When Aldo Lauria Santiago was an MA student at CLACS at NYU, he began the research that led to several books, and eventually served as inspiration to grow the Department of Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Currently, Aldo is both Chair and Associate Professor of the Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies Department at Rutgers. He is also a joint professor in the History department.
“The good thing [about CLACS] is that it lends itself to people who want to get a professional MA, or for those who want to follow a traditional academic path,” he says.
Aldo says CLACS played a definitive role in his academic research and his overall career. At CLACS, he focused much of his research on El Salvador, combining Latin American history courses at NYU with political economy and economic anthropology courses at the New School. He wanted to find a way to blend social science and history methods and materials, and went on to further develop his ideas in this area as a PhD student at the University of Chicago (which he almost didn’t attend because of Chicago’s notoriously bad weather). Since then he’s written and co-authored several books on El Salvador, including To Rise in Darkness: Revolution, Repression, and Memory in El Salvador, 1920-1932, Landscapes of Struggle: Politics, Society, and Community in El Salvador, An Agrarian Republic: Commercial Agriculture and the Politics of Peasant Communities in El Salvador, 1823-1914, and Identity and Struggle at the Margins of the Nation-State: The Laboring Peoples of Central America and the Hispanic Caribbean.