April J. Mayes PhD


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Dr. April J. Mayes focuses her research on the Dominican Republic and teaches courses in Colonial Latin American History, Afro-Latin American History, women's and gender studies, and Africana Studies.

A graduate of Pamona College and current associate professor of history and coordinator of Latin American Studies at Pomona, Dr. Mayes was awarded a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship she used to examine Protestant women's social justice movements in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Ecuador. Afterwards, she attended the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor where she earned a PhD in history (2003), with an emphasis in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, gender, ethnicity, and race in the Americas, comparative post-emancipation studies, and anthro/history.

While at the University of Michigan, Dr. Mayes received the Dean's Mellon Award and a Rockefeller Grant to pursue research at the Dominican Studies Institute at City College (CUNY) in New York City. During her tenure at Pomona College, Mayes received a Fulbright Research-Teaching Fellowship (2009-2010) for research in the Dominican Republic and raised over $30,000 from the Public Affairs Section of the United States Embassy to support major scholarly initiatives in the Dominican Republic, including the first Transnational Hispaniola Conference and the symposium, Intercambiando Historias: Género y Política en la República Dominicana.


Dr. Mayes is the author of the book, The Mulatto Republic: Class, Race, and National Identity in the Dominican Republic (University Press of Florida) and has published various articles in women's and gender history: "Why Dominican Feminism Moved to the Right: Class, Colour and Women's Activism in the Dominican Republic, 1880s-1940s," Gender & History; "Tolerating Sex: Prostitution, Gender, and Governance in the Dominican Republic, 1880s-1924," Health and Medicine in the Caribbean: Historical Perspectives; and ,with Stephanie Román, " 'A Patriarchal Right of Passage': An Exploration of Gendered Migration Histories and the Erasure of Women," Al-Raida, Journal of the Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World. She is currently finishing a two-volume collection of archival materials related to the history of Dominican Feminism, Cien Años de Feminismos Dominicanos, 1861-1965, in collaboration with Dr. Ginetta Candelario (Smith College) and Dr. Elizabeth Manley (Xavier University). Her current project is a textbook, Women, Feminism, and Politics in Latin America, under consideration at Rutgers University Press.

Drawing both from her research and teaching, Dr. Mayes is an emerging scholar and practitioner in the field of education. Mayes is particularly interested in helping universities and colleges become more welcoming to first-generation, low-income students and more attentive to the specific needs and contributions of underrepresented minorities. She has presented a paper on the benefits of community engagement for creating inclusive classrooms and is currently finishing an article on this same topic. Currently, she is completing a study of the faculty experience of holistic mentoring and plans to publish these findings as well. Mayes firmly believes that a liberal arts education, which offers breadth and depth of knowledge, is the foundation for a thriving democracy, especially when that education is grounded in a firm commitment to cultivating empathy, intercultural understanding, ethical responsibility, and accountability. If education is key to forming civically-minded citizens, then creating inclusive environments for learning and engagement is central to building a pluralistic democracy.

In addition to her publications, Dr. Mayes is a an active leader in Dominican Studies. As Co-Chair of the Haiti-Dominican Republic section of the Latin American Studies Association, Mayes, in collaboration with Dr. Kiran Jayaram, increased section membership and the section's visibility through social media. She has reviewed numerous articles for publication in Gender & History, Public Art Dialogue, Journal of Women's History, The Americas, Journal of Women’s History, Iberoamericana, The Black Scholar, Latin American Perspectives, New West Indian Guide, Handbook of Latin American Studies, Duke University Press, RutgersUniversity Press, University of Alabama Press, and the University Press of Florida. Mayes is one of the co-founders of the Transnational Hispaniola collective, an intellectual initiative that serves to promote social scientific research in Haiti and in the Dominican Republic as well as cross-national dialogue and intellectual exchange.


Dr. April J. Mayes, autora del libro, The Mulatto Republic: Class, Race, and Dominican National Identity (La República mulata: clase, raza y nacionalidad dominicana) es profesora de historia e estudios de género, sexualidad y etnicidad en Pomona College en Claremont, California. La Dra. Mayes recibió su doctorado en historia Latinomericana de la Universidad de Michigan en Ann Arbor en 2003. Ella ha publicado varios artículos sobre el género y sobre la historia del movimiento feminista en la República Dominicana: "Why Dominican Feminism Moved to the Right: Class, Colour and Women's Activism in the Dominican Republic, 1880s-1940s," publicado en Gender & History; "Tolerating Sex: Prostitution, Gender, and Governance in the Dominican Republic, 1880s-1924," publicado en el libro editado, Health and Medicine in the Caribbean: Historical Perspectives; y con Stephanie Román, " 'A Patriarchal Right of Passage': An Exploration of Gendered Migration Histories and the Erasure of Women," publicado en Al-Raida, Journal of the Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World de la Universidad Líbanes-Americana. Adicionalmente, la Dra. Dr. Mayes es co-coordinadora de la Sección Haití-Dominicana de la Asociación de Estudios Latinoamericanos (LASA), co-fundadora de la colectiva intelectual y conferencia, La Española Transnacional y co-diretora del seminario, "Intercambiando Historias: Género y Política en la República Dominicana."