Lorrin Reed Thomas
History Department
Rutgers University
429 Cooper Street
Camden, NJ 08102
(856) 225-2656
lthomas2@camden.rutgers.edu

Education

University of Pennsylvania, Ph.D., Department of History, 2002 

Columbia University, B. A., History, 1993

Academic Appointments

Rutgers University-Camden

Associate Professor, 2011-present

Assistant Professor, 2004-2011

Woodrow Wilson Postdoctoral Fellow, 2002-2004

Publications

Books

Puerto Rican Citizen: History and Political Identity in New York City (University of Chicago Press, 2010)

Books in progress

The Struggle for Puerto Rican Rights: An American History, co-authored with Aldo Lauria Santiago (manuscript in progress)

Making Human Rights in Mexico (research in progress)

Refereed articles 

“When We Talk About Human Rights,” review essay, Humanity 6:2 (summer 2015)

“Oscar Handlin, The Newcomers: Negroes and Puerto Ricans in a Changing Metropolis,” Journal of American Ethnic History 32 (Spring 2013): 46-52

“Resisting the Racial Binary? Puerto Rican Migrants’ Encounter with Race in Depression-Era New York City,” CENTRO Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies 21 (spring 2009): 4-35

“‘How They Ignore Our Rights As American Citizens’: Puerto Rican Migrants and the Politics of Citizenship in the New Deal Era,” Latino Studies 1 (July 2004): 1-19

“The Invention of ‘Welfare’ in America,” co-authored with Michael B. Katz, The Journal of Policy History 10 (November, 1998): 399-418

Book chapters

Foreign, Dark, Young, Citizen: Puerto Rican Youth Confronting Discrimination in the United States, 1935-1965,” in Maria Cristina García, Madeleine Hsu, and Maddalena Marinari, eds., Re-opening America’s Gates: Battling for Immigration Reform, 1924-65 (forthcoming, University of California Press, 2017)

“Puerto Ricans in the Harlem Riot of 1935” in Persephone Braham, ed., The African Americas: The African Diaspora in the Cultures of Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States (University of Delaware Press, 2014)

“‘How They Ignore Our Rights As American Citizens’: Puerto Rican Migrants and the Politics of Citizenship in the New Deal Era,” in Suzanne Oboler, ed., Latinos and Ctiizenship: The Dilemma of Belonging (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006)

Book reviews, encyclopedia entries, and non-refereed articles

“Puerto Ricans in the United States,” in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History (forthcoming, 2015)

Review of Lilia Fernandez, Brown in the Windy City: Mexicans and Puerto Ricans in Postwar Chicago (University of Chicago Press, 2012) in Journal of Social History 48 (spring 2015): 738-40

Review of Jorge Duany, Blurred Borders: Transnational Migration between the Hispanic Caribbean and the United States (University of North Carolina Press, 2011) in Journal of American History 100 (4) (2014): 1288.

Review of David Luis-Brown, Waves of Decolonization: Discourses of Race and Hemispheric Citizenship in Cuba, Mexico, and the United States (Duke University Press, 2008) in H-LatAm (March, 2013)

“Upholding the Color Line,” in New York Archives Magazine (spring 2011): 15-30

“Jesús Colón” and “Bernardo Vega,” in The Oxford Encyclopedia for Latinos and Latinas in Politics, edited by Suzanne Oboler, Jorge Capetillo, and Deena González (Oxford University Press, 2011)

“Immigrants and Immigration” and “Immigration Policy,” in Poverty and Social Welfare: An Encyclopedia, edited by Gwendolyn Mink and Alice O’Connor (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2003)

Honors and Awards

Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer, 2014-17

Casa de las Américas Prize, honorable mention for Puerto Rican Citizen, 2012

Puerto Rican Studies Association Book Prize, honorable mention for Puerto Rican Citizen, 2012

Saloutos Prize, Immigration and Ethnic History Society, Organization of American Historians, for Puerto Rican Citizen, 2011

Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, University of Pennsylvania, May 2000

Distinction, PhD qualifying exams, May 1999

Grants and Fellowships

Civic Engagement Faculty Fellow, Rutgers University-Camden, 2016-17

American Philosophical Society, Franklin Fellowship, 2015-16

Center for Latin American Studies Research Fund, Rutgers University, 2011, 2013

Rutgers University Research Council, 2012

Woodrow Wilson Postdoctoral Fellowship, Rutgers University-Camden and the Hagley Library, 2002-2004

