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Ileana Rodriguez-Silva (she/her/hers)

Associate Professor
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Ileana Rodriguez-Silva

Contact Information

(206) 543-6081
SMI 204C
Office Hours: 
S 2020: Mondays 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm (PST) and Thursdays 9:30 am - 10:30 am (PST) via Zoom, Skype or Email


M.A. and Ph.D. - History, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2004
M.A.- Latin American Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1995
B.A. - History, Universidad de Puerto Rico-Río Piedras, 1993

Ileana M. Rodríguez-Silva is an associate professor of Latin American and Caribbean history at the University of Washington-Seattle. She holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies and another in Latin American History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she also completed a History Ph.D. in 2004. Rodríguez-Silva's research focuses on racial identity formation, post-emancipation racial politics, and comparative colonial arrangements in the configuration of empires. She is the author of "Exploring the Lives of Freedwomen: Choices, Family, and Gender during the Processes of Emancipation in Puerto Rico, 1873-1876" in Gender and Slave Emancipation in Comparative Perspective, Diana Paton and Pamela Scully, eds. (Durham: Duke University Press, 2005). Currently, she is completing a book manuscript entitled Silencing Blackness: Disentangling Race, Colonial Regimes, and National Struggles in Post-Emancipation Puerto Rico (1850-1920). She was a Ford Foundation 2008-09 Post-Doctoral Fellow. Rodr¡guez-Silva is working on two new projects. The first one is an interdisciplinary, collaborative endeavor with UW colleagues Kiko Ben¡tez, Rick Bonus, and Chandan Reddy on the formation of modern imperial fields. And the second one is a study of sexuality, consumption, and middle-class formation in Puerto Rico after the colonial re-arrangement of 1950.


Courses Taught

Graduate Study Areas

Division: Latin America

Students working in Latin America with Professor Rodriguez-Silva will learn about the social and cultural histories of Latin America and the Caribbean, especially during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. While students will follow the topic and area of their choosing, they are expected to master the main historiographical and methodological debates within this field. Major topics of analysis are the multiple forms of colonialism and imperialism, forced labor systems, processes of nation-state formation, race and ethnicity, migration and diaspora communities, and, most importantly, subaltern politics.

Division: Comparative History (Comparative Gender & Comparative Colonialisms)*

In preparing a field in Comparative Gender with Professor Rodriguez-Silva, students will learn about the history of women, the historical shifts in definitions of womanhood and masculinity among the diverse populations of Latin America and the Caribbean, and the crucial role of sexuality in the political and economic organization of colonial and national states. Students may also prepare a field in Comparative Colonialism, in which they will analyze the multiple forms of and the historical transformations in colonial relations established in the Americas since pre-Columbian times to the present.

*Students may not offer a field in the Comparative History division as a first field.


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