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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 Distinguished Professor of Latin American and Caribbean history in the Department of Latin American and Latino 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 founder and 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. He established the Center’s Latino Data Project in 2003.

Academic Interests

The social, economic, and demographic history of slave-based plantation societies in the 18th and 19th centuries; Hispanic Caribbean history; and the history of Latinos in the United States.


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.


Agrarian Puerto Rico: Reconsidering Rural Economy and Society, 1899–1940 (co-author César J. Ayala) (New York and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020).

Hispanics in the United States: A Demographic, Social, and Economic History, 1980–2005 (co-author, Herbert S. Klein) (New York and Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 2010).

The Comparative Histories of Slavery in Brazil, Cuba, and the United States (New York and Cambridge: 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 and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999).

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

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

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