Dr. Arlene Torres is an associate professor in Africana and Puerto Rican/Latino Studies at Hunter College. 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. Research 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. 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.
Torres’ publications include two edited volumes with Norman E. Whitten, Jr., entitled Blackness in Latin America and the Caribbean. Her chapter, “Collecting Puerto Ricans,” in Kevin Yelvington’s (ed.) Afro-Atlantic Dialogues: Anthropology in the Diaspora (SAR Press) reflects Torres’ recent intellectual concerns. She is focusing on the racialization of ethnic groups in varied cultural and institutional settings works on several university, college-wide, and community organizations to support the educational advancement of underrepresented communities in higher education.
As a administrative and faculty mentor, she co-directs the CUNY-Harvard Leadership Development Program, the Mellon Faculty Diversity Career Enhancement Grant and the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program at Hunter College. She served University Dean for Recruitment and Diversity and the Director of the Chancellor’s Latino Faculty Initiative in Academic Affairs in the Central Administration at CUNY. Torres is past-president of the Puerto Rican Studies Association and the Association of Latina and Latino Anthropologists, a division of the American Anthropological Association.
Dr. Torres received her PhD and MA in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She completed her BA in Sociology and Anthropology at Colgate University and believes in the transformative possibilities of an education in the liberal arts and sciences.