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Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Moon-Kie Jung

Second Advisor

Agustin Lao-Montes

Third Advisor

Joya Misra

Fourth Advisor

Juliet Hooker

Subject Categories

Quantitative, Qualitative, Comparative, and Historical Methodologies | Race and Ethnicity | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Theory, Knowledge and Science


This dissertation analyzes how the historical sociology of the global color line was constructed in the trans-American space between the United States and Cuba from 1931 to 1953 based on the connections and work of sociologists W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963) and Irene Diggs (1906-1998). This research is based on the analysis of primary documentary sources collected in the United States and Cuba. Some of these sources include Du Bois and Diggs’ correspondence referring to Cuba between 1931 and 1953, especially that with Cuban intellectuals; Du Bois and Diggs’ unpublished writings; the monthly, bi-monthly, and annual reports of Du Bois and Diggs for the Department of Special Research of the NAACP (1944-1947); and Du Bois's and Diggs’s manuscripts about Latin America in the 1940s and 1950s.

The dissertation has three major analytical dimensions: 1) Du Bois’s development of a global sociology of race in the 1930s, 2) the gender dynamics and the politics of erasure between W.E.B. Du Bois and Irene Diggs in the co-making of a global sociology in the 1930s and 1940s, and 3) the politics of knowledge around race and anti-racism in the 1940s and 1950s. Thus, the first chapter refers to the critique of capitalism and anti-colonial sociology between the United States and Cuba. I examine how Du Bois engaged strategically in the critique of racism between Cuba and the US giving special attention to Du Bois’s unpublished writings and his relationship with the Afro-Cuban journalist Gustavo Urrutia. The second chapter describes the connection between Diggs and Du Bois. I analyze the connection between Diggs and Du Bois to show how Du Bois’s production of theory, global sociology, and sociology of colonialism in the 1940s implied a collaborative relationship with Irene Diggs. The third chapter concerns the politics of knowledge underlying the sociology of race between Cuba and the US. I address Du Bois and Diggs's connection with Fernando Ortiz, the most influential Cuban scholar on race.

The dissertation conclusion connects the argument in the three empirical chapters with possible ways to further develop the global historical sociology of race.


Available for download on Friday, September 01, 2028