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Yarimar Bonilla: Non-Sovereign Citizens: Puerto Rico, USA and the Aporias of Empire
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, which has grown even as the Puerto Rican territory has experienced an unprecedented economic crisis, with failing infrastructure, a seemingly unpayable public debt, and historic levels of out-migration.
Within this context many residents envision annexation as the only way of safeguarding a precarious and unguaranteed place within the nation. Bonilla offers an ethnographic analysis of how statehood is imagined and defended by its supporters and shows how this movement uniquely articulates the very contradictions and power asymmetries that structure Puerto Rico’s relationship to the US.

Yarimar Bonilla is Professor in the Department of Africana, Puerto Rican and Latino Studies at Hunter College and the PhD Program in Anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is the author of Non-Sovereign Futures: French Caribbean Politics in the Wake of Disenchantment (2015), co-editor of Aftershocks of Disaster: Puerto Rico Before and After the Storm.(2019) and a founder of the Puerto Rico Syllabus Project.

Moderation: Prof. Dr. Rose Mary Allen

Note: Time is 10-12hrs AST /16-18hrs CET

Apr 8, 2021 10:00 AM in Caracas

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