Born in Havana, Cuba on January 14, 1960, Luis Martinez-Fernández grew up in Lima, Peru, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. He received his B.A. and M.A. degrees in History from the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras. In 1990 Martinez-Fernández received the Ph.D. degree in History from Duke University.
Martinez-Fernández holds a joint appointment as Professor in the Department of Puerto Rican and Hispanic Caribbean Studies and the Department of History of Rutgers University, New Brunswick. Since July 1997 he has chaired the Department of Puerto Rican and Hispanic Caribbean Studies. Before joining the Rutgers University faculty in 1994, professor Martinez-Fernández taught at Inter-American University in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, at Augusta State University, and at Colgate University.
Professor Martinez-Fernández has researched and written extensively on various topics of the histories of Cuba. Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic, with emphasis on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His publications include articles in Cuban Studies, Slavery and Abolition, Latin American Research Review, The Americas, The New West Indian Guide, Revista/Review Interamericana, Diplomatic History, Iournal of Religious History, Caribbean Studies. Diálogo, Revista Mexicana del Caribe. Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Hopscotch and in several edited volumes. He is also the author of a workbook for history of Puerto Rico courses entitled Historia de Puerto Rico: cuaderno de ejercicios y actividades. His most recent books are: Protestantism and Political Struggle in the Nineteenth-Century Hispanic Caribbean (Rutgers University Press, 2002), Fighting Slavery in the Caribbean: The Lifè and Times of a British Family in Nineteenth-Centurv Havana (M.E. Sharpe,1998), and Torn between Empires: Economy, Society, and Patterns of Political Thought in the Hispanic Caribbean, 1840-1878 (University of Georgia Press, 1994). Professor Martinez-Fernández is Senior Editor of the two-volume Encyclopedia of Cuba: People. History, Culture, forthcoming in 2002 with the Oryx Press of the Greenwood Publishing Group. His current book project is tentatively entitled The American Mediterranean during the First Half of the American Century: Political Culture and U.S. Hegemony in the Hispanic Caribbean, 1898-1945.
He is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including a Pew Evangelical Scholars Program Fellowship (1994-1995) and a Rutgers University Board of Trustees Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence (1997). More recently, he received the Lydia Cabrera Award from the Conference on Latin American History (2000). In 2002 he was featured among the nation’s most influential Hispanic leaders in the nationally televised special “Viva! Top Twenty Powerbrokers.” He also serves in Governor James McGreevey’s Hispanic Advisory Council.
Martinez-Fernández has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate
courses on Latin America and the Caribbean. He also participates frequently
in professional conferences and scholarly meetings, and as an invited speaker
at colleges and other forums. He co-organized the major symposium “‘None
of the Above’: Puerto Rican Politics and Culture in the New Millennium,”
which took place at Rutgers University in April 2001. He is an active member
of several professional associations including the American Historical Association,
the Conference on Latin American History, the Caribbean Historians Association,
and the Latin American Studies Association. He also serves as consultant in
matters related to his fields of expertise.