May 30, 2023

The Department of Spanish and Portuguese is thrilled to announce that Professor Emeritus Arcadio Díaz-Quiñones has received the highest distinction from the University. He is now a doctor Honoris Causa from Princeton University.

The honorary degree was awarded by President Christopher L. Eisgruber during the Commencement ceremony on May 30, 2023, and is the most unequivocal recognition of Professor Díaz-Quiñones’s consistent and profound contributions to the University and to Puerto Rican and Latin American Culture.

Arcadio Díaz-Quiñones celebrating with friends and colleagues

Arcadio Díaz-Quiñones, the Emory L. Ford Professor of Spanish, Emeritus, joined the Princeton faculty in 1983. From 1970 to 1982, he taught at the Universidad de Puerto Rico, Río Piedras. He was also a member of the Centro de Estudios de la Realidad Puertorriqueña (CEREP) and of the Editorial Board of the literary journal Sin Nombre. At Princeton, he directed the Program in Latin American Studies from 1988 to 1994, helping build the program with an interdisciplinary team of faculty members and a thriving community of undergraduates and graduate students. Díaz-Quiñones is an expert in the fields of Latin American cultural and intellectual history and Caribbean poetry. He teaches Latin American literature, with emphasis on the impact of imperial, anticolonial and diasporic traditions. He is a 2010 recipient of Princeton’s President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching and received the Pace Center for Civic Engagement’s Faculty Service Award in 2019. In 1998 he received an honorary degree from the Universidad del Turabo in Puerto Rico, and in 2015 he was invited to offer the Lección Magistral at the Universidad de Puerto Rico, Bayamón. He was named Humanista del Año in 2016 by the Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades. 

His publications include El almuerzo en la hierba (1982); an edition of El prejuicio racial en Puerto Rico, by Tomás Blanco (1985); a study on the Cuban poet Cintio Vitier: La memoria integradora (1987); and a book of essays on Puerto Rican culture, La memoria rota: ensayos de cultura y política (1993). He also edited the volume El Caribe entre imperios (1997), and wrote an introduction to the Alfaguara edition of Cuentos completos by José Luis González (1997). A book of essays, El arte de bregar, was published in 2000, as well as the Cátedra edition of La guaracha del Macho Camacho by Luis Rafael Sánchez. His book Sobre los principios: los intelectuales caribeños y la tradición was published in Argentina in 2006. An anthology of his essays, edited and translated into Portuguese by Pedro Meira Monteiro, titled A memória rota, was published in Brazil in 2016. In 2019 he published a volume titled Once tesis sobre un crimen de 1899.

He has served as a visiting professor at the University of Washington (Seattle), the University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers University, the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Swarthmore College, and Hostos Community College of the City University of New York. 

Information about the honorary degree recipients can be found on the University’s webpage.