PO Box: AC# 2251
Solsiree Del Moral
Associate Professor of American Studies and Black StudiesAmherst College
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison (2006)
M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison (1999)
M.A., Columbia University (1997)
B.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison (1995)
My courses examine the dynamic history of Latinos in the United States, with a special focus on the experiences of Caribbean Latinos and Afro-Latinos. I offer courses that focus on local history and others that highlight comparative and transnational approaches. First, I offer a Puerto Rican history class that examines the nineteenth- and twentieth-century history of the island and its people. We center the Puerto Rican experience in the history of the Caribbean and the United States. In a second course, we develop a comparison of the histories of Cubans, Dominicans and Puerto Ricans on the islands and in the United States. This course examines the origins of the Spanish-Speaking Caribbean diaspora in the United States and its long engagement with imperialism, nationalism, and migration. A recurring framework in the Puerto Rican history and Spanish Caribbean courses is the United States as a modern empire. Therefore, in a third course, we examine the ideologies and practices that gave birth to the US Empire at the turn of the century (1890-1930). However, we approach a critical reading of empire through the perspective of colonial peoples in the Caribbean and the Pacific. I also offer Black Studies 111, a course that surveys the foundational literature that shapes the field of Black Studies. The history of Afro-Latinos (future course) will examine the particular ways the experiences of Caribbean Latinos contribute to and challenge our broader undertanding of the African Diaspora.
I am a historian of Puerto Rico, the modern Caribbean, and US Empire. My first book, Negotiating Empire: The Cultural Politics of Schools in Puerto Rico, 1898-1952 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2013), is a history of US 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 US colonial administrators. In the analysis of Puerto Rican teachers, I propose they were a dynamic, heterogeneous, and contradictory intermediate group in a colonial society. 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.
In my second research project, titled “Migration, Diaspora, and Nation,” I argue that the practice of migration is a constitutive part of the Puerto Rican experience, a defining characteristic of a Caribbean people. Nineteenth-century Puerto Rican history was shaped by the Caribbean, African, and European migration of enslaved labor, maroons, freed workers, international capital, and export commodities; the twentieth, by the movement of labor throughout the Caribbean and the US empire. However, in the mid-twentieth century, when a new generation of Puerto Rican colonial reformers constructed state-sponsored national myths and narratives, the prominent history of migration was silenced. I examine why, at that historical moment, the construction of national narratives ignored the prevalent history of migration. “Migration, Diaspora, and Nation” is an analysis of the relationship between historical narratives, national myths, and Puerto Rican migration.
Del Moral, Solsiree. “Rescuing the Jíbaro: Renewing the Puerto Rican Patria through School Reform.” Caribbean Studies (forthcoming Spring 2014).
Del Moral, Solsiree. Negotiating Empire: The Cultural Politics of Schools in Puerto Rico, 1898-1952. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2013.
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.
Del Moral, Solsiree. “Negotiating Colonialism: ‘Race,’ Class, and Education in Early, Twentieth-Century Puerto Rico.” In Colonial Crucible: Transitions & Transformations in the U.S. Imperial State, Alfred McCoy and Francisco Scarano, eds., Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2009, 135-144.
Manuscripts Submitted for Publication:
Del Moral, Solsiree. “Language and Empire: Elizabeth Kneipple’s Tales of Puerto Rico,” 50 pp. [Submitted March 2014].
Selected Awards and Honors:
AAHHE/Ford Faculty Fellow, American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, 2012 – 2013.
Individual Faculty Grant, Institute for the Arts & Humanities, Pennsylvania State University, 2012 – 2013.
Research Award, Africana Research Center, Pennsylvania State University, 2012 – 2013.
Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Africana Research Center, Pennsylvania State University, 2006 – 2007.
Graduate Scholar-in-Residence, University of Wisconsin System Institute on Race & Ethnicity, 2005 – 2006.
“Writing Across the Curriculum” Fellow, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2003.
French-Felton Award for Inspirational Teaching, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2001.
Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (FLAS), University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1999 – 2000.
Advanced Opportunity Fellowship, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1996 – 1999.
Dorothy Danforth Compton Graduate Fellowship, Columbia University, 1995 – 1996.