Hurricane María made landfall in the Puerto Rican archipelago in September 2017, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. The storm was only the beginning of the disaster, though, as the aftermath was defined by inadequate aid and failed governmental relief efforts. This catastrophe in Puerto Rico is indicative of the multiple other marginalized communities on the frontlines of the climate emergency whose positionality as second-class citizens prevents them from receiving necessary support and participating in larger conversations about mitigating this global crisis. The editors of "Mi María: Surviving the Storm, Voices from Puerto Rico" (Haymarket Books, 2021) will discuss oral histories that narrate surviving the hurricane and its long aftermath in Puerto Rico as a means of beginning to parse through issues of climate justice on a global level.
Ricia Anne Chansky is a professor of literature in the English Department at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez where she is directing a new Oral History Lab. Her research focuses on the intersections of interdisciplinary and multimodal life narratives, critical disaster studies, and public humanities.
Marci Denesiuk is a Canadian writer with a background in journalism and creative writing who currently teaches in the English Department at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez.
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