Editor’s Note: Xavier Totti has generously agreed to provide visitors of PRSA new website with a brief summary of the history and mission of CENTRO Journal, in part as a reminder that PRSA members receive a Special Membership Discount when Subscribing to CENTRO. Details appear further below.
We will be publishing in our new “El Noticiero” blog announcements of FORTHCOMING issues of CENTRO as they become available, beginning with the Spring 2011 issue. We have added after Xavier’s article the Table of Contents for the current Fall 2010 issue.
CENTRO Journal: The academic voice of the Puerto Rican Diaspora
by Xavier F. Totti, editor
CENTRO: Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, is the premier journal in the field. The journal is peer-reviewed and has been published uninterruptedly since 1987. CENTRO Journal has won numerous awards for academic content and for design.
The origins of the journal date back to the late 1960s when through street demonstrations and pressure within the City University of New York (CUNY) Puerto Rican students were able to gain wider entrance into the system and the establishment of departments of Puerto Rican Studies. By 1973, a demand that had eluded the movement is finally achieved with the establishment of the Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños—a research institute dedicated to the study of the Puerto Rican diasporic communities.
During those years the academic image of Puerto Ricans in the United States was dominated by publications that emphasized the cultural, economic and organizational deficits that plagued the community. Books, like Oscar Lewis’s La Vida, Nathaniel Glazer and Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s Beyond the Melting Pot, as well as Eduardo Seda Bonilla’s Requiem por una cultura and Manuel Maldonado Denis’s Puerto Rico y Estados Unidos: emigración y colonialismo, dominated the both the academic and public debates. Furthermore, established academic journals, both in the United States and in Puerto Rico, showed little interest in publishing articles about the Puerto Rican Diaspora.
It is within this bleak context that CENTRO Journal is born as Centro’s director and researchers look for ways to fill the academic gaps that existed, attempt to give the voiceless a voice, and begin to present a unitary view of Puerto Ricans in the Island and the Diaspora. The beginnings of the journal coincide with the celebration of Centro’s 10th anniversary and are modest and erratic. A “Boletín”, in the form of a newsletter, reports on the activities of Centro’s researchers, the work of the research Task Forces and informs on talks and conferences that are to take place. Slowly the newsletter begins to expand with more substantive material—Juan Flores’ translation of the preface to the Memoirs of Bernardo Vega, a review of the documentary Los sures, Frank Bonilla and Ricardo Campos’ essay “Up by the Bootstraps: Ideologies of Social Levitation,” poems by Tato Laviera, and primary documents like letters of Ramón E. Betances and Eduardo Conde.
The transformation from newsletter to journal is finally achieved thanks to the support of a sympathetic boricua within CUNY’s administration. The late Ernesto Malavé (who will eventually be CUNY’s Vice-Chancellor for Finance) provided funds for the professionalization of the publication. Blanca Vázquez, the journal’s first editor, and the newsletter collaborators will take the journals The Rican and Black Scholar as models for what would become CENTRO Journal. The idea was to publish an academic journal that used art to enhance the essays.
Today CENTRO Journal is a well-established academic journal. The journal is indexed and abstracted by 24 services. We’ve been called by Puerto Rico’s newspaper of record, El Nuevo Día, “una de las mejores revistas de estudios puertorrqueños es este órgano del Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños en Hunter College en Nueva York.” Library Journal, an important publication for librarians, considers us “stylish and self-confident” and that “the multidisciplinary CENTRO Journal studies Puerto Rican culture in all its expressive manifestations.”
As a multidisciplinary and bilingual publication CENTRO Journal accepts submissions from all academic fields in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Our policy is to concentrate on the dissemination of research that focuses on any and all aspects that matter to the Puerto Rican Diaspora. We welcome proposals for theme issues as well as the submissions of separate essays. Finally, the journal encourages a dialogue that compares Puerto Ricans with other racialized ethnic groups, particularly other Latinos and African Americans.
CENTRO Journal offers members of the Puerto Rican Studies Association a special 20% discount on its subscription price. To subscribe, use this PDF form: CENTRO Journal Subscription Form – Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños (Center for Puerto Rican Studies), Hunter College, City University of New York (CUNY)
For more information visit Centro’s website (http://centropr.hunter.cuny.edu), or contact us at: centro-journal (at) hunter.cuny.edu
CENTRO Journal — TABLE OF CONTENTS
Volume XXII – Number 2 – Fall 2010
4 . . . . . Polémicas, feministas, puertorriqueñas y desconocidas: Clotilde Betances Jaeger, María Mas Pozo y sus “charlas femeninas” en el Gráfico de Nueva York, 1929–1930, by María Teresa Vera-Rojas
34 . . . . An interview with poet Tato Laviera, by Stephanie Alvarez, William Luis and Edna Ochoa
50 . . . . Beyond nation: Caribbean poetics in Pedro Pietri’s “Puerto Rican Obituary” and Kamau Brathwaite’s “Islands and Exiles,” by Li Yun Alvarado
74 . . . . Family matters: Revisiting la gran familia puertorriqueña in the works of Rosario Ferré and Judith Ortiz Cofer, by Marisel Moreno
106 . . . On the ethics and poetics of how we make our lives: Esmeralda Santiago and the improvisation of identity, by José R. Rosario
128 . . . Gastronomía, humor y nación: estrategias retóricas en las letras de Calle 13, by Rosana Díaz-Zambrana
150 . . . Extranjería, comunidad y escucha: escenas contemporáneas de autoridad literaria, by Juan Carlos Quintero-Herencia
172 . . . Constructing Muñocismo: Colonial politics and the rise of the PPD, 1934–1940, by Gabriel Villaronga
198 . . . Vito Marcantonio, Puerto Rican migration, and the 1949 mayoral election in New York City, by Edgardo Meléndez
234 . . . The economic consequences of inadequate education for the Puerto Rican population in the United States, by Clive Belfield
260 . . . Book Reviews
Editor’s Note: Please check “El Noticiero” blog here in PRSA’s website for the announcement of each new Table of Contents for FORTHCOMING issues of CENTRO Journal, beginning with the Spring 2011 issue.