Lorrin Reed Thomas
History Department
Rutgers University-Camden
429 Cooper Street #100
Camden, NJ 08102
(856) 225-2656


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

Columbia University, B.A., History, 1993

Academic Appointments

Rutgers University-Camden, History Department

Associate Professor, 2011-present

Department Chair, 2015-2020

Assistant Professor, 2004-2011

Woodrow Wilson Postdoctoral Fellow, 2002-2004



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

Rethinking the Struggle for Puerto Rican Rights, co-authored with Aldo Lauria Santiago (Routledge, 2018)

Minority: Latino Struggles for Equal Opportunity and the Making of Multiracial America After the 1960s (manuscript in progress)

Refereed articles and book chapters

“Jack Agüeros, New Yorker Extraordinario,” in Claudio Remeseira, ed., The Jack Agüeros Reader  (Columbia University Press, forthcoming, 2021)

Response to Dan-el Padilla Peralta, “Citizenship’s Insular Cases, From Ancient Greece and Rome to Puerto Rico,” Humanities 2020 vol. 9 (4), 140

“Narrating Freedom in the Diaspora,” review essay, Cultural Dynamics 30:4 (fall 2018): 326-331

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., A Nation of Immigrants Reconsidered: U.S. Society in an Age of Restriction, 1924-1965 (University of Illinois Press, 2018)

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

“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)

“On 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

“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)

“‘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

Non-refereed articles, encyclopedia entries, and book reviews

“Telling the Truth About Puerto Rico,” London School of Economics U.S. Centre Blog, October 7, 2017, http://bit.ly/2xXvqQx

“99 Years After the Jones Act: Austerity Without Representation,” OUP Blog, Oxford University Press, March 8, 2016, http://blog.oup.com/2016/03/jones-act-anniversary/

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

Review of Lilia Fernández, 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,” New York Archives Magazine (spring 2011): 15-30

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

Awards, Grants, and Fellowships

Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer, 2014-present

National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 2020-21 

Rutgers Mid-Career Research Award, 2018-19

Rutgers Latino Studies Research Initiative Faculty Fellowship, summer 2018

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

American Philosophical Society Franklin Fellowship, summer 2015

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

Rutgers University Research Council Grant, summer 2012

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

Theodore Saloutos Book Prize, Immigration and Ethnic History Society, for Puerto Rican Citizen, 2011

Woodrow Wilson Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2002-2004

Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching, University of Pennsylvania, 2001

Chimicles Fellowship for the Teaching of Writing, University of Pennsylvania, 2000-2001

Benjamin Franklin Fellowship, University of Pennsylvania, 1996-2001

Professional and Public Service (selected)

Editorial Board, CENTRO Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, 2018-present

Series Co-Editor, with Carlos Blanton and Luis Álvarez, Historia USA, The University of Texas Press, 2017-present

Consulting Scholar, “Under One Roof” exhibit, Lower East Side Tenement Museum, 2016-17

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

Fellowship Award Evaluation Committee, Ford Foundation Fellowship Program, 2019, 2020

Fellowship Award Evaluation Committee, National Endowment for the Humanities Awards for Faculty, 2013, 2016

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

Program Committee, Immigration and Ethnic History Society, OAH, 2012-14

Advisory Board, Puerto Rican Diaspora Project, Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños, 2012-14

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

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

Referee and manuscript reviewer for: University of Chicago Press, Harvard University Press, University of Pennsylvania Press, University of California Press, University of Texas Press, University of North Carolina Press, CENTRO Journal, Journal of American History, Pacific Historical Review, Radical History Review, Journal of American Ethnic History, American Quarterly, Latino Studies, Identities, Caribbean Studies, Wadabagai


American Historical Association

Latin American Studies Association

Organization of American History

Puerto Rican Studies Association