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Diego Luis

Faculty Fellow
Department of History, Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora

Diego Javier Luis studies the colonial histories of Latin America and the Pacific World, race-making, and Afro-Asian diasporic convergences. His first book, The First Asians in the Americas: A Transpacific History, is available now from Harvard University Press. The book traces both free and enslaved Asian mobility from the Philippines to Mexico, Central America, Peru, and Spain, from the sixteenth to early-nineteenth centuries. In particular, it examines how Asian subjects encountered and responded to colonial-era racialization with an emphasis on cross-cultural exchanges, social mobility, and resistance to enslavement.

 Luis’s second project, “Manila and Acapulco: A Tale of Two Cities in the Early Modern Black Pacific,” aims to uncover the early, hidden histories of African diaspora to and through the Spanish Pacific.

 Luis conducts archival research in Spain, Mexico, the Philippines, and the U.S.