I am an Associate Professor, Historian, and Librarian of Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I also hold faculty appointments in the Departments of Spanish and Portuguese, and Recreation, Sport, and Tourism, and I am an affiliated faculty at the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Illinois. My research revolves around issues of idenity/cultural politics, nationalism, international relations, religion, hegemony, and U.S.-Latin American relations through the window of sport. My book, The Sovereign Colony: Olympic Sport, National Identity, and International Politics in Puerto Rico, studies the role that the Olympic movement played in Puerto Rican construction of national identity, in the development of an autonomist political culture, and in Puerto Rican agency in international politics. It was the recipient of the 2017 José Toribio Medina Award, from the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM), the premier international association for Latin American librarians. My work appears in journals such as Journal of Sport HistoryCaribbean Studies, The Latin Americanist, The Americas, and The International Journal of the History of Sport. Currently, I am co-editor of Olimpismo The Olympic Movement in the Making of Latin America and the Caribbean (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2020). I am working on a book project on religion, imperialism, and sport through the YMCA in Puerto Rico and Cuba (1898-1950s).

As a librarian, I direct the Latin American and Caribbean Studies collection at the University of Illinois. With close to one million volumes and numerous specialized databases, the collection is considered among the best in the nation. I oversee all aspects related to Latin America and the Caribbean at the University Library including collection development, reference, instruction, serial management, and offer specialized research consultations. My main interests at the library include in depth research consultations, collection development, and liaison work with the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the Lemann Institute for Brazilian Studies. I am the director of the Digital Library of Latin American and Caribbean Sport (DLLACS), and on the Conde de Montemar Letters, a portal that provides open access to a set of some 300 unique letters belonging to the family of the Count of Montemar between Lima and Madrid during the years of 1761 and 1799.


  • 2012 – Ph.D., History, University of Chicago.

  • 2006 – M.A., Latin American and Caribbean Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • 2004 – M.S., Counseling, Indiana University-Bloomington.

  • 2000 – B.A., Psychology, Universidad de Puerto Rico en Mayagüez.

Other Publications



  • Sotomayor, Antonio. “The Triangle of Empire: Sport, Religion, and Imperialism in Puerto Rico’s YMCA, 1898-1926.” The Americas: A Quarterly Review of Latin American History 74, 4 (2017): 481-512.

  • Sotomayor, Antonio. “Caribbean Soccer: Hispanoamericanismo and the Identity Politics of Fútbol in Puerto Rico,1898-1920s.” The Latin Americanist 61, 2 (June 2017): 193-224.

  • Sotomayor, Antonio, “Colonial Olympism: Puerto Rico and Jamaica’s Olympic Movement in Pan‐American Sport, 1930 to the 1950s,” in “Historicizing the Pan-American Games,” ed. César Torres and Bruce Kidd, special issue, The International Journal of the History of Sport 33, 1-2 (2016): 84-104.

  • Sotomayor, Antonio, “Operation Sport: “Puerto Rico’s Recreational and Political Consolidation in an Age of Progress.” Journal of Sport History 42, 1 (Spring 2015): 59-86.

  • Sotomayor, Antonio, “Un parque para cada pueblo: Julio Enrique Monagas and the Politics of Sport and Recreation in Puerto Rico during the 1940s.” Caribbean Studies 42, 2 (July-December 2014): 3-40.

  • Sotomayor, Antonio, ““Patron Saint Festivities, Politics, and Culture: Celebrating the Colonial Nation in San Germán, Puerto Rico, 1950s.” CENTRO Journal, 20, 2 (2008): 100-125.

Book Chapters

  • Sotomayor, Antonio. “The Nationalist Movement and the Struggle for Freedom in Puerto Rico’s Olympic Sport.” (in preparation)

  • Sotomayor, Antonio. “Colonial Olympism: Puerto Rico and Jamaica’s Olympic Movement in Pan‐American Sport, 1930 to the 1950s.” In Bruce Kidd and César Torres, editors, Historicizing the Pan-American Games. (London: Routledge, forthcoming).

  • Sotomayor, Antonio. “Challenges and Alternatives to Caribbean Family History and Genealogy: Archives and Sources in Puerto Rico.” In Roberto Delgadillo, editor, Who are We Really?: Latin American Family, Local and Micro-Regional Histories and Their Impact on Understanding Ourselves. Papers of the 59th Annual Meeting of the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials. Salt Lake City, University of Utah, 2014. New Orleans, LA: SALALM Secretariat, Latin American Library, Tulane University (forthcoming 2016).

  • Sotomayor, Antonio. “The Cold War Games of a Colonial Latin American Nation: San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1966.” In Heather L. Dichter and Andrew L. Johns, editors, Diplomatic Games: Sport, Statecraft, and International Relations since 1945. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2014, 217-249.

Antonio Sotomayor

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