In addition to being a professor of sociology, Ginetta Candelario is a member of the Latin American and Latina/o Studies Program (LALS), which she has directed several times, most recently from 2011 to 2014. Professor Candelario is also affiliated with the Study of Women and Gender Program (SWG) and the Community Engagement and Social Change Concentration (CESC). She has also been the Editor of Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism (Duke University Press) since July 2017. During her tenure, Meridians has won the “Best Digital Feature Award” from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals, reduced its acceptance rate to below 10%, and launched a successful endowment campaign that has secured the journal’s future at Smith.
Beyond Smith, Professor Candelario was the founding Vice President of the National Latin@ Studies Association (LSA); is a founding executive committee member of the New England Consortium for Latina/o Studies (NECLS); was appointed by the American Sociological Association to its Committee on Professional Ethics for 2017–20 and to the Finance Committee for 2021-2024;and has served as the Gender Section co-chair, the Latina/o Studies Program track chair, the Latino Studies Section co-chair and most recently on the Executive Council for the Latin American Studies Association (LASA).
Candelario's research interests include Dominican history and society, with a focus on national identity formation and women’s history; Blackness in the Americas; Latin American, Caribbean and Latina feminisms; Latina/o communities (particularly Cuban, Dominican and Puerto Rican); U.S. beauty culture; and museum studies. She has been a Fulbright Scholar in the Dominican Republic twice, in 2003 and 2016.
Her current research is on Dominican feminist thought and activism, 1880–1961, which she is developing into a book-length study, tentatively titled "Voices Echoing Beyond the Seas: Dominican Feminisms, from Transnational to Trujillista (1882–1956)." She recently published Cien Años de feminismos dominicanos, 1861–1961: Una colección de documentos y escrituras claves en la formación y evolución del pensamiento y el movimiento feminista en la República Domincana, 1865–1965, (Santo Domingo, RD: Archivo General de la Nación, 2016) with April Mayes (Pomona College) and Elizabeth Manley (Xavier University). Cien años is a 1,555-page primary documents collection organized in two volumes, Tomo I: El fuego tras las ruinas, 1865–1931 and Tomo II: Las siempre fervientes devotas, 1931–1965.
Her first book, Black behind the ears: Dominican Racial Identity from Museums to Beauty Shops, was published by Duke University Press in 2007 and received the 2009 Best Book Award from the Latino Studies Section of the Latin American Studies Association and the 2008 Best Book Award from the New England Council of Latin American Studies. The Spanish translation of this book, El negro detras de las orejas: Identidad racial dominicana, desde los museos hasta los salones de belleza, (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Editora Universitaria of the Instituto Superior Pedro Bonó, 2021) won Honorable Mention for the Translation Prize from the Hispaniola Section of the Latin American Studies Association in 2023. Her 2005 edited volume, Miradas desencadenantes: Los estudios de género en la República Dominicana al inicio del tercer milenio, was the first published collection of gender and women's studies research in the Dominican Republic and spurred a biennial publication series by the Center for Gender Studies (CEG) at the Instituto Tecnológico in Santo Domingo.
Candelario's work has also appeared in interdisciplinary journals such as Latino Studies, West Indian Guide, Small Axe, Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism, Phoebe, and in Latina/o studies anthologies, including Keywords in Latino Studies, Oxford Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in Contemporary Politics, Law and Social Movements, The Afro-Latino Reader, the Dominican Republic Reader and A Companion to Latino Studies, among others.
She has served on the editorial boards of Latin American and Caribbean Ethnicities, and has written published and unpublished peer reviews for Gender and Society, Caribbean Studies, Callaloo, West Indian Review, Americas Quarterly, American Journal of Sociology, The Black Scholar, Latino Studies, American Ethnologist, Ethnic Studies, Social Problems, as well as for many university presses.
She has been teaching community-based learning and research courses on “The Sociology of Hispanic Caribbean Communities in the U.S.” in collaboration with a dozen Holyoke, Massachusetts, community-based organizations and nonprofits for more than a decade, for which she has received various awards. These include the Antonia Pantoja Community Champion Award from the Latino Scholarship Fund in 2006 and the Five College Community-Based Learning faculty member of the year in 2008. In October 2012 she was selected by Governor Deval Patrick to give the keynote address for the opening ceremonies of Hispanic Heritage Month in Massachusetts. She has also served on the executive board of Enlace de Familias and the Carlos Vega Social Justice Fund, both in Holyoke, MA.