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CENTRO’s 50th Anniversary Symposium

CENTRO’s 50th Anniversary Symposium

Event Organizer: Center for Puerto Rican Studies


February 24 @ 9:00 am 6:30 pm EST

CENTRO turns 50 this year! We’re kicking off our 50th Anniversary with a symposium aimed at reflecting on our vibrant history as a hub for activism, academic research, and community-based leadership. Through a day of panels, founding members and former CENTRO staff will lend insight on what led to the creation of CENTRO and its journey towards meeting the demands of a constantly evolving world. Join us as we illuminate how CENTRO has responded to the needs of the field of Puerto Rican Studies and the growth of the Puerto Rican diaspora across the nation. These panel discussions will lay the groundwork for how CENTRO envisions its next 50 years!

Panel I: Aprender a Luchar/ Luchar es Aprender – CENTRO’s Founding Vision

10:00 AM – 11:15 AM

Get a deeper understanding of CENTRO’s first 50 years as a prominent research institution within CUNY but also as a haven serving communities beyond academia. Born out of the Civil Rights Movement and a collective desire to understand, maintain, and tell our own stories in the Diaspora, The first 50 years at CENTRO saw the creation of our esteemed Library & Archives, a vision for community involvement, an exchange program with the Universidad de Puerto Rico, and more. Join us in understanding the history and challenges of CENTRO and the lessons we can learn and apply moving forward.

Carlos Ortiz Collection. People holding up the Puerto Rican flag during the Puerto Rican Day Parade. Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library & Archives, Hunter College, CUNY.

Panel II: Retro Futurism – Reimagining the Future of Puerto Rican Studies

11:30 AM – 12:45 PM

Let’s reimagine the future of Puerto Rican Studies and CENTRO’s role in supporting and understanding the Puerto Rican experience in the Diaspora. How is this experience, and the study of it, affected by new waves of migration out of the island exacerbated by disaster capitalism? What is the role of education and language in the future of Puerto Rican Studies? How can we continue to center the voices of Queer and Afro Puertoricans in this field? Join us in exploring these questions and the role CENTRO has in working towards an answer.

Offices of the Government of Puerto Rico in the United States (OGPRUS) Records. Children marching with protest sign that reads Toaltenos Cariñosamente (Treat Us Affectionately) – Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library & Archives, Hunter College, CUNY.

Panel III: The Art of Research: Researching on Art

2:30 PM – 3:45 PM

There is a surge of Puerto Rican curators in major art institutions and museums across the United States. Most of them have worked or collaborated with CENTRO, expanding the traditional course of our research to the art field. The recent launch of a new Arts and Culture research unit this year has brought about multiple creative projects including the Diasporican Arts in Motion initiative, Artistic Residencies and event series centered on artists. Join us in examining the contributions of artists and curators to the field of Puerto Rican Studies, and how CENTRO incorporates their work into the research we produce facing the next 50 years.

Antonia Pantoja Papers. Art installation – Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library & Archives, Hunter College, CUNY.


CENTRO would like to take the opportunity in convening this symposium to acknowledge our founders and key trail blazers that were instrumental in expanding CENTRO beyond its research capabilities.

Main Image: Diana Caballero Papers. Centro Delegation – Center for Puerto Rican Studies Library & Archives, Hunter College, CUNY.

This event is part of the CENTRO 50th Anniversary Celebration! Join us all of 2023 in celebrating 50 years of CENTRO’s work to strengthen, diversify, and reimagine the field of Puerto Rican Studies!

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