Juan Flores, a Scholar of Puerto Rican Culture in New York, Dies at 71

Historians in the News
tags: obituary, Juan Flores


Juan Flores, a leading theorist of Latin American studies and a pioneer in the field of “Nuyorican” culture, the arts and language of Puerto Ricans in New York who toggle culturally between the city and the Caribbean island, died on Dec. 2 in Durham, N.C. He was 71.

His wife, Miriam Jiménez Román, said the cause was complications of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare autoimmune disorder.

A Brooklyn resident, Professor Flores had been attending an academic conference at Duke University in early November when he experienced the first symptoms of the disease. He died, apparently of a pulmonary embolism, at Duke University Medical Center, his wife said.

Professor Flores, who was the director of Latino studies and a professor of social and cultural analysis at New York University, wrote more than a dozen books and edited many collections of essays. He was considered an important advocate for Puerto Rican writers like Edgardo Rodriguez Juliá and the Nuyorican poets Tato Laviera and Louis Reyes Rivera, whom he helped introduce to wider audiences through his work as a scholar, teacher and widely traveled lecturer.

His books included “From Bomba to Hip-Hop” (2000), a study of the ambiguous citizenship status of Puerto Ricans, and “The Diaspora Strikes Back” (2009), about the mingling of Caribbean, African and Central American traditions in the New York Latino landscape...

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