Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria: Culture, Politics, Place

A one-day symposium on the cultural, political and infrastructural situation in Puerto Rico after Hurricane María struck the island in September 2017. 

Hurricane Maria, a category-5 storm, made landfall in Puerto Rico on 20 September 2017, just two weeks after Hurricane Irma scraped past the north of the island, leaving a great majority of the population without power. Puerto Rico’s 3.5 million inhabitants are still struggling to come to terms with the humanitarian crisis created by this event. Aside from an overwhelmed infrastructure, a growing health crisis, and a continuing exodus to the US, the island’s power grid, which was frail before the event, is still inoperative, and it is unlikely that Puerto Ricans will be able to have electricity in their homes before the new year. It has been declared the longest blackout in US history.

This symposium brings together a number of voices from Puerto Rico, who will address the situation in the island from political, infrastructural and cultural angles. 

Invited speakers

Eduardo Lalo, novelist and academic, University of Puerto Rico

Antonio Carmona Báez, International Institute for Research and Education

Sarah Molinari, CUNY Graduate Center


Please visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/puerto-rico-after-hurricane-maria-culture-politics-place-a-one-day-symposium-tickets-45480699998 

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10.30 Arrival and registration


María del Pilar Blanco


The Repeating Diaspora: A Political Journey Shaping Identity

Antonio Carmona-Báez (International Institute for Research and Education)

Respondent: Eduardo Posada-Carbó (University of Oxford)

12.30-1.30 Lunch

“Rindiendo cuentas”: Post-María Politics of Debt and Hurricane Recovery

Sarah Molinari (CUNY Graduate Center)

Respondent: Carlos Vargas-Silva (University of Oxford)

2.30-2.45 Break

Unnatural Disaster: Puerto Rico and Hurricane María

Eduardo Lalo (University of Puerto Rico)

Respondent: Carlos Fonseca Suárez (University of Cambridge)

3.45-4.15 Coffee break

Roundtable discussion: Diaspora and Exile in Puerto Rico

Chair: Lloyd Pratt (University of Oxford)

5.30 Wine reception