Jessica Alvarez Starr


Gainesville, FL


B.A. in History and Spanish, Minor in Latin American Studies, Magna Cum Laude, University of Florida


Spanish Caribbean History, 19th-Century Cuba and Puerto Rico, Slavery and Imperialism, Abolitionism and Nationalism, Independence Movements, Afro-Latinidad, Jewish and Sephardic Communities, Diaspora Studies, Queer Studies


As an undergraduate student at UF, I had the privilege of taking amazing courses offered by the Center for Latin American Studies, as well as the History Department, Center for Jewish Studies, and Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies. My history honors thesis, titled “Liberación en la otra Antilla: Abolition and Independence in Nineteenth-Century Puerto Rico” and completed under the guidance of Dr. Bretones Lane, examined the connections between abolitionist rhetoric and nationalist rhetoric, as well as the concurrent development of antislavery ideology and the Puerto Rican independence movement. As part of the MALAS program, I aim to further explore the topics of race, slavery, abolition, and nationalism as well as research the history of the Sephardic diaspora and Jewish communities across Latin America and the Caribbean, particularly in Cuba and Puerto Rico.