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I am an associate professor, historian, and librarian of Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I also hold faculty appointments in the departments of Spanish and Portuguese, and Recreation, Sport, and Tourism, and I am an affiliated faculty at the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Illinois. My research revolves around issues of identity/cultural politics, nationalism, international relations, religion, hegemony, and U.S.-Latin American relations, sports, genealogy, and family history. My book, The Sovereign Colony, studies the role that the Olympic movement played in Puerto Rican construction of national identity, in the development of an autonomist political culture, and in Puerto Rican agency in international politics. My work appears in journals such as The Latin Americanist, Journal of Sport History, The AmericasCaribbean Studies, and The International Journal of the History of Sport, among others. I have had the pleasure of being interviewed by major media outlets such as Code Switch/NPR, Sports Engine/NBC Sports, and Backstory, among others. My next book project studies the intersections of religion, imperialism, and sport through the YMCA in Puerto Rico and Cuba (1898-1950s).

 

As a librarian, I direct the Latin American and Caribbean Studies collection at the University of Illinois. With close to one million volumes and numerous specialized databases, the collection is considered among the best in the nation. I oversee all aspects related to Latin America and the Caribbean at the University Library including collection development, reference, instruction, serial management, and offer specialized research consultations. My main interests at the library include in depth research consultations, collection development, and liaison work with the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the Lemann Institute for Brazilian Studies. I am currently working on developing a special collection on Latin American sport and on The Conde de Montemar Letters 1761-1799, a digital project to provide free access to a set of some 300 unique letters belonging to the family of the Conde de Montemar between Lima and Madrid. I also direct the Digital Library of Latin American and Caribbean Sports (DLLACS).

Contact information:

International and Area Studies Library

313 Main Library

University of Illinois

1408 West Gregory Drive

Urbana, IL  61801

Tel. 217-300-4812

asotomay@illinois.edu

http://www.library.illinois.edu/people/bios/asotomay/ 

Current Positions

  • Associate Professor (with tenure) and Librarian for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, University Library, University of Illinois.

  • Associate Professor (0%), Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Illinois.

  • Associate Professor (0%), Department of Recreation, Sport, and Tourism, University of Illinois.

 

Previous Positions

  • Assistant Professor (tenure track) and Librarian for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, University Library, University of Illinois.

  • Assistant Professor (0%), Department of Spanish and Portuguese, University of Illinois.

  • Assistant Professor (0%), Department of Recreation, Sport, and Tourism, University of Illinois.

  • Research Associate/Lecturer in History and Latin American Studies, Knox College (2011-2012).

 

Education

  • 2012 - Ph.D., History, University of Chicago.

  • 2006 - M.A., Latin American and Caribbean Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • 2004 - M.S., Counseling, Indiana University-Bloomington.

  • 2000 - B.A., Psychology, Universidad de Puerto Rico en Mayagüez.

In the News and Media

Courses Taught

  • "Same Sea, Different Shores: Nationalism and Identity in the Caribbean," Knox College.

  • "Colonial Puerto Rico under the U.S. Empire," University of Chicago.

  • "Introduction to Latin American Civilizations," University of Chicago.

  • "Introduction to Latin American and Caribbean Studies," University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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