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Arlene Torres

"The likenesses will meet and make merry, but they won't know you. They won't know the you that's hidden somewhere in the castle of your skin."
George Lamming

Dr. Arlene Torres is an Associate Professor in the Department of Africana, Puerto Rican/Latino Studies at Hunter College. She works on several University, College-wide, and community organizations to support the educational advancement of underrepresented communities in higher education. As a faculty mentor, she coordinates and directs the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program at Hunter College. She also serves as the Director of the Chancellor’s Latino Faculty Initiative in Academic Affairs in the Central Administration at CUNY. 

Torres is the current President of the Puerto Rican Studies Association and Past-President of the Association of Latina and Latino Anthropologists, a division of the American Anthropological Association. She received her Ph.D. and Master’s degrees in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she held positions as an administrator and member of the faculty. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Anthropology at Colgate University and believes in the transformative possibilities of an education in the Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Arlene Torres is cultural anthropologist with expertise in Caribbean, Latina/Latino, and Latin American Studies. She has conducted research in the Anglophone and Hispanic Caribbean and in the U.S. Topical Interests include: African Diaspora; Puerto Rican & Latina/Latino Diaspora; Theories of Race, Ethnicity, Gender and Nationalism; Ideology and Praxis; Migration and Transnationalism; Representation; Class and Economic Development.

Her publications include two edited volumes with Norman E. Whitten, Jr. & Blackness in Latin America and the Caribbean. “Collecting Puerto Ricans” In Kevin Yelvington (ed.) Afro-Atlantic Dialogues: Anthropology in the Diaspora. Santa Fe, NM: SAR Press, reflect Torres’ recent intellectual concerns. She is focusing on the racialization of ethnic groups in varied cultural and institutional settings. She is currently working on a project with the National Park Service to understand community formation in Paterson, NJ. As a public intellectual, Torres has served as a member of the Advisory Board and consultant to a national project on RACE supported by the American Anthropological Association, National Science Foundation and Ford Foundation.

To learn more about Dr. Arlene Torres and the various initiatives she is engaged in see

February 2013 »