CRI Awarded Mellon Grant to Study Latino Identities

| By

The Crossing Latinidades Humanities Research Initiative, funded by an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant, has approved the collaborative research project Forging Panethnic Allegiances: Hispanic Caribbean Communities in Three Gateway Cities—Miami, New York, and Orlando. The project will involve faculty members affiliated with the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University, the Dominican Studies Institute at the City University of New York, and the Puerto Rico Research Hub at the University of Central Florida.

This research will probe under what conditions and with what results immigrants from the insular Hispanic Caribbean (Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico) and their descendants “cross Latinidades” and identify with other groups of Latin American origin in the United States. The project will adopt a collaborative, comparative, and cross-regional approach to national and panethnic identities, focusing on Cubans, Dominicans, and Puerto Ricans in Miami, New York City, and Orlando.

The sample will comprise twenty-five Latino cultural organizations (such as art museums, theatre companies, musical and dance groups, and cultural centers) in each city, for a total of seventy-five organizations. A team of researchers will conduct intensive interviews with leaders of each organization using a common interview guide, and immerse themselves in the cultural activities sponsored by these organizations, including art exhibits, plays, musical performances, dance classes, and poetry readings. This research will provide a better understanding of when, how, why, and to what extent Hispanic Caribbean groups in the United States transcend national borders to embrace a panethnic Latino label.

The project will be directed by Dr. Jorge Duany (Director, Cuban Research Institute, Florida International University) as Principal Investigator, with Drs. Ramona Hernández (Director, Dominican Studies Institute, City University of New York) and Fernando Rivera (Director, Puerto Rican Research Hub, University of Central Florida) as Co-Principal Investigators, and Elaine Acosta González (Visiting Scholar, Cuban Research Institute, Florida International University) as a Research Associate. Three doctoral students from each university will also participate in the research project: Jayson Castillo (City University of New York), Ruth Kessa (University of Central Florida), and Elisa Rómulo Borges (Florida International University).

The total amount approved for the project is $309,274 for the period between August 16, 2022 and August 15, 2024.