The Business of Disaster:

Colonial Shock Doctrine & the Fight for Health Justice in Post-Maria Puerto Rico

Hurricane-Maria.pngWednesday, January 24th 2018


Gifford Room (Kroeber Hall 221)
Department of Anthropology, UC Berkeley

*Space is wheelchair accessible*

The ongoing catastrophe following Hurricane Maria’s landfall on Puerto Rico in September has provided a stark reminder that disasters are never merely natural. As with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, historical inequalities have played a clear role in shaping the government’s response. The enduring colonial relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico and the market-driven nature of governmental relief efforts are both critical to understanding the current crisis. Please join the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United and the Berkeley Center for Social Medicine for a timely and urgent panel discussion with the following speakers to analyze these forces.

  • Vincanne Adams is a professor in the Joint UCSF/UC Berkeley Program in Medical Anthropology and the author of “Markets of Sorrow, Labors of Faith: New Orleans in the Wake of Katrina.”
  • Cathy Kennedy is a Registered Nurse and a vice president of National Nurses United who led nurse teams in providing relief work in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.
  • Javier Arbona is a professor of American Studies and Design at UC Davis. His current in-progress book manuscript is tentatively titled “The City of Radical Memory: Spaces of Home Front Repression and Resistance in the San Francisco Bay Area.”