Episode 158: Race, Latinx, & Hispanic Serving Institutions

For today’s episode, we explore race and ethnicity in politics and higher education by interviewing Dr. Nicholas Vargas, an Associate Professor in the Center for Latin American Studies and Department of Sociology, Criminology & Law at the University of Florida. We begin the interview by learning more about Dr. Vargas’s motivation for studying race and identity in the United States (10:10) and discussing how he navigates difficult conversations about race in the classroom (13:35). Next, we have a conversation about his research on racial identity contestation, including the importance of studying the concept, trends within Latinx and Asian communities, and the broader implications of racial identity contestation (15:40). Dr. Vargas also shares his perspective on racialization in the Latinx community (23:00) and his take on the potential “whitening” of the Latinx community (25:50). Next, we have a conversation about his motivation for studying Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) (29:00), the history of and misconceptions about HSIs (32:10), and how institutional proximity to whiteness shapes the distribution of resources across HSIs (37:25). We close the interview by acknowledging the importance of language when discussing race and ethnicity (42:45) and highlighting the importance of unity between the Black and Latinx communities (46:05).

Other Topics Include

00:52 - Introduction of Today’s Topic

06:45 - Learn More about Dr. Nicholas Vargas

48:25 - Ty and Daphne Reflect on the Interview


  • University Website: http://www.latam.ufl.edu/people/center-based-faculty/nicholas-vargas/

  • Twitter: @_NicholasVargas

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