Chimicles Teaching Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania, 2001-2002

Mellon Dissertation Fellowship, 2000-2001

Benjamin Franklin Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania, 1996-2001

Invited Presentations and Keynotes

“The Language of Human Rights in Mexico, 1960-1980,”  Annenberg Lecture, University of Pennsylvania, January 20, 2015

“Puerto Rico: The 51st State?” East Brunswick Public Library, East Brunswick, NJ, October 9, 2014

“Puerto Rican Citizen,” Hampshire College and the Five Colleges, March 31, 2014

“Puerto Rican Citizen,” Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, Columbia University, February 20, 2014

“The University and the Streets,” Center for Mexican American Studies, University of Texas, Austin, October 7, 2013

“Puerto Rican History is Political History,” keynote address, CENTRO Journal anniversary event, Lehman College, April 25, 2012

“Citizenship, Recognition, and Making Historical Sense of Ideas,” keynote address, Rutgers-Newark/NJIT Student Conference, March 28, 2012                                                                                                                      

“Utopia Disarmed? Human Rights Politics in Mexico in the 1970s,” Columbia University Human Rights Seminar, March 5, 2012

“Immigration and Cultural Conflict in U.S. History,” Fulbright Commission American Studies Summer Institute on “The Reconciliation of American Diversity with National Unity,” New York University, July 11, 2011

“Writing Puerto Rican Citizen,” Brooklyn College, May 4, 2011

“Puerto Rican Youth and the Anti-Imperialist Left in the Sixties,” Dissent in America series, Temple University, February 4, 2011

“The Seventies, ¿Donde están? Tracing an Era across the Americas,” Lees History Seminar, Rutgers University-Camden, April 23, 2010

“What Happened to History in the Seventies? Beyond ‘the Personal is Political,’” keynote address, International Women’s Day and Phi Alpha Theta induction ceremony, Rutgers University-Camden, March 10, 2009

“Puerto Ricans and the Problem of Recognition,” Latin American and Latino Studies program, University of Pennsylvania, April 11, 2008

“Resisting the Racial Binary in US History: Puerto Rican Migrants’ Encounter with Race in Depression-Era New York City,” Lees History Seminar, Rutgers University-Camden, February 23, 2007

“Resisting the Racial Binary in US History: Puerto Rican Migrants’ Encounter with Race in Depression-Era New York City,” Faculty Research Colloquium, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, October 23, 2006

“Depression, Nationalism, and the Racialization of Puerto Rican Citizenship in the 1930s,” University of Michigan, January 6, 2005

Invited Conferences, Roundtables, and Panel Commentary

Panel commentary, “Colonialism, Citizenship and Political Incorporation: Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans in the United States,” Latin American Studies Association, New York City, May 29, 2016

“Puerto Rican Civil Rights: Dispersion and Momentum since 1980,” Puerto Ricans in U.S. History conference, Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College, New York City, May 26, 2016

“Foreign, Dark, Young, Citizen: Puerto Rican Youth Confronting Discrimination in the United States, 1935-1965,” presentation, workshop for contributors to Re-opening America’s Gates: Battling for Immigration Reform, 1924-65, University of Texas, Austin, March 4-5, 2016

Introductions and panel discussion leader, “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History,” public screening and discussion of PBS series, Camden County College, October 29 and November 12, 2015

Panel presentation, “One Hundred Years of the Jones Act and Puerto Rican U.S. Citizenship,” Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College, October 15-16, 2015

Introductions and panel discussion leader, “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History,” public screening and discussion of PBS series, Camden County Library, September 15 and 22, 2015

Panel commentary, “Latino/a Political Alliances in the U.S.,” Latin American Studies Association, San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 28, 2015

Panel commentary, “Latino/a Radicalisms,” American Historical Association, New York City, January 4, 2015

Panel commentary and chair, “Memoria y violencia: los movimientos armados de la segunda mitad del siglo XX en México,” Latin American Studies Association, Chicago, May 23, 2014

“The University and the Streets: the Roots of Puerto Rican Studies in New York City,” Puerto Ricans in U.S. History conference, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, May 17, 2014

“Puerto Rican Citizen,” Freshman Seminar on “Comparative Empire,” University of Pennsylvania, March 20, 2014

Panel commentary, “Community Activism in the ‘Post Mass-Movement City,’” American Historical Association, Washington, D.C., January 4, 2014

