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Ismael García Colón


Ismael García Colón joined the College of Staten Island as an Assistant Professor of Anthropology in the Fall of 2006. He obtained his B.A., Magna Cum Laude, in Anthropology from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras in 1992 and his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Connecticut in 2002. Previously, García Colón worked at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, CUNY (1999-2003, 2005-2006), and taught Puerto Rican and Hispanic Caribbean studies at Rutgers University (2003-2005). His academic experiences range from documenting the history of Puerto Ricans and Latinos in New York and New Jersey to interviewing former landless workers in Puerto Rico. García Colón is currently researching and writing on power and state formation in Puerto Rico and Puerto Rican farmworkers in the U.S. Northeast. His areas of interest are historical and political anthropology, oral history, political economy, and Caribbean, Latin American and Latina/o studies.


BA University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras

MA University of Connecticut, Storrs

Ph.D. University of Connecticut, Storrs

Scholarship and Publications

Colonial Migrants at the Heart of Empire: Puerto Rican Workers on U.S. Farms, University of California Press, 2020.

“The COVID-19 Spring and the Expendability of Guestworkers.” Dialectical Anthropologist, September, Vol. 44, No. 3, 2020, 257-264.

Confronting the Present: Migration in Sidney Mintz’s Journal for The People of Puerto Rico,” American Ethnologist, August, Vol. 44, No. 3, 2017, 403-413.

“We Like Mexican Laborers Better: Colonialism and Citizenship in the Formation of Puerto Rican Farm Labor in the United States,” Centro: Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Summer, Vol. 29, No. 2, 2017, 134-171

“Enduring Migration: A Profile of Puerto Rican Workers in U.S. Farm Labor,” Centro: Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, co-authored with Dr. Edwin Melendez, Vol. 25, No. 5, Fall 2013, 96-119.

Land Reform in Puerto Rico: Modernizing the Colonial State, 1941-1969, University Press of Florida, 2009.

“Claiming Equality: Puerto Rican Farmworkers in Western New York,” Latino Studies, Vol. 6, No. 3, 2008, 269-289.

“Playing and Eating Democracy: The Case of Puerto Rico’s Land Distribution Program, 1940s-1960s,” Centro: Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Vol. 18, No. 2, Fall 2006, 166-189.

“Buscando Ambiente: Hegemony in Puerto Rico’s Land Reform and Subaltern Tactics of Survival, 1930s-1960s,” Latin American Perspectives, Vol. 33, No. 1, January 2006, 42-65.

Last Updated: 09.08.2015