Next Seminar Meeting: Frank Guridy

Our next Seminar meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 22, 2:00pm– 4:00pm in Room C201 at the CUNY Graduate Center. We will be discussing:

“Neither Race Men nor Tragic Mulatas: Afro-Puerto Ricans and the Imperial Transition, 1898-1917” by Frank A. Guridy, Associate Professor. Departments of History and African and African Diaspora Studies, University of Texas at Austin.

Please read the pre-circulated paper (available here until the end of December and for the full year to registered seminar participants at The Center for the Humanities’ website.)

Our discussant for this paper will be Professor Melina Pappademos, Department of History, University of Connecticut.  Please see below for an abstract and bio.


Afro-Puerto Rican experiences of racialization, gender, and sexual formation have tended to elude many of the conceptual frameworks typically employed in African Diaspora Studies. This paper explores how Puerto Ricans defined as black and mulatto negotiated the transition from Spanish to U.S. colonial rule by examining the experiences of those who attended Tuskegee Institute, the school founded by Booker T. Washington in Tuskegee, Alabama. From 1901 to 1917 the U.S.-controlled Puerto Rican legislature annually sponsored twenty pupils from the island to attend Tuskegee. While these Afro-Puerto Ricans were clearly objects of an imperial project of “Americanization,” a closer examination of the historical evidence reveals that while they did not challenge imperial power, they mastered the racial and gender scripts of empire to negotiate spaces for themselves in the new imperial order on the island. This process of negotiation is not exceptional, but is, I argue, a fundamental individual and collective strategy that many Afro-diasporic subjects employed to counter the effects of imperial racialized power.

Frank Guridy has published essays in the Radical History Review, Caribbean Studies, Social Text, and Cuban Studies. His recent publications include, Forging Diaspora: Afro-Cubans and African-Americans in a World of Empire and Jim Crow(University of North Carolina Press, 2010), and Beyond el Barrio: Everyday Life in Latina/o America, edited with Gina M. Pérez and Adrian Burgos, Jr. (NYU Press, 2010). He has published essays in the Radical History Review, Caribbean Studies, Social Text, and Cuban Studies. His fellowships and awards include the Scholar in Residence Fellowship at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in 2002 and the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award from the University of Texas at Austin in 2010.