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Guillermo C. Rojas papers

Identifier: ua00344

Collection Overview

This small collection contains papers of Guillermo Rojas, Chair of Chicano Studies from 1983-2003. It includes personal materials (research notes, correspondence, etc.) as well as documents related to the Chicano Studies department. Of note are chronologies of the development of the department and documents of ongoing efforts to sustain it.

Scope and Contents

This collection is divided into two series: materials related to the Chicano Studies department, and personal materials of Guillermo Rojas. Materials by and about Chicano Studies from the 1970s through early 2000s include photocopies of news articles; internal publications; communications between faculty, students, and administrators; planning documents; and reports about and by Chicano Studies. Much of the department-related materials have to do with continued efforts to stabilize and grow Chicano Studies. Personal materials of Guillermo Rojas include research and lecture notes, personal correspondence, and course syllabi.


  • 1959-2004


Access to Materials

Physical items in this collection do not circulate and are available for use by appointment in the Elmer L. Andersen Library Reading Room.

Some materials from this collection related to the Chicano Studies department were digitized in 2023. Select the file icon on the item records to access the digital content in the UMedia Archive.


Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Requests to publish should be arranged with the University of Minnesota Archives.

Biographical / Historical

Guillermo Rojas was born January 18, 1938 in Victoria, Texas. He received his B.A. and M.A. from North Texas State University, Denton, Texas, and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign. He held positions as Teaching Fellow, Instructor, Teaching Assistant, Assistant Professor, and Associate Professor at North Texas State University (Denton, TX); Southern University (Baton Rouge, LA); University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign; and the University of California, Davis.

He was appointed by the Board of Regents as Associate Professor and Chair of the Chicano Studies department in September of 1983.(1) Areas of specialization included Latin American literature, Brazilian and Portuguese literature, and Chicano literature. Courses Rojas taught included, "Topics in Chicano Studies: The Migrant Experience in Minnesota," "Introduction to Chicano Literature," and, "America in International Perspective: Mexico and the Border Lands."(2)

The Chicano Studies department was officially established by the Board of Regents in 1972 (3), due to student and community demands that were part of a wave of national and local Chicano activism and calls for ethnic studies departments. A Midwest Chicano Conference in December 1970, sponsored by the student organization Latin Liberation Front, and a June 1971 Chicano Studies Institute explored establishing a department, and two years later, that came to fruition as the first Chicano Studies department in the Midwest. Guillermo Rojas, one of only two faculty members in the department when he was hired in 1983, served as the 4th chair of the deparatment. In addition to serving on various committees, he would also serve as Program Director of the Martin Luther King program in the late 1990s-early 2000s. Rojas retired from the UMN around 2003, and passed away May 19, 2011.(4)


(1) Board of Regents minutes September 15-16, 1983
(2) Course Catalogs, Bulletins, and Course Guides
(3) Board of Regents minutes February 11, 1972
(4) Obituary: Guillermo C. Rojas, 1938-2011

Additional Sources

Chicano Studies 50th anniversary
"Developing a Chicano Studies Archive Within the University of Minnesota Archives," Continuum, 2015.


0.5 cf Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Spanish; Castilian

Source of Acquisition

Papers were acquired in 2012 from Louis Mendoza, Chicano Studies department, who received the papers from the Rojas family.

Related Materials

Guillermo C. Rojas papers
Ellen Holt-Werle
February 2023
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University Archives Collecting Area