Puerto Rico's Taino Movements
Sherina Feliciano & Yarimar Bonilla in Dialogue
A Contested Caribbean Indigeneity:
Language, Social Practice and Identity within
Puerto Rican Taino Activism
Centro Director, Yarimar Bonilla and Author Sherina Feliciano-Santos on October 7, 2021, discussing her latest book A Contested Caribbean Indigeneity: Language, Social Practice and Identity within Puerto Rican Taino Activism. We will explore the encounters and motivations of Boricua/ Taíno activists and the debates surrounding them in the Puerto Rican and Caribbean diaspora in NYC. How does self-identification play a role here and who decides who can hold someone accountable?
A Contested Caribbean Indigeneity aims to identify a space to analyze and decolonize several ideologies including classism, nationalism, and colonialism and address a sense of belonging and narrative through historical memory. It is published in the Critical Caribbean Studies section at Rutgers University Press.
Dr. Sherina Feliciano-Santos is also an associate professor of anthropology at the University of South Carolina located in Columbia, South Carolina. She is a linguistic and sociocultural anthropologist who is dedicated to the interrelatedness of language, history, identity, and social action amongst several racialized groups. As seen in the book and across her work, Sherina Feliciano is heavily interested in ethnoracialization and its involvement in power and structure in her research on several notions such as migration, cultural reclamation of Indigenous folks, race, citizenship, and various ideologies of language in Puerto Rico and its diaspora.
Yarimar Bonilla is the Director of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College. She is also a Professor in the Department of Africana, Puerto Rican, and Latino Studies at Hunter College and in the Ph.D. 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. In addition, Yarimar is a prominent public intellectual and a leading voice in Caribbean and Latin-X politics. She writes a monthly column in the Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Día titled “En Vaivén,” is a regular contributor to publications such as The Washington Post, The Nation, Jacobin, and The New Yorker, and a frequent guest on National Public Radio and news programs such as Democracy Now! Her current research—for which she was named a 2018-2020 Carnegie Fellow —examines the politics of recovery in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and the forms of political and social trauma that the storm revealed