Luis A. Figueroa–Martínez is an Associate Professor in the Department of History.
Prof. Figueroa–Martínez's scholarly interests include slavery, post-emancipation, and the African Diaspora in Latin America and the Caribbean; comparative urbanism and Latin American urban history; the history of Latinos\Latinas in the USA; as well as historical film (fiction and documentary).
Figueroa–Martínez is the author of Sugar, Slavery and Freedom in Nineteenth-Century Puerto Rico, co-published in 2005 by The University of North Carolina Press and Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, which received an award from the Puerto Rico Chapter of the PEN Club International. The book examines the transition from slavery to post-emancipation on the island by looking closely at the southeastern Guayama region, the sugar plantation zone most dependent on African slave labor in Puerto Rico in the 1800s.
His is currently working in parallel on two research projects: a historical monograph on urbanism, suburbanization, and colonial modernity in San Juan, Puerto Rico since the 1930s; and a work of narrative non-fiction focused on basketball, cultural nationalism, race and diasporic identities in Puerto Rico in the 1960s–1970s.
Prior to joining Trinity College, Figueroa–Martínez was an Assistant Professor in the Department of History and Associate Director of the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Connecticut in Storrs (1990-1996), as well as co-founder of its Institute for Puerto Rican and Latino Studies.
He earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in Latin American History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison under Steve J. Stern, Florencia E. Mallon, Thomas E. Skidmore, and Francisco Scarano, and his B.A. in General Studies (History and Philosophy) at the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras.