Aldo A. Lauria Santiago is a historian of Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean and Latinos in the United States. He specializes in peasant and working class history, revolutions, and ethnicity and race.
His first book, An Agrarian Republic (Pittsburgh UP 1999) traces the social, economic and political history of El Salvador during the nineteenth century from the perspective of its regions, municipalities and peasant communities. With Jeffrey Gould (Indiana University) he continued his work on El Salvador into the twentieth Century with To Rise in Darkness (Duke UP). This book is a history of the 1932 peasant/communist revolt of El Salvador and the traumatic memory of state-sponsored mass murder that followed it and has haunted the country since. He also co-edited two books on Caribbean and Central American studies (Identity and Struggle & Landscapes of Struggle). His work on Mexico focuses on the regional history of the coffee-producing peasantry in Western Mexico in the late nineteenth century.
During the last ten years his work has also turned towards the United States. His research on the history of the Puerto Rican and other Latinos in the United States led to a co-authored book with Lorrin Thomas (Rutgers University, Camden) that examines the history of Puerto Rican struggles for empowerment in the United States since the 1950s (Rethinking The Struggle for Puerto Rican Rights). Also part of this work, Puerto Rican New Yorkers: A History of Class and Struggle, 1900‐1955 is under contract with the University of North Carolina Press and presents a history of Puerto Rican and Latino New York through worker, leftist, union and anti-poverty struggles for improvement, security, solidarity and mobility. It suggests a major revision of how Latino and Puerto Rican history in New York City has been framed. A second volume will follow Puerto Rican working class communities from the late 1940s to New York City's 1970s crisis. A book manuscript on policing and Puerto Rican riots in the cities of the Northeastern US completes this part of his work.
Lauria Santiago also researches the Puerto Rican migration process and Puerto Rico's development, especially the relationship between industrialization and migration, government migration policies and how the study of migration revises the history of US empire. Closer to Rutgers he is coediting an interdisciplinary volume on Latinos in New Jersey under contract with Rutgers University Press and will be producing a multimedia website that extends the published volume, with funding from the New Jersey Historical Commission.
His digital humanities, public media, and multimedia, and research guides include:
- Puerto Rican New Yorkers: Workers, Unions and Politics in the Struggle for a Better Life, 1910s‐1960s. 30 blog chapters with documents and images documenting the history of Puerto Rican workers in New York City, A collaboration with the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, CUNY. https://centropr.hunter.cuny.edu/digital‐humanities/puerto‐rican‐labor
- Latino New Jersey—a Public Humanities Exhibit companion to the forthcoming Rutgers University Press book. Funded by the New Jersey Historical Commission and the Latino Studies Research Initiative.
- Creator and Editor, Puerto Rican Studies Information Network. A Facebook group with 2200 scholars and students. Event and resource sharing. 2017‐
- The Puerto Rico Archival Project. A collaboration with three archives in Puerto Rico.
- The Advanced Research in Latin American Studies guide.
- Hispanic Texts at the American Antiquarian Society.
- Research guide to the History of Puerto Rico. https://clas.rutgers.edu/projects-programs/projects-collaborations/project-collaboration-details/669-research-resources-in-puerto-rico-studies
He has served professionally in different capacities including serving on the leadership or editorial boards of the Puerto Rican Studies Association, The Conference on Latin American History, The Americas, International Labor and Working Class History of the Americas, New England Council of Latin American Studies, Labor Studies of WOrkng Class History, The U.S. Latina & Latino Oral History Journal, The Cambridge University Press History of the Caribbean, Center for Puerto Rican Studies Journal, . He served as chair of the Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies for seven years and more recently is serving as Director of the Center for Latin American Studies at Rutgers. He currently the Center for Latin American Studies, co-coordinates the Latino Studies Research Initiative with Lilia Fernandez. He also coordinates the Rutgers Working Group on the History of Latinos and Puerto Ricans in the US and the Puerto Rico Historians Workshop.
