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Title:In times of “crisis”: Puerto Rican activism, gender, and belonging in Orlando
Author(s):Torres, Julie
Director of Research:Lugo, Alejandro
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Lugo, Alejandro
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Manalansan IV, Martin F; Rosas, Gilberto; Torres, Arlene
Department / Program:Anthropology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Puerto Ricans
Abstract:In Times of “Crisis” is an ethnography of Puerto Rican activism in the Orlando metropolitan area that directly addresses contemporary events or moments of “crisis,” such as the fiscal crisis in Puerto Rico, the shooting at Pulse nightclub, the 2016 U.S. elections, and Hurricane Maria. Based on 24 months of ethnographic fieldwork conducted between 2016 and 2018, this dissertation asks and answers the following questions: What does the concept of crisis obscure and what knowledges does it make visible? How do Puerto Rican activists respond to these so-called “crises” in their own lives and communities? And how have conditions in Puerto Rico shaped activism in the diaspora to Orlando? Ultimately, this study of Puerto Rican activism argues for an understanding of the concept of crisis that does not denote exception, but rather continuities of social injustices across transnational spheres. This understanding also considers the ways that crisis is generative, producing alternative imaginings of a more just world and transnational spaces of belonging forged out of resistance. The first full-length ethnographic study of Puerto Rican activism in Central Florida, this dissertation departs from traditional studies of social activism by examining how crisis and activism are interconnected across the borders of the nation-state. In the process, it demonstrates how the socio-economic and political climate in Puerto Rico has led to the crystallization of a particularly local Puerto Rican activist community in Orlando that imagines itself as part of a larger transnational Puerto Rican community. Further, by foregrounding the narratives of Puerto Rican women this work is positioned within a genealogy of women of color feminisms that attends to how marginalized populations interpret and contest intersecting forms of oppression.
Issue Date:2020-05-07
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Julie Torres
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-08-27
Date Deposited:2020-05

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