Diego Luis

Diego Luis

212 College Avenue
Research/Areas of Interest:

Colonial Latin America, Global History, Pacific World, Racial Formation, Diasporic Histories


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Brown University, USA, 2020
  • Master of Arts, Brown University, USA, 2016
  • Bachelor of Arts, Emory University, USA, 2014


Diego Javier Luis studies the colonial histories of Latin America and the Pacific World, race-making, and Afro-Asian diasporic convergences. He is the author of The First Asians in the Americas: A Transpacific History (Harvard University Press, 2024). The book traces both free and enslaved Asian mobility from the Philippines to Mexico, Central America, Peru, and Spain, from the sixteenth to early-nineteenth centuries. In particular, it examines how Asian subjects encountered and responded to colonial-era racialization with an emphasis on cross-cultural exchanges, social mobility, and resistance to enslavement.

Luis's second project, "The Early Modern Black Pacific: Responding to Global Empire," aims to uncover the early, hidden histories of African diaspora to and through the Spanish Pacific.

Luis conducts archival research in Spain, Mexico, the Philippines, and the U.S.