Welcome to the Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies!
The Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies has its origins at Rutgers University as a Program in Puerto Rican Studies established in the fall of 1970 in response to demands initiated by 16 Livingston Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) students. It became a Department of Puerto Rican Studies in 1973 and its first Chair was Dr. María Canino. Central to its mission was the understanding and critical analysis of colonial relations in the history of Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the United States; the rigorous inter and trans-disciplinary study and creative elaboration of the art, history, and knowledges of Puerto Ricans in the island and in diaspora; and the understanding of the social and material conditions as well as the cultural expressions of Puerto Ricans, and by extension, other “minoritized” populations, in the United States.
Responding to the evolving nature of Latina/o and Caribbean migration and the fields of Latina/o and Caribbean Studies, the Department was renamed Puerto Rican and Hispanic Caribbean Studies in the mid-1980’s, Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies in 2005-06, and Latino and Caribbean Studies as of January 2016. Today, the Department counts with specialists in various linguistic and geopolitical regions of the Caribbean and of Latina/o communities in the U.S.