Global Latinx Jersey is an SAS-funded department project that promotes and expands public-facing interdisciplinary research on the Latinx presence in New Jersey (past and present) and adjacent regions in the U.S. northeast. We emphasize transnational connections to the Caribbean and Latin America, global and hemispheric movements of people and diverse community formations, and social justice-oriented solutions to the challenges of today. We support faculty and student research that connects the Caribbean and Latin America to New Jersey communities through historical, sociological, geographic, legal, urban, literary, artistic, and cultural, and other interdisciplinary lenses.
Among these are the following initiatives:
Latino New Jersey History Project
The multi-year, multi-faceted Latino New Jersey History Project uncovers the trajectories and experiences of Latinx people in New Jersey and at Rutgers University through oral histories, archival documents, newspapers, census data, maps, and photographs. Students and faculty participate in training workshops, undertake original research, and conduct formal interviews with community members. The results of the research are housed in the Rutgers Oral History Archive (ROHA) and the umbrella Latino Studies Research Initiative (LSRI).
Rutgers Latino and Caribbean Memory Project
In 2016 three LCS faculty (Carlos Decena, Kathleen López, Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel) led an Aresty Research Assistant Program to work in Rutgers University Libraries Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) to uncover the history of the department and Latinx and Caribbean people and organizations at Rutgers University. The student research continues through 2023, with the goal of generating a digital display that traces the struggles that led to the establishment of the program in Puerto Rican Studies at Livingston College in 1970, the Department of Puerto Rican Studies in 1973, and subsequent fifty years of continuity and change.
Tatiana Flores (LCS and Art History), “In the Elsewhere: Latinx Fugitivity and Futures”
Co-curated exhibition with Katzen Arts Center, American University in Fall 2025. Explores Latinx futures through fugitivity, a conceptual framework based on the poetry and thought of Alan Pelaez Lopez, a Mexican-born Afro-Indigenous formerly undocumented scholar and artist who has been instrumental in critiquing Latinidad and carving out new directions in Latinx Studies.
Ulla D. Berg (LCS and Anthropology), “Elizabeth Detention Center, New Jersey: A Social History of Immigration Detention in New Jersey and the United States”
In collaboration with Dr. Carolina Sánchez-Boe, Université de Paris, Cerlis CNRS/IMC, Aarhus University. Fall 2023 symposium at Rutgers University to reconstruct the social history of Elizabeth Detention Center and its role in New Jersey’s political economy amidst the changing landscapes of immigration detention in the United States.
K. Sebastian León (LCS and Criminal Justice), “Latina/o/x Workers in the New Jersey Meatpacking Sector: Connecting Industrial Foodways to Immigration and Labor Policy”
Compilation of secondary data on the quantitative trends of meatpacking in New Jersey, with a specific emphasis on the racial-ethnic composition and migratory contexts of known workers and the role of Latina/o/x workers in New Jersey’s food supply, especially animal protein foodways and industrial trends.
Priscilla Pinto Ferreira (Geography and LCS), Kilomba Collective
Interviews with members of the Kilomba Collective (https://www.kilomba.org/), the first political network of immigrant Black Brazilian women in the United States, with the New Jersey/New York region as its hub. Development of podcasts on themes such as Afro-Brazilidad, families and interracial relationships, professional and educational trajectories.
Kamerin Correa (Class of 2023), “The Belly of DominicanYork: An Investigation into Dominican Transnational Identity Ties” (LCS Capstone Project)
Ethnographic research on Dominican transnational foodways and restaurants in New Jersey and New York.
Student-produced StoryMaps and short videos
For student-produced StoryMaps and short videos, see below. For oral histories that Rutgers students have conducted focusing on Latinos and the Covid-19 pandemic, click on the Voces of a Pandemic link on the left.
- From El Campo to New Jersey by Ezekiel Medina
- An LGBT History of Latino New Jersey by Leo Valdes
- Latinx of Hudson County by Carie Rael
- A Grandmother's Journey by Kevin Rosero
- Mexican Settlement in New Jersey by Tania Mota
- From Cuba to New Jersey: Manuel Rey's Life Story by Luz Sandoval
- Puerto Ricans in New Jersey: A Grandfather’s Story by Aziel Rosado
- Latino History of New Brunswick by Laura Sandoval
- Union City by Aracely Ortega
- Paterson’s Multiethnic Communities—Dominicans, Colombians, and Peruvians by Amy Castillo
- A Latino History of New Brunswick short video by Tania Mota, Luz Sandoval, and Laura Sandoval
- Union City: A Diverse Latinx Community short video by Carie Rael and Aracely Ortega