Jorge Chinea

Jorge Chinea

Academic Director, Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies

313 577-4378

313 993-4073 (fax)

 3327 Faculty/Administration Building

Curriculum vitae



Jorge Chinea

Jorge L. Chinea specializes in colonial Latin American history and has researched the themes of immigration, settlement, and colonial exploitation of the Hispanic Caribbean.  His book, Race and Labor in the Hispanic Caribbean: The West Indian Worker Experience in Puerto Rico, 1800-1850 (2005), received a Wayne State University’s Board of Governors Faculty Recognition Award in 2006.  A revised, augmented Spanish-language edition of the book was released in 2014 by the School of Hispanic-American Studies in Seville, Spain, the Office of the Official Historian of Puerto Rico and Wayne State University.

He has researched or lectured in Guyana, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Ireland, Spain and Austria.  He has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Society for Irish Latin American Studies and the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.  He is a former resident scholar of the U.S. Library of Congress (Winter 2000) and former contributing editor for the Handbook of Latin American Studies (2002-2008).

From 2010-12 he served on the Board of Directors of the Michigan Humanities Council and sits on the Advisory Board of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan.  Currently, he is Professor and Director of the Center for Latino & Latin American Studies at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan (USA).

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

  • Latin American History, Colonial Period; Caribbean History, Colonial and Modern Periods; Immigration; African Diaspora; Ethnohistory; Latino/a Studies



  • Ph.D., Latin American History, University of Minnesota, 1994
  • M.A., History/Chicano Studies Minor, Suny-Binghamton, 1983
  • B.A., Latin America and Caribbean Area Studies Program/Psychology, Suny-Binghamton, 1980

Awards and grants

  • BIOGRAPHICAL CITATIONS (National/Regional or Professional Directories):

    Who’s Who in America (Chicago: A.N. Marquis Co., 2011)

    Who's Who in the Midwest: A Biographical Dictionary of Noteworthy Men and Women of the Central and Midwestern States (Chicago:  A.N. Marquis Co., 1997)

    Ramón Bosque-Pérez, compiler, National Directory of Puerto Rican Professionals Working in Institutions of Higher Education in the United States (New York: Higher Education Task Force, Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños, 1992)


    Excellence in Education Award, Hispanic Business Alliance, Detroit, MI, 2008

    Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award, Office of Opportunity Programs, The State University of New York, Albany, N.Y., 2007

    Board of Governors Faculty Recognition Award, Wayne State University, 2006

    Alumni Award of Excellence, Michael V. Boyd Educational Opportunity Program, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY, 2005

    Sigma Xi Honor Society, The Scientific Research Society, 2005

    ALSAME Exceptional Service Award, Advocates for Latino Student Advancement in Michigan Education (ALSAME), 2005

    President's Award for Excellence in Teaching, Wayne State University, 1999

    Jessamine Allen Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship for Racial Minorities, Graduate School, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 1987

    Certificate of Recognition, Martin Luther King Program, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 1987

    Recipient, National Hispanic Scholar Award, National Hispanic Scholarship Fund, San Diego, CA, 1985, 1986, 1987

    Departmental Honors, Latin American & Caribbean Area Studies Program, State University of New York at Binghamton, Binghamton, NY, 1980 

  • Fellowships/Grants/Special Awards

    Faculty Teaching Travel Grant, Office of Teaching and Learning, Wayne State University, 2015-2016. 

    Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad [Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, Government of Spain], 2011-2014, co-pi for a research project on the impact of Spanish liberal constitutions on Puerto Rico during the first three decades of the 19th century.

    Irish Latin American Research Grant, Society for Irish Latin American Studies, Switzerland, Summer 2005, to research Irish immigration in the Hispanic Caribbean.

    Munusculum Grant, Humanities Center, WSU, Winter 2005, to help subsidize the publication of my book, Racial Politics and Commercial Agriculture: The West Indian Immigrant Worker Experience in Puerto Rico, 1800-1850 (Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2005).

    Mellon Foreign Area Fellowship, Winter 2000, to research the history of fugitive slaves in the Hispanic Caribbean during its pre-plantation era as a resident scholar in Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

    Small Research Grant, WSU, Fall 1999 to research and present a paper on the African Diaspora in Cuba.

    Humanities Center International Travel Grant, WSU, Fall 1999, to deliver a paper in Cuba, July 2000.

    Research Development Fund Grant, WSU, Winter 1999, to explore funding opportunities with the National Endowment for the Humanities.

    University Research Grant, WSU, Summer 1999, to research the history of the Hispanic Caribbean during the Spanish colonial period at the Archivo General de Indias, in Seville, Spain.

    Humanities Center Fellowship, WSU, Detroit, MI, 1998, to research freedom quest for escaped slaves in Puerto Rico.

    Library Travel Grant, Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL., Summer 1998, to research history of maroons in Florida and the Caribbean.

