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About this Conversation

The UMBC's Dresher Center for the Humanities' Humanities Forum presents "Puerto Ricans at the Fault Lines" a conversation between Yarimar Bonilla, one of the foremost scholars on Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, and UMBC’s Fernando Tormos-Aponte, assistant professor in the School of Public Policy.

The speakers will share ideas on the social and political aftermath of Hurricane María, how Puerto Ricans have come to deal with their political history under U.S. colonial rule, and how social movements in Puerto Rico imagine and enact an anti-colonial future.

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Dr. Yarimar Bonilla. Image description: A Puerto Rican woman with curly hair wears a navy blue dress and poses in the street with her hands in her pockets.

Yarimar Bonilla is a Professor in the Department of Africana, Puerto Rican and Latino Studies and the Director of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College. She also teaches in the doctoral program in Anthropology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She is the author of Non-Sovereign Futures: French Caribbean Politics in the Wake of Disenchantment and co-editor of Aftershocks of Disaster: Puerto Rico Before and After the Storm. A leading voice on Caribbean and Latinx politics, Bonilla also writes a monthly column for the Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Día titled “En Vaivén.” She is a regular contributor to publications such as The Washington Post, The Nation, Jacobin, and The New Yorker, and is a frequent guest on National Public Radio and news programs such as Democracy Now!. Her next book project—for which she was named a 2018 Carnegie Fellow—examines the politics of recovery in Puerto Rico after Hurricane María and the forms of political and social trauma that the storm revealed. She is also at work on an ethnographic study of the Puerto Rican pro-statehood movement, tentatively titled “An Unthinkable State,” which examines annexationism as a form of anti-colonial politics. In addition, Bonilla has a strong interest in the role of digital technologies within social movements and academic practice as she is currently developing a multi-media political atlas of the Caribbean entitled, “Visualizing Sovereignty,” and is a principal collaborator in the #PuertoRicoSyllabus project.

This event is organized and sponsored by the Latinx and Hispanic Faculty Association, the Dresher Center for the Humanities, and the School of Public Policy, with media support from by the Puerto Rico Syllabus project led by Dr. Yarimar Bonilla.