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Lamento Borincano: Puerto Rican Sites of the Catastrophic, 1968/2018

April 5, 2018 · 4:30 pm6:00 pm · 101 McCormick

Princeton Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism and the Humanities Council

Lamento Borincano, one of the honorary national anthems of Puerto Rico by famed composer Rafael Hernández, tells the narrative of a jíbaro that optimistically moves from the countryside to the city, only to find more exploitation and indifference. The “lament” described in this beloved 1920s song has come to symbolize the colonized experience of the catastrophic in Puerto Rico.

The symposium “Lamento Borincano: Puerto Rican Sites of the Catastrophic, 1968/2018” will aim to address the postcolonial symbolic “failed move to the city” by exploring sites of catastrophic memory, such as Río Piedras as a space for violent retaliation to student resistance, Vieques as a military base during Puerto Rican participation in the Vietnam War, or the current urban blackouts as a site for desolation. The focus on sites of memory will aim to unveil the repercussions of disenfranchisement and exploitation in the narrative of the catastrophic in Puerto Rico.


Mónica Jiménez (Texas Austin)

Alexis R. Santos-Lozada (U. Penn)

Lorrin Thomas (Rutgers)

Benigno Trigo (Vanderbilt)

Discussant: Reena N. Goldthree (African American Studies)

Moderator: Dannelle Gutarra Cordero (Forbes)

More about the 1968/2018: Cities on the Edge series

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