Dr. Julio Capó, Jr. is a transnational historian whose research and teaching interests include modern U.S. history, especially the United States’s relationship to the Caribbean and Latin America. He addresses how gender and sexuality have historically intersected with constructions of ethnicity, race, class, nation, age, and ability. He teaches introductory and specialized courses on all these subjects, as well as courses on public history.
Capó’s research and teaching interests extend to his commitment to civic engagement and public-facing work. He curated “Queer Miami: A History of LGBTQ Communities,” which won the 2019 Museum Excellent Award from the Florida Association of Museums, for HistoryMiami Museum. He worked as a broadcast news writer and producer and, more recently, his work appears in mainstream publications, including The Washington Post, Time, The Miami Herald, El Nuveo Día (Puerto Rico), and The Abusable Past. He was a commentator for BackStory with the American History Guys (Podcast) and the PBS/Miami Herald documentary The Day It Snowed in Miami. He also works with the National Park Service and contributed to efforts to promote and identify historic LGBTQ sites, including writing a theme study chapter on Miami. The Organization of American Historians recently named him a Distinguished Lecturer.
Dr. Capó’s first book, Welcome to Fairyland: Queer Miami before 1940 (UNC Press, 2017), highlights how transnational forces—including (im)migration, trade, and tourism—to and from the Caribbean shaped Miami’s queer past. The book has received six awards and honors, including the Charles S. Sydnor Award from the Southern Historical Association for the best book written on Southern history. His work has also appeared in the Journal of American History, Radical History Review, Diplomatic History, Journal of Urban History, Journal of American Ethnic History, Modern American History, GLQ, H-Net, American Studies, and several edited volumes.
He is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships and he has held several prominent posts. The Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender History awarded him the Audre Lorde Prize (2018, for “Sexual Connections”), the Immigration and Ethnic History Society awarded him the Carlton C. Qualey Award (2011, for “Queering Mariel”), the Urban History Association awarded him the Best Dissertation Award (2011), and UMass Amherst awarded him the College Outstanding Teaching Award (2016). He was Visiting Scholar at the University of Sydney’s United States Studies Centre (2017), a Postdoctoral Associate at Yale University (2011-12), and serves as the co-chair of the Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender History and on the Editorial Board for the Journal of American History.