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Solsiree del Moral, Ph.D.

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Solsiree del Moral, Ph.D.

History

University of Wisconsin, 2006

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Solsiree del Moral is a historian of modern Latin America and the Caribbean, with a focus on Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, and U.S. Empire.

Her 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. She examines the history of the United States as empire and its colonial practices on the island. Within that colonial framework, she privileges the history of Puerto Rican teachers. She proposes 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). 

On the topic of education, nation, and empire, Dr. del Moral has 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. She is 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.

Dr. del Moral is an Associate Professor of American Studies and Black Studies; Chair of American Studies at Amherst College (https://www.amherst.edu/people/facstaff/sdelmoral).