In our introduction to the forum we want to more firmly situate Puerto Rico within geographical debates precisely because there is much to be learned about and with this U.S. colony. Our approach consists of reading and writing Puerto Rico “with and beyond Lefebvre,” an analytical maneuver familiar to many readers of Society and Space (Kinkaid, 2019: 2). To do so, we conceptualize the 2019 summer protests, as well as the multitude of alternative political spaces that emerged before, during and after the protests, as differential spaces (Lefebvre, 1991). As the interventions of this forum demonstrate, to conceptualize the differential spaces that decolonial struggles in Puerto Rico have produced we need new analytical tools, new positionalities, and new departures that take us beyond the whiteness, androcentric, and Eurocentric epistemologies of Henri Lefebvre (Fenster, 2005; Samara, He, and Chen, 2013; see also, Oswin, 2019). That is one of the many lessons that Puerto Rico and the protests of the summer teach us.
Engaging emerging, multidisciplinary conversations across anthropology, American studies, and postcolonial studies about how empire operates and endures, "Ethnographies of U.S. Empire" is a reflection both on empire and on ethnography. Together, the chapters make a case for ethnographic research as a way of studying empire, as a method that offers not a bounded or concise definition of what makes an empire, but rather an expansive sense of how people live with and within the imperial present.
As Iraqi activists block critical roads and highways within and between cities, a spatial interpretation of Iraq’s ongoing revolution not only reads into everyday acts of protest, but interprets with Iraqi revolutionaries who are fighting and dying to birth new futures for themselves, their families, and their homeland.
In a time where higher education and academic scholarship have become increasingly inaccessible, the site’s aim is to create a forum for scholarly and activist writing that is free and publicly accessible in both content and form.
We are delighted to announce that Jasbir Puar, Professor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University, will give the Society and Space lecture at the 2019 AAG meeting in Washington, DC.