Episode 84 of the Imagine Otherwise podcast is out! I interview Latinx studies scholar Marisol LeBrón about how police violence and Hurricane Maria reveal the fraught colonial relationship between Puerto Rico and the US government, how scholars can roll with the punches when natural disasters and other major current events upend their research plans, why repair and rest are critical components of any professional career, and how an anti-colonial abolitionist praxis is how Marisol imagines otherwise.
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You can also read the transcript and show notes on the Ideas on Fire website, which have links to Marisol’s work and all the concepts, people, and events we discuss on the show (great for teaching!).
Guest: Marisol LeBrón
Marisol LeBrón is an assistant professor of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.
An interdisciplinary scholar, Marisol’s research and teaching focus on social inequality, policing, violence, and protest. Her book, Policing Life and Death: Race, Violence, and Resistance in Puerto Rico (University of California Press, 2019), examines the growth of punitive governance in contemporary Puerto Rico. Marisol has published her research in Radical History Review; the Journal of Urban History; Souls: A Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society; Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory; NACLA Report on the Americas; and the edited volume Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter.
Marisol’s current project, Shared Geographies of Resistance: Puerto Ricans and the Uses of Solidarity, explores the role of Puerto Rican activists in international radical politics and freedom struggles over the course of the twentieth century.
Marisol is an active contributor to popular conversations about Puerto Rico and its diaspora. She has published op-eds in The Guardian and Truthout (with Hilda Lloréns) and has been interviewed by a number of news outlets about Puerto Rico’s debt crisis as well as the impact of Hurricane María. She is also one of the co-creators and project leaders for the Puerto Rico Syllabus (#PRsyllabus), a digital resource for understanding the Puerto Rican debt crisis.
“I consider myself an abolitionist. I consider myself someone who in their scholarship and scholar activism is trying to work towards a world that is free of prisons, free of policing, and where we don’t have colonialism. An anti-colonial abolitionist praxis is how I imagine my own work.”
– Marisol LeBrón on episode 84 of the Imagine Otherwise podcast