• A historical analysis of U.S. imperialism on women in Puerto Rico

      Jordan-Smith, Ella (2019-05)
      This paper examines how US imperialism has historically affected the reproductive rights of women in Puerto Rico. As a commonwealth of the US, Puerto Rico has been the subject of considerable domination through programs of population control and as a testing lab for forms of birth control. I argue that the US support for the sterilization of women and the experimental testing of contraceptives during the 20th century has made a large contribution towards the consolidation of American control over the island. In other words, US imperialism required not only the physical invasion of land but also the invasion of Puerto Rican women’s bodies.
    • Understanding the impacts of human rights violations in Puerto Rico through the analysis of Hurricane Maria: identifying Puerto Rican resistance

      Rabenstein-Bolufer, Sarah (2022-05)
      This paper explores the ways in which Hurricane Maria revealed the impacts of human rights violations in Puerto Rico. Through the analysis of colonial history, austerity measures, and neoliberal ideologies, sources of vulnerability in Puerto Rico are identified and Hurricane Maria’s impact is denaturalized. I identify local interventions based in grass roots and mutual aid models of solidarity that work to minimize Puerto Rican vulnerabilities. Interventions based in social work are also identified as possibilities to reduce vulnerabilities. Using a human rights framework, recommendations for policymaking are additionally presented.