DisasterDatafication: On the Surveillance State in Post-Maria Puerto Rico
Nearly two years have passed sinceHurricane María made landfall in Puerto Rico, yet its effects are still reelingthrough the islands. Rather than assisting with recovery, government agenciesare engaging in what I term climatizing surveillance—mechanisms developed toboth disempower Puerto Ricans and to ensure valuable resources remain in thehands of the wealthy elite. At its core, this enterprise seeks the erasure ofmarginalized peoples and their claims to commonly held lands and resources.This presentation will discuss how these processes operate in Puerto Rico,highlight their broader implications for a climate-stricken world, and outlinestrategies for resistance.
Dr. Christina Boyles isAssistant Professor of Culturally-engaged Digital Humanities in the Departmentof Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures at Michigan State University. Herresearch explores the relationship between disaster, social justice, and theenvironment. She is the director of the María Memory Bank, a project that workswith community organizations across Puerto Rico and the Caribbean to collectand preserve stories about Hurricane María. She is also the co-founder ofSurvDH, a community that explores the intersections between surveillance andthe humanities. Her published work appears in Digital Humanities Quarterly,Bodies of Information: Feminist Debates in the Digital Humanities, AmericanQuarterly, Studies in American Indian Literatures, The Southern LiteraryJournal, The South Central Review, and Plath Profiles.