Author: Anne Theriault

Puerto Rican Crisis Research Group

El Instituto announces the establishment of a Puerto Rican Crisis Research Group. This initiative aims to channel information within and beyond the UConn community about the background to the PROMESA/Hurricane María crisis, its nature and magnitude, and the prospects and initiatives for recovery.

Our first priority at this stage is gathering and sharing information: Are you, your UConn colleagues or Connecticut neighbors providing or planning to provide support for civil society initiatives, scholarly partners, government planning or other reconstruction efforts? Please let us know if you would like us to share word of your UConn-related initiatives through the Instituto mailing list or social media.

The research group will also be organizing a series of public lectures and scholarly workshops all the way through spring 2018 and possibly beyond.

Our first speaker is human rights lawyer and community activist Ariadna Godreau, who will present a public lecture on Monday 27 November, 4:30PM, Class of ‘47 Room, “The Politics of Disaster Relief: Austerity and Human Rights in Puerto Rico Post-María.”

Godreau will also workshop a paper in progress, Tuesday, 28 November, 12:30-2:00PM, Dodd 162, “Whose Rights? Whose Debris?  Access to Justice and Shared Responsibility in Puerto Rico Post-María.”

The speaker series will be multidisciplinary and your suggestions for future speakers are welcome.

Another research group initiative is a faculty/grad reading group, “Theorizing Catastrophes,” co-sponsored with the UCONN Humanities Institute. Once more details are set, we will reach out again with word of this reading group’s agenda and schedule.

Please feel free to contact any of the research group’s co-organizers, Rob Venator (charles.venator@uconn.edu), Guillermo Irizarry (Guillermo.irizarry@uconn.edu) or Samuel Martínez (Samuel.martinez@uconn.edu).

Chrystal Smith receives NSF grant

University of Connecticut anthropology professor Dr. Chrystal Smith has been granted $174,000 from the National Science Foundation to study the effects of academic climate and social networks on sexual and gender minority undergraduates who are in STEM fields. To read full article, go to https://innovation.uconn.edu/news/234/Understanding%20the%20STEM%20Climate%20and%20Social%20Networks%20effects%20on%20the%20Persistence%20of%20sexual%20and%20gender%20minorities%20in%20STEM%20fields

The Disembodied Shade

the_shadePuerto Rico and the origins of the U.S. Global Empire: The Disembodied Shadow

Drawing on a postcolonial legal history of the United States’ territorial expansionism, this book provides an analysis of the foundations of its global empire. Charles R. Venator-Santiago argues that the United States has developed three traditions of territorial expansionism with corresponding constitutional interpretations, namely colonialist, imperialist, and global expansionist. This book offers an alternative interpretation of the origins of US global expansion, suggesting it began with the tradition of territorial expansionism following the 1898 Spanish–American War to legitimate the annexation of Puerto Rico and other non-contiguous territories. The relating constitutional interpretation grew out of the 1901 Insular Cases in which the Supreme Court coined the notion of an unincorporated territory to describe the 1900 Foraker Act’s normalization of the prevailing military territorial policies. Since then the United States has invoked the ensuing precedents to legitimate a wide array of global policies, including the ‘war on terror’.

Puerto Rico and the Origins of US Global Empire: The Disembodied Shade combines a unique study of Puerto Rican legal history with a new interpretation of contemporary US policy. As such, it provides a valuable resource for students and scholars of the legal and historical disciplines, especially those with a specific interest in American and postcolonial studies.

Beyond La Frontera

Mark Overmyer-Velazquez

la_fronteraProviding a comprehensive and up-to-date historical overview of Mexican migration to the U.S., Beyond la Frontera: The History of Mexico-U.S. Migrationexamines the transnational and historical impact of migratory trends as they developed in Mexico and the U.S. from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day. Featuring essays by leading authors in the field, the book utilizes both a chronological and thematic structure, referencing mutually influential periods in Mexican and Mexican-American history. Taking into consideration the bi-national historical factors and narrative constructions of Mexican migration, Beyond la Frontera also describes how we may better understand the persistent legislative debates surrounding migrant rights and national sovereignty.