Submitted by Solsiree del Moral on Tuesday, 9/25/2018, at 2:27 PM


Ph.D., History, University of Wisconsin
M.A., History, Columbia University
B.A., International Relations, Latin American Studies, and Spanish, University of Wisconsin


I am a historian of modern Latin America and the Caribbean, with a focus on Puerto Rico, the 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, local teachers, 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); the Journal of American History (March 2014); and the New West Indian Guide (2015). Reviews available below.

On the topic of education, nation, and empire, I have also published articles in Caribbean Studies, CENTRO: Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, the New West Indian Guide, and the Radical History Review. 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, supported by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), is a history of the children and youth incarcerated in state institutions in 1940s and 1950s Puerto Rico.



Del Moral, Solsiree. Negotiating Empire: The Cultural Politics of Schools in Puerto Rico, 1898-1952. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2013.

Refereed Articles and Book Chapters (Selection)

Del Moral, Solsiree. “Modern Family: Representations of Childhood, the U.S. Military, and Colonialism.” In Literary Cultures and Twentieth Century Childhoods, edited by Rachel Conrad and L. Brown Kennedy. Palgrave. Forthcoming.

Del Moral, Solsiree. “Language and Empire: Elizabeth Kneipple’s Colonial History of Puerto Rico.” CENTRO: Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies. Forthcoming. 

Del Moral, Solsiree. “Colonial Lessons: The Politics of Education in Puerto Rico, 1898-1930.” The American Historian (May 2018). Forthcoming.

Del Moral, Solsiree. “Modern Puerto Rico: A First Reading List.” Radical History Review 128 (May 2017): 13-25.

Del Moral, Solsiree. “Rescuing the Jíbaro: Renewing the Puerto Rican Patria through School Reform.” Caribbean Studies 41 (July-December 2013): 91-135.

Del Moral, Solsiree. “Colonial Citizens of a Modern Empire: War, Illiteracy, and Physical Education in Puerto Rico, 1917-1930.” New West Indian Guide 87 (2013): 30-61.


“Sources and Methods for the Study of Caribbean Childhoods.” Invited. Article mss. 9,000 words. Journal of Caribbean History. May 2018.

“Street Children, Crime, and Punishment in Puerto Rico, 1940-1965.” Book manuscript. In preparation.


I offer courses on the modern history of the Spanish Caribbean, U.S. Empire, and Afro-Latinos, with a focus on race, migration, diasporas, and nation.

Afro-Latinos/Afro-Latin America (American Studies 316/Black Studies 331)

History of the Hispanic Caribbean (American Studies 310)

History of Puerto Rico: Empire, Nation, & Diaspora (American Studies 317)

Introduction to Black Studies (Black Studies 111)

Introduction to U.S. Latino Studies (American Studies 165)

Race and Nation: History of Hispaniola (American Studies 311/Black Studies 361)

Race and Revolution in Cuban History (American Studies/Black Studies 371)

Race and U.S. Empire: 1898 in the Caribbean and Pacific (American Studies 315)