Remarks on Sonia Sotomayor, My Beloved World, Rendell Center for Civics and Citizenship, Arcadia University, October 9, 2013

Workshop presentation of manuscript commentary on Benjamin Francis-Fallon, “Minority Reports: The Emergence of Pan-Hispanic Politics,” Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University, October 5, 2013

Panel presentation, “From Marine Tiger to Nuyorican,” on PBS series The Latino Americans, El Museo del Barrio, New York City, September 25, 2013

Panel presentation, “Place and Hogar: Ramifications in the Face of Demographic Flux,” Taller Puertorriqueño, Philadelphia, May 4, 2013

Opening remarks, “Urban Latin America,” and panel commentary, “Activism and Citizens’ Rights in Latin America,” Urban Latin America conference, Rutgers University-Camden, October 11, 2012

Panel presentation, “Oscar Handlin and Puerto Rican New York,” roundtable on Oscar Handlin, Organization of American Historians, Milwaukee, April 21, 2012

“The United States, Decolonization, and the Problem of Puerto Rico,” roundtable on Decolonizing U.S. History, American Historical Association, Chicago, January 8, 2012

Commentary on “Neighborhood Obituaries, Resilient Communities: Urban Life in Puerto Rican Chicago,” presentation by Merida Rúa, Northwestern University, October 13, 2011

“Puerto Ricans in the Harlem Riot of 1935,” the African Americas Project conference, University of Delaware, October 6-7, 2011

Panel discussion on Puerto Rican Citizen, Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College, April 4, 2011

Panel commentary and chair, “Radical Politics and Urban Renewal,” at Puerto Ricans in U.S. History conference, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, May 14, 2010

Panel commentary and chair, “Migration, Labor, and Citizenship in the New South,” University of Alabama and Latino Studies Journal conference on Latinos in the New U.S. South, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, February 19, 2010                                      

“Puerto Rican Migrants and the Politics of Citizenship in Depression-era New York City,” Latin American Cities conference, University of Delaware, April 8, 2005

Roundtable on Latinos and Citizenship, Latin American Studies Association, Las Vegas, October 4, 2004

“Puerto Rican Migrant Political Culture and a Diasporic ‘Rights Talk’ in the New Deal Era,” Latinos and Latinas and the Shifting Meanings of Citizenship in the United States, University of Illinois at Chicago, April 25, 2003

“They See Us As Black Americans’: Puerto Rican Migrants’ Encounter with Race in the 1930s,” Repositioning North American Migration History: New Directions in Modern Continental Migration and Citizenship, Davis Center, Princeton University, March 14, 2003

Professional Service

Rutgers University-Camden

Chair, Department of History, 2015-present

Co-Director, Latin American and Latino Studies program, 2011-2015

Chancellor’s Committee on Global Research and Education, 2010-present;                                                Global Partnerships subcommittee chair, 2010-12

Faculty Senate, 2004-06; 2012-14

History Department search committees: 2004-05; 2010-11; 2011-12 (chair); 2013-14 (chair)

History Department Advisory Committee, 2009-2015

History Department Curriculum Committee, 2006-2015

Rutgers University

GAIA Center, Cuba Steering Committee, 2015-present

International Advisory Committee, 2014-present

Referee and manuscript reviewer for: The University of Chicago Press; The University of North Carolina Press; The University of California Press; The University of Pennsylvania Press; Centro Publications; Journal of American History; Journal of American Ethnic History; Caribbean Studies; Latino Studies; CENTRO Journal of the Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños; Identities; Wadabagai; Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University

Program Committee, Immigration and Ethnic History Society, Organization of American Historians, 2012-14

Fellowship Award Committee, National Endowment for the Humanities, Awards for Faculty 2013

Fellowship Award Committee, Historical Society of Pennsylvania fellowship program, 2006-2013

Advisory Board, Puerto Rican Diaspora Video History Project, Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños, 2012

Community and Public Service

Expert Witness, University of Pennsylvania Law School, Transnational Legal Clinic, 2015-16

Board Member, Puerto Rican Unity for Progress, Camden, NJ, 2016-present

Project Scholar, Latino Americans History Project, Camden County Public Library, Camden, NJ, 2015

Consultant, “The Latino Americans,” PBS documentary film series, 2012

Memberships

American Historical Association

Latin American Studies Association

Puerto Rican Studies Association

Organization of American History