Blanca Silvestrini

Professor Emeritus

Ph.D., SUNY-Albany
J.S.M., Stanford

Areas of Specialty
Caribbean and Modern Latin America; colonial medicine, law and society

Current Research Interests
Conceptions of citizenship; Modernization and health at the turn of the 19th century

Blanca G. Silvestrini is from San Juan, Puerto Rico. A graduate from the University of Puerto Rico, she received her Ph.D. in Latin American History at SUNY-Albany and did postgraduate work in the Department of History of Science at Harvard. After teaching at the University of Puerto Rico as an Assistant Professor, she became interested in the Law and Society field and completed a Law degree and J.S.M. from Stanford University. Professor Silvestrini was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences in 1987 and Visiting Professor of Law at Stanford until 1990. She was on the History faculty at the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras for over two decades, and during her last three years there, she also worked as the Vice-President for Academic Affairs of the university system. Most of her publications focus on Caribbean social history, the labor movement, women and work, and the study of social changes in the transition to a “modern” society. Her current research deals with issues of modernization and health in the late 19th century, and the emergence of diverse conceptions of citizenship among Latinos in the United States.

Selected Publications
“Citizens Running to the Courts: The Legal System in Puerto Rico and the Modernization Process” in Friedman, Lawrence and Rogelio Perez-Perdomo, Legal Systems in Latin America, Stanford University Press, 2002.

“The World We Enter When Claiming Rights: Latinos and the Quest for Culture,” in William V. Flores and R. Benmayor, eds., Latino Cultural Citizenship: Claiming Identity, Space, and Rights (Boston: Beacon Press, 1997), pp. 39-57.

“Mujeres e historiografma (los relatos y las vidas,” in Mario R. Cancel, Historia y ginero (San Juan: Postdata, 1997), pp. 9-16.

“Igualdad y proteccisn: La legislacisn sobre la mujer en Puerto Rico,” Carmen I. Rafucci, S. Alvarez, and F. Pics Senado de Puerto Rico, 1917-1992 (San Juan, 1992), pp. 313-339.

Women and Resistance in Caribbean Contemporary Societies (Mona, Jamaica: University of the West Indies, 1990).

“Contemporary Puerto Rico: A Contrast Society,” in Franklin W. Knight and C. Palmer, eds., Modern Caribbean (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988), pp. 147-169.

Violencia y criminalidad en Puerto Rico, 1898-1973: Un estudio de historia social (Rmo Piedras, University of Puerto Rico Press, 1980).

Historia de Puerto Rico: Trayectoria de un pueblo (with M.D. Luque) (San Juan: Cultural Puertorriqueqa, 1987).

“The Puerto Rican Needleworker: A Transition from Home to Factory Work,” in K. Lawrence, ed., Social Transformation of the Caribbean (Kingston: Heinemann Educational Books, 1985), pp. 172-194.

“Research Resources in Puerto Rico: University Collections and Municipal Archives,” in K. Greeb, ed., Research Guide to Central America and the Caribbean (Madison: Wisconsin University Press, 1985).

Politics, Society and Culture in the Caribbean, (San Juan: University of Puerto Rico, 1984).

“Sources for the Study of Puerto Rican History: A Challenge to Imaginative Research” (with M.A. Castro), Latin American Research Review 16 (1981), 156-171.

Los trabajadores puertorriqueqos y el Partido Socialista 1932-1940 (Rmo Piedras: University of Puerto Rico Press, 1979).

“Women as Workers: The Experience of the Puerto Rican Women in the 1930s,” in Ruby Leavitt, ed., Cross-Cultural Perspectives on the Women’s Movement (World Anthropology Series, Le Hague: Mouton Publishers, 1975), pp. 247-261.

Contact Information
Mailing Address241 Glenbrook Rd., U-4103, Storrs CT 06269