Jorge L. Chinea specializes in the social and economic history of colonial Latin America, with particular emphasis on European colonialism, commercial agriculture, forced labor regimes, and coerced and free immigration during the 18th and 19th centuries. He also a secondary interest in Latino/a Studies as it relates to Latin American immigration and the formation of Hispanic diasporic communities in the United States. His book, Race and Labor in the Hispanic Caribbean: The West Indian Worker Experience in Puerto Rico, 1800-1850 (2005), received a Wayne State University’s Board of Governors Faculty Recognition Award in 2006. An updated, augmented Spanish-language edition was released in 2014 by the School of Hispanic-American Studies in Seville, Spain, the Asociación Cultural La Otra Andalucía, the Official Historian of Puerto Rico and Wayne State University.
He has researched or lectured in Canada, Colombia, Guyana, Mexico, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Ireland, Spain and Austria. He has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Society for Irish Latin American Studies and the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. He is a former resident scholar of the John W. Kluge Center at the U.S. Library of Congress (Winter 2000) and former contributing editor of the Handbook of Latin American Studies (2002-2008). A.N. Marquis’ Who’s Who in the Midwest (1997) and Who’s Who in America (2011) has profiled his career.
From 2010-12 he served on the Board of Directors of the Michigan Humanities Council and now sits on the Advisory Board of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan. He serves on the editorial committee of the journal of Agua y Territorio and on the Advisory Council of the journal Revista Brasileira do Caribe. At present he is a Professor in the Department of History and Director of the Center for Latino & Latin American Studies at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan (USA).