Cooper House
PO Box: AC# 2251
Please call the college operator at 413-542-2000 or e-mail if you require contact

Solsiree Del Moral

Associate Professor of American Studies and Black Studies

Departmental affiliations: American Studies; Black Studies

Submitted by Solsiree Del Moral on Saturday, 7/11/2015, at 10:45 AM


Ph.D. in History (Latin America and the Caribbean), University of Wisconsin, 2006

M.A. in History (Latin America and the Caribbean), Columbia University, 1997

B.A. in International Relations, Latin American Studies, and Spanish, University of Wisconsin, 1995


I teach courses on the modern history of the Spanish Caribbean, U.S. Empire, and Afro-Latinos.

American Studies 310: Spanish Caribbean Diasporas
American Studies 315: The War of 1898 – U.S. Empire in the Caribbean and Pacific
American Studies 317: History of Puerto Rico – Colony, Nation, Diaspora
American Studies 317: Puerto Rican Migrations
Black Studies 111: Introduction to Black Studies


      New Courses Spring 2016:

      American Studies/Black Studies: Race and Nation – History of Hispaniola
      American Studies/Black Studies: Afro-Latinos/Afro-Latin America     


      New Course 2016/2017:      

      Black Studies: Race and Revolution in Cuban History


Research and Publications:

I am a historian of Puerto Rico, the modern Caribbean, and U.S. Empire. My book, Negotiating Empire: The Cultural Politics of Schools in Puerto Rico, 1898-1952 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2013), is a history of U.S. Empire, Puerto Rican educators, and colonial schools in the first half of the twentieth century. I examine the history of the United States as empire and its colonial practices on the island. Within that colonial framework, I privilege the history of Puerto Rican teachers. I propose that the history of education in early-twentieth-century Puerto Rico can be a history of local teachers and their visions for children, community, and country, rather than a history shaped by the views of U.S. colonial administrators. Negotiating Empire explores teachers as an intermediate group in a colonial society. They were dynamic, heterogeneous, and contradictory. In the end, the book argues that the history of empire and education in Puerto Rico requires an analysis of multiple relationships – the United States as a modern empire; teachers as modern yet colonial actors; and the dynamics between teachers, students, and parents.

Reviews of Negotiating Empire are now available from: the American Educational History Journal (2014); the American Historical Review (February 2014); The Américas: A Quarterly Review of Latin American History (April 2014); CENTRO Journal (Spring 2014); the Hispanic American Historical Review (November 2014); History of Education (2015); and the Journal of American History (March 2014). On the topic of education and empire, I have also published research articles in Caribbean Studies and the New West Indian Guide and contributed a chapter to McCoy and Scarano, eds., Colonial Crucible.

I am developing two new research projects. The first is a study of the English-language children’s literature assigned to Puerto Rico’s colonial classrooms in the early twentieth century. The second is a study of the politics of childhood and the populist state in 1940s and 1950s Puerto Rico.


Fellowships (most recent):

2014, Senior Sabbatical Fellowship, Amherst College.

2012, AAHHE/Ford Faculty Fellow, American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education.

2012, Individual Faculty Grant, Institute for the Arts & Humanities, Pennsylvania State University.

2012, Research Award, Africana Research Center, Pennsylvania State University.

2006, Postdoctoral Fellowship, Africana Research Center, Pennsylvania State University.

2005, Graduate Scholar-in-Residence, University of Wisconsin System Institute on Race & Ethnicity.