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Julio Capó, Jr.

Associate Professor Department of History and the Commonwealth Honors College

Portrait of Julio Capo Jr.

(413) 545-6773

Herter Hall 606

Professor Capó’s research and teaching interests include modern U.S. history and the world with an emphasis on the Caribbean and Latin America. He addresses how gender and sexuality have historically intersected and coalesced with constructions of ethnicity, race, class, nation, age, and ability.

These are central themes in Capó’s publications. His first book, Welcome to Fairyland: Queer Miami before 1940 (November 2017, University of North Carolina Press), is a transnational queer history of a city just “south of the U.S. South.” It highlights how transnational forces—including (im)migration, trade, and tourism—to and from the Caribbean shaped Miami’s queer past. He is also revising his dissertation, which won the Urban History Association’s Best Dissertation Prize in 2012, for future publication. That work views Miami as a borderland territory connected to the Caribbean and a larger Latin American consciousness and locates the centrality of sexuality in its immigration debates, English-only movements, tourism, urban restoration, inter- and intra-ethnic relationships, and Cold War domestic and foreign policies. In the future, Capó plans to explore how colonialism and imperialism in Haiti proved critical to shaping gender and sexual norms in the Black Republic as well as in the United States. His work has appeared in Diplomatic History, Journal of Urban History, Journal of American Ethnic History, H-Net, and American Studies, with forthcoming works in the Journal of American History and Radical History Review.

Several associations and organizations have recognized Capó’s contributions to the fields of queer, urban, migration/immigration, and transnational history. In addition to the Urban History Association award, the Immigration and Ethnic History Society awarded his article, “Queering Mariel,” the Carlton C. Qualey Memorial Article Award. In 2011-12, he worked as a Postdoctoral Associate at the Ethnicity, Race, and Migration and American Studies programs at Yale University. He was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Sydney’s United States Studies Centre in 2017. Capó has received other awards and grants, including the Heller-Diane Bernard Fellowship Award from the City University of New York’s Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies and in 2016, the UMass College Outstanding Teaching Award.

Capó’s research also extends to his commitment to public history and civic engagement. Prior to entering graduate school, he worked as a broadcast news writer and producer. He has written pieces for The Washington Post, TIME, The Miami Herald, El Nuveo Día (Puerto Rico), and The Hampshire Gazette. He has also appeared as a commentator for BackStory with the American History Guys (Podcast) and the PBS/Miami Herald documentary The Day It Snowed in Miami. Capó also participated in a National Park Service initiative to promote and identify historic LGBTQ sites and contributed a piece on locating Miami’s queer past for its theme study.

Educated at New York University, B.A., 2004; Florida International University, Ph.D. 2011

Research Areas

Transnational, queer, gender, sexuality, modern U.S., Caribbean, inter-American, urban, (im)migration, Latina/o, ethnic, and race

Courses Recently Taught

  • U.S. LGBT and Queer History
  • Caribbean History
  • Cuba and Her Diaspora
  • Caribbean-U.S. Relations
  • Latin America: The National Period
  • Sexuality in the Americas (Graduate)