Brett Robert

Ph.D. Student

20th Century Caribbean and Latin America

The San Felipe hurricane crossed Puerto Rico September 13, 1928. This massive storm killed thousands and left hundreds of thousands homeless as it trailed destruction throughout the Caribbean, from Guadeloupe, to Puerto Rico, and finally Florida, where it was known as the Okeechobee hurricane. My research uses government and non-governmental organization records alongside analysis of art, music, and literature in French, English, and Spanish about this storm to analyze not only the tremendous damage it wrought, but also its cultural and political legacies in the region.

My interest in transnational histories that link Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States began during my M.A. work at the California State University Northridge. While there I investigated the local impact of the opening of the Panama Canal on the growth of the City of Los Angeles, including its annexation of San Pedro and Wilmington and the creation of a Harbor Department to reshape the city's economy and spur industrial growth.

I have presented at the Pacific Coast Branch Conference of the American Historical Association, the Whitsett Graduate Seminar, and the Penn in Latin America and the Caribbean conference. 

Advisor: Ann Farnsworth-Alvear


M.A. in History, California State University Northridge, 2017.
B.A. in History, Sonoma State University, 2012.

Research Interests

Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, Latin America, Environmental History, Disasters, Latin America-United States Relations, Latin American Art History

Courses Taught

Teaching Assistant or Grader for: History 174 - Capitalism, Socialism, and Crisis in the Twentieth-Century Americas; History 155 - Introduction to Asian American History