Alejandra Bronfman

Alejandra Bronfman

Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Latin American, Caribbean & U.S. Latino Studies
Department of Africana, Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies
Department of History


Social Science 250C
Alejandra Bronfman

Alejandra Bronfman's Website

Research Interests

20th century Caribbean and Latin America, imperial and transnational history, violence and the production of knowledge, histories of race, broadcasting, sound, listening, and sonic archives, and histories of ethnography.

Current Research

My book project, Isles of Noise: Sonic Media in the Caribbean records the unwritten histories of radio and related sonic technologies in the early twentieth century. The book argues that communications media was not a tool of empire in the early 20th century Caribbean as much as it was generated in the space between empires. It elucidates the configurations of power that determined the delivery of information, shaping the social and political lives of Caribbean people in significant ways. It also contributes new narratives to the intersecting fields of sound studies and histories of science and empire. In particular, my analysis makes violence central to the process of the translation of technology, and will challenge scholarship that has bypassed its role in the making of the aural past. My previous work has centered on the histories of social science and race in Cuba. In addition, I have published a recent history of the Caribbean with a particular focus on the circulation of goods, information, and people. My interest in sound and technology grows out of these, but it also opens new avenues of inquiry for historians of the Caribbean, who have thus far neglected the histories of media and sonic technologies.

Publications - Books

  • Isles of Noise: Sonic Media in the Caribbean. Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 2016.
  • Media, Sound and Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean. Coedited with Andrew Wood. Pittsburgh University Press, 2012.
  • On the Move: The Caribbean Since 1989. Zed Books, 2007.
  • Isole in movimento. Cuba e i Caraibi dal 1989. EDT, 2008 (Italian translation of On the Move, with a new postscript)
  • Measures of Equality: Social Science, Citizenship and Race in Cuba, 1902-1940. University of North Carolina Press, 2004