Luis. A Figueroa-Martínez

Trinity College - Hartford, CT


I’m an Associate Professor of History at Trinity College, in Hartford, Connecticut, where I’ve worked since 1996. Previously, I was an Assistant Professor of History, Associate Director of the Center for Latin American Studies, and co-founder of the Institute for Puerto Rican and Latino Studies at the University of Connecticut in Storrs. I have an undergraduate degree from the Universidad de Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras, and a doctoral degree in Latin American History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I studied under Florencia Mallon, Steve Stern, Thomas Skidmore, and Francisco Scarano.


I teach courses on Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino\Latina history, as well as on historiography and historical film (both dramatic fiction and documentary). I serve now as Coordinator of the interdisciplinary minor in film studies, and I’m also faculty affiliate in the Hartford Studies Project, the Latin American & Caribbean Studies program, and the Trinity College Global Learning Sites in Trinidad and Tobago, as well as Santiago de Chile.


I’m the author of Sugar, Slavery and Freedom in Nineteenth-Century Puerto Rico (2005, co-published by The University of North Carolina Press and Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico), which won in 2006 the Third Place Award for Best Non-Fiction Book published in 2005 given by the International PEN Club Chapter in Puerto Rico.


As a teacher, in 2004 I was co-winner of the Dean Arthur Hughes Award for Teaching Excellence, given to Trinity faculty with less than ten years of service.


My documentary film work includes serving as script consultant and on-screen scholar for Puerto Rican Passages, an award-winning one-hour film on the Puerto Rican migration to Connecticut directed and produced by Frank Borres that premiered on Connecticut Public TV in 2001. I also worked as co-producer (uncredited) and production consultant (credited) for Ritmo de Pueblo\Rhythm of the People, a one-hour documentary film on the role of music in Puerto Rican diasporic identity, directed and produced by Glenn Orkin, which premiered on Connecticut Public TV in 2001.   I’ve also worked since 2000 as co-producer for a documentary film, still in progress, on Hartford since the 1960s, an effort led by Prof. Susan Pennybacker, Director of the Hartford Studies Project of Trinity College. In addition, I have directed, produced and edited three documentary shorts, two of which deal with the topic of prejudice and discrimination at Trinity College (“Umoja House,” 2003; and “Cinestudio Forum,” 2006).


My current research focuses on urban and suburban life in San Juan, Puerto Rico since 1940, especially as it intersects with class, racial\ethnic, and national identity. This is a deeply interdisciplinary project combining historical research, visual ethnography,  and documentary filmmaking.


You can obtain more details about my work at Trinity by visiting my Faculty Profile.