Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Jirau Arroyo
Eastern Illinois University
Website URL
Puerto Rico, Latin America, Latino Studies, political identities, student activism, social movements
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Aura S. Jirau Arroyo is a historian of political identities and social movements in the Americas. She holds a PhD in History from the University of Pittsburgh and is currently Assistant Professor of History at Eastern Illinois Univeristy. Specializing in Puerto Rico, she is interested in the development of anti-colonial rhetoric and political organizing against the archipelago’s present-day political status.

Her current book project analyzes mid to late twentieth century campus activism in Puerto Rico’s largest public university campus, the University of Puerto-Rico-Río Piedras, from 1945-2005. Through a combination of archival and oral sources, Jirau Arroyo argues that anti-colonial sectors within students, faculty, and campus workers framed their institutional demands as part of broader campaigns in favor of various Puerto Rican decolonization. Even as the University of Puerto Rico facilitated socioeconomic mobility and the growth of the island’s middle class under the Estado Libre Asociado regime, the academic freedoms accessible on campus put various forms of opposition to US control on display.

Jirau Arroyo is also a public-facing writer, regularly publishing historically-grounded articles on current events for a general audience.

Recent Publications

The 51st State?,” History Today 72, Issue 8 (August 2022)

La crítica como pedagogía de la huelga,” Categoría Cinco 2, no. 2 (Primavera/Verano 2022)

How a National Costume Speaks to Shifting Resistance in Puerto Rico,” Latino Rebels (November 19, 2021)

Envisioning New Intellectual Futures: Critical Puerto Rican Studies Analyze the Verano del 19,” Centro Voices (August 13, 2020)

Guillotines, Illusionism and Protest in Contemporary Puerto Rico,” Latino Rebels (January 24, 2020)

Strike Pedagogy: Student Resistance to Puerto Rico’s Economic Hassles,” Perspectives Daily (August 31, 2018)

Storming Through Research: Historical Production in Post-María Puerto Rico,” Perspectives Daily (July 19, 2018)

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Puerto Rico, United States
Expertise by Geography
Caribbean, Latin America, United States
Expertise by Chronology
20th century, 21st century
Expertise by Topic
Children & Youth, Colonialism, Higher Ed, Politics, Rebellion & Revolution