I am an Assistant Professor, Historian, and Librarian of Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I also hold faculty appointments in the Departments of Spanish and Portuguese, and Recreation, Sport, and Tourism, and I am an affiliated faculty at the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Illinois. My research revolves around issues of idenity/cultural politics, nationalism, international relations, religion, hegemony, and U.S.-Latin American relations through the window of sport. My book, The Sovereign Colony: Olympic Sport, National Identity, and International Politics in Puerto Rico
, studies the role that the Olympic movement played in Puerto Rican construction of national identity, in the development of an autonomist political culture, and in Puerto Rican agency in international politics. It was the recipient of the 2017 José Toribio Medina Award
, from the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM), the premier international association for Latin American librarians. My work appears in journals such as Journal of Sport History
, Caribbean Studies
, The Latin Americanist
, The Americas
, and The International Journal of the History of Sport
. Currently, I am working on two larger projects: an anthology with César R. Torres entitled The Olympic Movement in the Making of Latin America and the Caribbean
, and a monograph on religion, imperialism, and sport through the YMCA in Puerto Rico and Cuba (1898-1950s).
As a librarian, I direct the Latin American and Caribbean Studies collection at the University of Illinois. With close to one million volumes and numerous specialized databases, the collection is considered among the best in the nation. I oversee all aspects related to Latin America and the Caribbean at the University Library including collection development, reference, instruction, serial management, and offer specialized research consultations. My main interests at the library include in depth research consultations, collection development, and liaison work with the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the Lemann Institute for Brazilian Studies. I am currently working on developing a special collection on Latin American sport, including a unique Digital Library of Latin American and Caribbean Sport
(DLLACS), and on the Conde de Montemar Letters
, a portal that provides open access to a set of some 300 unique letters belonging to the family of the Count of Montemar between Lima and Madrid during the years of 1761 and 1799.