    Summer Faculty Research Grant, CULMA, WSU, Winter 1997, to research the social and economic history of Spanish colonial Puerto Rico.

    Minority/Women Summer Grant, WSU, Winter 1997, to begin revising my dissertation while researching new materials at Puerto Rico's Archivo General.

    Research Grant, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, WSU, Summer 1997, to present a paper at the International Congress of Americanists in Quito, Ecuador.

    NEH award for college teachers, Summer 1995, to participate in the seminar, "Slavery and the Atlantic Plantation Complex: 1450-1890," Johns Hopkins University, led by Dr. Philip D. Curtin. 

Selected publications

Raza y trabajo en el Caribe hispánico: Los inmigrantes de las Indias Occidentales en Puerto Rico durante el ciclo agro-exportador, 1800-1850. Sevilla: Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos/Oficina del Historiador Oficial de Puerto Rico, 2014.

Race and Labor in the Hispanic Caribbean: The West Indian Immigrant Worker Experience in Puerto Rico, 1800-1850. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2005.

“Irish Indentured Servants, Papists and Colonists in Spanish Colonial Puerto Rico, ca. 1650-1800,” Irish Migration Studies in Latin America, vol. 5, no. 3 (November 2007).  Available online at:

“Slavery and Child Trafficking in Puerto Rico at the Closing of the African Slave Trade: The Young Captives of the Slaver Majesty, 1859-1865,” Revista Brasileira do Caribe, 17:32 (2016), pp. 59-98.

“Spain is the merciful heavenly body whose influence favors the Irish”: “Jaime O’Daly y Blake, Enlightened Immigrant, Administrator and Planter in Late Bourbon-Era Puerto Rico, 1776-1806,” Tiempos Modernos: Revista electrónica de Historia Moderna, 7:25 (2012), pp. 1-33.

“Confronting the Crisis of the Puerto Rican Plantation System: Bureaucratic Proposals for Agricultural Modernisation, Diversification, and Free Labour in Puerto Rico, 1846-1852,” Journal of Latin American Studies, 42:1 (2010), 121-54.

“Diasporic Marronage:  Some Colonial and Intercolonial Repercussions of Overland and Waterborne Slave Flight, with Special Reference to the Caribbean Archipelago,” Revista Brasileira do Caribe, 10:19 (2009), 259-284.

“Un discurso esclavista de la Ilustración: la trata negrera en el proyecto plantocrático de Louis Balbes des Berton, duque de Crillón y Mahón,” Revista Complutense de Historia de América, 34 (2008), 257-268.

“Francophobia and Interimperial Politics in Late Bourbon Puerto Rico: The Duke of Crillón y Mahon’s Failed Negotiations with the Spanish Crown, 1776-1796,” New West Indian Guide/Nieuwe West-Indische Gids, 80:1-2 (2007), 37-53.

“The Control of Foreign Immigration in the Spanish American Colonial Periphery: Puerto Rico during its Transition to Commercial Agriculture, c.1765-1800,” Colonial Latin American Historical Review, 11:1 (2002), 1-33.

“Fissures in el Primer Piso: Racial Politics in Spanish Colonial Puerto Rico during its Pre-Plantation Era, c.1700-1800,” Caribbean Studies, 30:1(2002), 169-204.

“Deconstructing the Center, Centering the Margins: Revisiting Eurocreole Narratives on the History of Colonial Latin America,” Revista Mexicana del Caribe, 6:11 (2001), 261-273.

“The Spanish Immigrant Joseph Martín de Fuentes:  A Self-Styled Reformer, Imperial Watchdog and Nativist in Puerto Rico at the end of the Eighteenth Century,” Revista Mexicana del Caribe, 6:12 (2001), 85-109.

“A Quest for Freedom: The Immigration of Maritime Maroons into Puerto Rico, 1656-1800,” Journal of Caribbean History, 31: 1/2 (1997), 51-87.

“Race, Colonial Exploitation and West Indian Immigration in Nineteenth-Century Puerto Rico, 1800-50,” The Americas: A Quarterly Journal of Inter-American Cultural History, 52:4 (1996), 495-519.

Currently teaching

    • LAS 2420: History of Puerto Rico and Cuba
    • LAS 3990: Directed Studies
    • LAS/HIS 2430: History of Latinos/as in the U.S.


Courses taught

  •  Undergraduate:        
    • ANT 3110: Detroit Area Minorities: Arabs, Hispanics and African Americans
    • LAS/HIS 1910:  Latin America from Independence to the Present
    • LAS 2420: History of Puerto Rico & Cuba
    • LAS/HIS 2430: History of Latinos/as in the United States
    • LAS 3610: Seminar in Latino Urban Problems I     
    • LAS 3990: Directed Studies
  • Graduate:
    • HIS 3995/6000: Special Topics in Latin American History
    • HIS 7990: Directed Studies