Ileana Rodriguez-Silva (she/her/hers)

Associate Professor
Roseman Endowed Professor in History
Ileana Rodriguez-Silva

Contact Information

SMI 204C
Office Hours
AUT 20: Please contact to set up a virtual appointment.


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 graduated magna cum laude from the Universidad de Puerto Rico - Río Piedras with a B.A. in History. She holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies and another in Latin American History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where Rodríguez also completed a History Ph.D. in 2004. Rodríguez-Silva's research focuses on race-making in the Americas, racial identity formation, post-emancipation racial politics, and comparative colonial arrangements in the configuration of empires.

Her book Silencing Blackness: Disentangling Race, Colonial Regimes, and National Struggles in Post-Emancipation Puerto Rico, 1850-1920 (Palgrave, 2012) received the 2012-2014 Frank Bonilla Book Award for Best Book on Puerto Rican Studies. She is also 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). Rodríguez-Silva is coeditor with Laurie Sears of the special issue The Politics of Storytelling in Island Imperial Formations, positions: asia critique, Vol. 21, Issue 1, 2021. She has published articles in the Hispanic American Historical Review, NACLA, and Modern American History. Rodríguez is currently working on two projects: Cimarrón Citizenship: Reconstituting the Black Middle Class of Early Twentieth Century Puerto Rico and Re-Articulating the US Imperial Field: Puerto Rico’s Commonwealth and the Browning of the Middle-Class in the Early Cold War Decades.


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.



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