There has been a long and sometimes conflict-laden relationship between the United States and its Spanish-speaking neighbors to the south. This relationship has become even more important as the world has become more global and multi-cultural in nature. According to the last U.S. census, the Latino/a population in the United States is the largest minority group in the country. This is by no means a minor social event in the history of the American continent. This course is an interdisciplinary introduction to the study of Americans of Latino descent in the United States across time and space. The course concentrates on two main issues: 1) the past and current social situation and cultural expressions of these groups within U.S. society; and 2) the construction of the terms “Hispanic” and “Latino/a” as labels used to represent a diverse ethnic/cultural constituency. The course uses an array of interdisciplinary readings and other materials from the fields of history, political science, anthropology, sociology, literature and cultural studies.