Aldo A. Lauria Santiago works as a Professor in the Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies and the Department of History at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. He is a historian of Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean and Latinos in the US. He specializes in peasant and working class history, revolution, ethnicity and race. He received his Ph.D. from The University of Chicago and his MA in Latin American and Caribbean Studies from New York University. He trained as a Mexicanist at The University of Chicago but began his career as a historian of El Salvador.
His first book, An Agrarian Republic (Pittsburgh UP 1999) traces the social, economic and political history of El Salvador during the nineteenth century from the perspective of its regions, municipalities and peasant communities. With Jeffrey Gould (Indiana University) he continued his work on El Salvador into the twentieth Century with To Rise in Darkness (Duke UP). This book is a history of the 1932 peasant/communist revolt of El Salvador and the traumatic memory of state-sponsored mass murder that followed it and has haunted the country ever since. He also co-edited two books on Caribbean and Central American studies (Identity and Struggle & Landscapes of Struggle). He also began work on a regional history of the coffee-producing peasantry in Western Mexico in the late nineteenth century.
During the last ten years his work has turned towards the United States and the Caribbean. He now works on the history of the Puerto Rican (and other Latino) working class in the US. Most recently he co-authored with Lorrin Thomas (Rutgers University) a book that examines the history of Puerto Rican struggles for empowerment in the US since the 1950s (Rethinking The Struggle for Puerto Rican Rights). With Professor Ulla Berg he is coeditor of an forthcoming interdisciplinary volume Latinos in New Jersey forthcoming with Rutgers University Press.
His work on the history of Puerto Ricans in New York City is ongoing. The first book, under contract with the University of North Carolina Press, is a history of Puerto Rican migrants and the first second generation up to 1950. A second volume will follow Puerto Rican working class communities from the late 1940s to New York City's 1970s crisis. A book on policing and Puerto Rican riots in US cities is also part of this work. He is also working on aspects of the Puerto Rican migration process and Puerto Rico's development.
At Rutgers he directs the Center for Latin American Studies, co-coordinates the Latino Studies Research Initiative with Prof. Lilia Fernandez. He also coordinates the Rutgers Working Group on the History of Latinos and Puerto Ricans in the US and the Puerto Rico History Faculty Working Group. He has served professionally in different capacities and served as chair of the Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies for seven years.