Transatlantic intellectual networks in the General Studies university reform movement: the role of Puerto Rico.

  • Rodríguez Beruff Jorge Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y el Caribe (San Juan)
Palabras clave: university reform, general studies movement.


Although the General Studies move­ment had its beginnings in the Uni­ted States in the 1920s, it developed important intellectual and institutio­nal linkages with other related mo­vements in Europe, the Caribbean, Central America and Latin America. Puerto Rico became part of that mo­vement in the 1940s on the initiative of Chancellor Jaime Benítez and his collaborators. The influence of José Ortega y Gasset´s ideas on universi­ty reform in Puerto Rico predate the linking up with the General Studies movement in the United States. To a great extent, the links the Univer­sity of Puerto Rico developed with both networks, the General Studies movement in the US and Ortega´s own political and philosophic ne­tworks in Spain and Latin America, were an important aspect both of its own reform process and the interna­tional prominence it gained during this period. The academic relations­hip with Costa Rica was particularly close. Puerto Rico’s role in these mo­vements offers new insights into the mid 20th century university reform process by placing it in a broad inter­national scenario.

Biografía del autor/a

Rodríguez Beruff Jorge, Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y el Caribe (San Juan)

Doctorate in Political Science, The University of York, England (1979). Former Director of the Interdisciplinary Baccalaureate of the Universidad Carlos Albizu and Dean of the Faculty of General Studies of the University of Puerto Rico. Professor at the Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y el Caribe (San Juan) and of the doctorate of History of the Pontificia Universidad Católica Ma­dre y Maestra (PUCMM) of the Dominican Republic. Former First President of the Puerto Rican Association of International Relations (APRI), member of the Board of Directors of the Luis Muñoz Marín Foundation and numerary member of the Puerto Rican Academy of History. His most recent books are Puerto Rico en la Segunda Gue­rra Mundial, Baluarte del Caribe (San Juan, 2013), Puerto Rico en la Segunda Guerra Mundial, el escenario regional (San Juan, 2015) and Island at War: Puerto Rico in the Crucible of the Second World War (Mississippi, 2015), all coedited with José L. Bolívar. He has also edi­ted Entre Islas: Un homenaje puertorriqueño a Juan Bosch (San Juan, 2013) with Juan B. Giusti de Jesús, Alma Mater, memorias y pers­pectivas de la universidad posible (San Juan, 2013) and Aula Magna (2016) coedited with Francisco Javier Rodríguez Suárez. His most recent book of essays is Las caras del poder (San Juan; 2017). Puerto Rico en siglo XX (MAPFRE and SM Editions) is forthcoming in 2019 as part of a series on the history of Latin America. He has been a visiting professor at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Rut­gers University-New Brunswick, The Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra, and FLACSO, Dominican Republic. His current re­search is on intellectual networks in higher education..