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Department of Latin American, Latino and Puerto Rican Studies

Faculty - Laird Bergad

Laird BergadE-mail Address:
Phone Number: 718-960-8822
Office: Carman Hall, Room 282
Rank: Distinguished Professor 
Degrees and Sources of Degrees: B.A., Univ. of Wisconsin; M.A., Ph.D., Univ. of Pittsburgh

Laird W. Bergad is Professor of Latin American and Caribbean history in the Department of Latin American and Puerto Rican Studies at Lehman College and the Ph.D. Program in History at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. A member of CUNY's faculty since 1980, he has served as Director of Lehman College's interdisciplinary program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Chair of the Department of Latin American and Puerto Rican Studies, and on the Executive Committees of the CUNY/Cuba (and later Caribbean) Scholarly Exchange Program as well as on the CUNY-University of Puerto Rico Exchange. Professor Bergad is the founding director of the CUNY Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies

Academic Interests

The social, economic, and demographic history of slave-based plantation societies in the 18th and 19th centuries.


Bergad was named a Distinguished Professor of Latin American and Puerto Rican Studies at in 2009, one of only seven currently on Lehman College’s faculty. He was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1986/87 and won a research grant from the Social Science Research Council in the same years. He was a Fulbright Fellow at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in 1992/93 and was awarded a second Fulbright to teach at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain in 2000 (Declined). He also won a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for University Teachers in 1996 and 1997.


The Comparative Histories of Slavery in Brazil, Cuba, and the United States (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007).

Escravidão e História Econômica: Demografía de Minas Gerais,1720-1888 (São Paulo: EDUSC, 2004).

Slavery and the Economic and Demographic History of Minas Gerais, Brazil, 1720-1888 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999) 298 pp.

The Cuban Slave Market, 1790-1880 (co-author with Fe Inglesias Garcia and Maria del Carmen Barcia) (Cambridge University Press, 1995).

Cuban Rural Society in the Nineteenth Century: The Socialand Economic History of Monoculture in Matanzas (Princeton University Press, 1990).

Coffee and the Growth of Agrarian Capitalism in Nineteenth Century Puerto Rico (Princeton University Press, 1983).