Jorell Meléndez-Badillo - "Puerto Rico: A National History" - Juan Gonzalez

Tuesday, June 4, 2024 - 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Jorell Meléndez-Badillo

Jorell Meléndez-Badillo discusses Puerto Rico: A National History. He will be joined in conversation by Juan Gonzalez.

At the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center 

About the Book:

A panoramic history of Puerto Rico from pre-Columbian times to today.

Puerto Rico is a Spanish-speaking territory of the United States with a history shaped by conquest and resistance. For centuries, Puerto Ricans have crafted and negotiated complex ideas about nationhood. Jorell Meléndez-Badillo provides a new history of Puerto Rico that gives voice to the archipelago's people while offering a lens through which to understand the political, economic, and social challenges confronting them today.

In this masterful work of scholarship, Meléndez-Badillo sheds light on the vibrant cultures of the archipelago in the centuries before the arrival of Columbus and captures the full sweep of Puerto Rico's turbulent history in the centuries that followed, from the first indigenous insurrection against colonial rule in 1511 - led by the powerful chieftain Agüeybaná II - to the establishment of the Commonwealth in 1952. He deftly portrays the contemporary period and the intertwined though unequal histories of the archipelago and the continental United States.

Puerto Rico is an engaging, sometimes personal, and consistently surprising history of colonialism, revolt, and the creation of a national identity, offering new perspectives not only on Puerto Rico and the Caribbean but on the United States and the Atlantic world more broadly.

Available in Spanish from our partners at Grupo Planeta

About the Author: Jorell Meléndez-Badillo is assistant professor of Latin American and Caribbean history at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is the author of The Lettered Barriada: Workers, Archival Power, and the Politics of Knowledge in Puerto Rico.

About the Interlocutor: Juan González is a Senior Research Fellow at Great Cities Institute and one of the most well-regarded Latino journalists in the United States. A former columnist for New York’s The Daily News he has, since 1996, been a co-host of the morning news show Democracy Now. González's investigative reports on the labor movement, environmental justice, race relations, and urban policy have garnered numerous accolades, including two George Polk Awards for commentary, and he became in 2015 the first Latino to be inducted into the New York Journalism Hall of Fame by the Society of Professional Journalists’ Deadline Club. González is the author of five books, including Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in Americawhich became the basis of an award-winning 2012 feature documentary film.

Event Location: 
Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center
4048 West Armitage Ave
Chicago, IL 60639