The Winter 2019 Michael Baptista Lecture and CALACS Conference Keynote: ‘The Coloniality of Disaster: Race, Empire and Emergency in Puerto Rico, USA’
Professor Bonilla will examine how catastrophic events like hurricanes, earthquakes as well as forms of political and economic crisis, deepen the fault lines of long-existing racial and colonial histories. Drawing on ethnographic research conducted before and after Hurricane Maria, she will explore how attention to the coloniality of disaster requires a move away from an emphasis on resilience, turning instead towards new visions of repair and redress.
Yarimar Bonilla is a political anthropologist specializing in questions of sovereignty, citizenship and race across the Americas. She has tracked these issues across a broad range of sites and practices including: postcolonial politics in the French Caribbean, the role of digital protest in the Black Lives Matter movement, the politics of the Trump presidency, the Puerto Rican statehood movement, and her current research, for which she was named a 2018 Carnegie Fellow, on the political, economic and social aftermath of hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.