbian Art of Mesoamerica, and Mexican American and Latinx Politics.