Articles and chapters:
- “Puerto Rican Workers and the Struggle for Decent Lives in New York City, 1910s-1970s,” in Joshua Freeman, editor. Labor’s City: A History of Workers and Organized Labor in New York City. Museum of the City of New York. Columbia University Press, 2019.
- “Discurso liberal, práctica campesina: la privatización de tierras en la región del volcán de San Vicente,” in López Bernal, Carlos Gregorio, (Ed.) Poder, actores sociales y conflictividad, El Salvador: 1786-1972. Colección Cultura y Sociedad. San Salvador: Dirección Nacional de Investigaciones en Cultura y Artes, SECULTURA, 2011.
- “Holding the City Hostage: Popular Sectors and Elites in San Miguel, El Salvador, 1875,” The Americas, 68:1 (July 2011): 63-95.
- “Land, Production and Trade: Nineteenth-Century Economic and Social Patterns” in A Companion to Latin American History, Thomas Holloway ed., Blackwell Companions to World History. Blackwell Publishing, 2008: 264-284.
- With Jeffrey Gould, “’Mataron justos por pecadores:’ Las masacres contrarrevolucionarias” Trasmallo: Identidad, memoria, cultura. 3, 2008.
- With Jordana Dym, “Bibliografía de relatos de viaje y descripciones sobre Centroamérica,” Istmo: Revista virtual de estudios literarios y culturales centroamericanos, No. 14, enero – junio 2007.
- “The Culture and Politics of State Terror and Repression in El Salvador” in When the State Kills, Cecilia Menjivar and Nestor Rodriguez, eds. University of Texas Press, 2005: 85-114.
- “’They Call us Thieves and Steal Our Wage’: Toward a Reinterpretation of the Salvadoran Rural Mobilization, 1929-1931.” coauthored with Jeffrey Gould, Hispanic American Historical Review, May 2004.
- “Café Comunidad y Capitalismo Agrario en la Transformación del Campesino Ladino Salvadoreño.” Revista Repositorio-Archivo General de la Nación, I:1 (March 2003): 46-61
- “Los campesinos, el añil y la tierra en El Salvador.” Cultura: Revista del consejo nacional para la cultura y el arte. No. 86 (January-February 2002): 38-57.
- “’They work that they may live’-An Account of Life in El Salvador in the 1880s.”Mesoamerica, (23:43 June 2002): 104-133.
- “Land, Community, and Revolt in Indian Izalco, 1860-1900.” Hispanic American Historical Review. 79:3 August 1999.
- "La historia regional del café en El Salvador, 1850-1920.” Revista de Historia. No. 38. (July-December 1998): 9-62. [actually published in 2000].
COURSES REGULARLY TAUGHT
- History of Latinos in the US
- History of Central American Revolutions
- History of Puerto Rico
- History of Mexico
- Caribbean History since 1898
- US Latino Labor History
- Latino New York
- Modern Latin America Colloquium
- War and Revolution in The Caribbean
- Latin American Workers, South and North
- State, Nation and Revolution in Central America
- Rethinking the Struggle for Puerto Rican Rights (Co-editor, Lorrin R. Thomas). Routledge, 2013.
- To Rise in Darkness: Revolution, Repression, and Memory in El Salvador (Jeffrey Gould, Co-Author). Duke University Press, 2008.
- Landscapes of Struggle: Politics, Society, and Community in El Salvador (Co-editor Leigh Binford) University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005.
- An Agrarian Republic: Commercial Agriculture and the Politics of Peasant Communities in El Salvador, 1823-1914. University of Pittsburgh Press, 1999.
- Identity and Struggle at the Margins of the Nation-State: The Laboring Peoples of Central America and the Hispanic Caribbean (co-editor Aviva Chomsky). Duke University Press, 1998.
BOOKS IN PROGRESS
- A history of Puerto Rican workers and work in New York City, 1918-1970
- Nineteenth-Century Peasants, Coffee and Mestizaje in Eastern Mexico