In the wake of Hurricane Maria, unprecedented attention turned to the unincorporated territory of Puerto Rico and its enduring colonial relationship with the United States. This presentation will examine the rising popularity and shifting strategies of the Puerto Rican statehood movement, with a focus on how and why annexation has come to be imagined as a form of anti-colonial politics.
Yarimar Bonilla is professor in the Department of Africana and Puerto Rican/Latino Studies at Hunter College and the Ph.D. program in anthropology at the the City University of New York Graduate Center (GC). She is currently a faculty lead in the Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research at the GC Graduate Center for the Humanities and Director of the Puerto Rico Syllabus Project.
Both an accomplished scholar and a prominent public intellectual, Yarimar Bonilla is a leading voice on questions of Caribbean and Latinx politics. She has written about anti-colonial movements in the French Caribbean, the role of digital protest in the Black Lives Matter movement, the cultural implications of the Trump presidency, disaster capitalism and post-disaster imaginaries in contemporary Puerto Rico. She is also a regular contributor to publications such as The Washington Post, The Nation, Jacobin, and The New Yorker, and a frequent voice on National Public Radio and programs such as Democracy Now! She also writes a monthly column in the Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Día titled “En Vaivén.”