• Kathleen López, Ph.D
  • Kathleen López, Ph.D
  • Associate Professor
  • LCS
  • History
  • Office: A-263, Lucy Stone Hall, Livingston Campus
  • Phone: 848-445-4207



Ph.D. University of Michigan, History
M.A. Cornell University, Asian Studies
B.A. University of Virginia, History

Research Interests

Latin American and Caribbean History, Asians in Latin America and the Caribbean, Race and Ethnicity in the Americas, Diaspora and International Migration


Biographical Information

Professor López is an Associate Professor in the Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies and the Department of History. She specializes in the historical intersections between Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. Her book Chinese Cubans: A Transnational History examines Chinese migrants in Cuba from the mid-nineteenth century to the present through archival and ethnographic research in Cuba, China, and the United States and received the 2014 Gordon K. and Sybil Lewis Prize of the Caribbean Studies Association. She is currently working on two projects, one on Chinese migrants, gender, and citizenship across Caribbean societies in the twentieth century (with a focus on Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago) and the other on the diversity of the Cuban diaspora in the United States (including Chinese Cubans). She is also collaborating on the Rutgers Latino Memory Project to recover the history of the department and Latinx people at the university. Professor López is a former co-chair and longtime member of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Section on Asia and the Americas. At Rutgers, she is involved with the SAS Global Asias Initiative, the Rutgers Advanced Institute for Critical Caribbean Studies, the Center for Latin American Studies, and the Latino Studies Research Initiative. She was a Faculty Fellow for the 2015-2016 Center for Cultural Analysis Archipelagoes Seminar. She is also an editor of two book series: Historical and Cultural Interconnections between Latin America and Asiawith Ignacio López-Calvo (Palgrave Macmillan) and Critical Caribbean Studies, with Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel and Carter Mathes (Rutgers University Press). 

Courses Regularly Taught

01:595:100 Introduction to Caribbean Studies
01:595:101 Introduction to Latino Studies
01:595:212 Introductory Topics in Latino and Caribbean Studies: "Cuba Today"
01:595:215 Research Methods in Latino and Caribbean Studies
01:595:205/01:508:272 History of the Caribbean since 1898
01:595:390/01:508:370 History of Cuba
01:595:393/01:508:393 Global Diasporas in Caribbean History
01:595:497 Research Seminar in Latino and Caribbean Studies
01:506:402 History Seminar (Asians in the Americas, Immigrants in the Americas)
16:510:541 Graduate Colloquium in Global History: "Global Mobilities"
16:510:631 Graduate Colloquium in Latin American History
16:510:637 Graduate Seminar in Latin American History







Special Journal Issue

  • 2008. Guest Editor with Evelyn Hu-DeHart. Special Issue on "Afro-Asia," Afro-Hispanic Review 27(1). Introduction, "Asian Diasporas in Latin America and the Caribbean: An Historical Overview." 9-21.


Book Chapters

  • 2019. “Gatekeeping in the Tropics: U.S. Immigration Policy and the Caribbean Connection,” In A Nation of Immigrants Reconsidered: U.S. Society in an Age of Restriction, 1924-1965. Edited by Maddalena Marinari, Madeline Y. Hsu, and Maria Cristina Garcia, 45-64. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
  • 2018. Section introductions to Afro-Asian Connections in Latin America and the Caribbean. Edited by Luisa Ossa and Debbie Lee-DiStefano. Lexington Books, 2018.
  • 2016. Section introductions to Imagining Asia in the Americas. Edited by Zelideth María Rivas and Debbie Lee-DiStefano. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2016. Part I “Moving Past Encounters: People of Asian Descent in the Americas” 9-12; Part II “Historicities” 83-84; Part III “Lives/Representations” 133-34.
  • 2016. “Remesas y retornos: la importancia de la migración a Cuba para los pueblos cantoneses” [Remittances and Return: The Significance of Migration to Cuba for Cantonese Villages]. In Huellas de China en este lado del Atlántico [Footprints from China on this Side of the Atlantic]. Edited by Mitzi Espinosa Luis, 172-80. La Habana: Editorial José Martí.
  • 2016. “The Asian Presence in Mestizo Nations: A Response.” In Critical Terms in Caribbean and Latin American Thought: Historical and Institutional Trajectories. Edited by Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel, Ben. Sifuentes-Jáuregui, and Marisa Belausteguigoitia, 125-31. Palgrave-Macmillan. Response to José F. Buscaglia’s essay “Race and the Constitutive Inequality of the Modern Condition.” [Spanish edition Boston: Revista de Crítica Literaria Latinoamericana, 2018]
  • 2014. “In Search of Legitimacy: Chinese Immigrants and Latin American Nation Building.” In Immigration and National Identities in Latin America 1850-1950. Edited by Nicola Foote and Michael Goebel, 182-204. Gainesville: The University Press of Florida.
  • 2013. "Renace el sueño: Remaking Havana's Barrio Chino." In Orientalism and Identity in Latin America: Fashioning Self and Others from the (Post)Colonial Margin. Edited by Erik Camayd-Freixas, 160-73. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press.
  • 2007. "Transnational Histories: A Dual-Sided Approach to Researching Early-Twentieth- Century Chinese Migration to Cuba." In Chinese Overseas: Migration, Research and Documentation. Edited by Tan Chee-Beng, Colin Storey, and Julia Zimmerman, 167-198. Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press.
  • 2006. "The Chinese in Cuban History." In Essays on the Chinese Diaspora in the Caribbean. Edited by Walton Look Lai, 105-29. Trinidad & Tobago: History Department, University of the West Indies.
  • 2004. "'One Brings Another': The Formation of Early-Twentieth-Century Chinese Migrant Communities in Cuba." In The Chinese in the Caribbean. Edited by Andrew R. Wilson, 93-127. Princeton: Markus Wiener Publishers.


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