Christina Abreu

Current Research

My research focuses on the role of race, nationalism, and migration in the Cuban and Spanish Caribbean diasporic communities of the United States with a particular emphasis on popular culture.  My first book examined the relationship between black and white Cuban musicians and the Cuban and broader Latinx communities of New York City and Miami in the 1940s and 1950s.  I have an article on race, gender and Afro-Cuban women singers in the 1960s and 1970s forthcoming in the Journal of Social History.  My second book is a study of race and sport in Cuba as well as U.S.-Cuba relations in the 1970s and 1980s using the story of Teófilo Stevenson, an Afro-Cuban heavyweight boxer who won three gold medals in the 1972, 1976, and 1980 Olympic Games.

Major Publications


Articles/Book Chapters

  • Más que una reina: Race and Gender in the Musical Careers of Graciela Pérez, Celia Cruz, and La Lupe,” Special issue on “The Social and Cultural History of Music,” Journal of Social History 52.2 (Winter 2018): 332-352.
  • “Huber Matos and Cuba Independiente y Democrática (CID): Exile Leadership beyond Cuban Miami’s Geo-Political Borders.” Journal of Historical Biography 15 (Spring 2014): 34-71.
  • “The Story of Benny ‘Kid’ Paret: Cuban Boxers, the Cuban Revolution, and the U.S. Media, 1959-1962.” Journal of Sport History 38, no. 1 (Spring 2011): 401-419. Translated into Portuguese and published in Recorde: Revista de História do Esporte 8, no. 2 (December 2015): 1-26.
  • “Celebrity, ‘Crossover,’ and Cubanidad: Celia Cruz as ‘La Reina de Salsa,’ 1971-2003.” Latin American Music Review 28, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2007): 94-124.

Teaching Interests

My teaching interests include courses on U.S. Latinx history, modern Caribbean history, and modern Cuban history.  I also teach courses focused on specific methodologies, such as an undergraduate-level course on Latinx oral history and a graduate-level research seminar on cultural history.  Many of my courses focus on comparative race and ethnicity, migration and transnationalism, and popular culture.

Courses Taught

  • ILAS 399 Latinx Oral History (Spring 2018)

Interdisciplinary Affiliation

Center for Latino & Latin American Studies





Christina Abreu

Associate Professor

Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2012

U.S. Latinx History; Caribbean History; Comparative Race and Ethnicity; Popular Culture


Center for Latino & Latin American Studies 113

Office hours: on leave Spring 2020