Puerto Rico: Humanities en Acción

In the study away course, Disaster and Reconstruction funded in part through a Mellon Foundation Grant, we have been fortunate to have two Filmmaker in Residence Fellows. In addition to working on a documentary film, Allison Chaves ’21 and Dominick Torres ’20, have captured these images in various sites visits in different parts of the island.

In their work, they capture the complexity of Puerto Rico today. Here, joy and pain, stark abandonment and pride co-exist. As reconstruction takes place, history is ever present in the work of social justice, environmental activism, autogestion in small communities, public art and music.

Disaster and Reconstruction was designed as an interdisciplinary course that applies humanistic inquiry as an entry point to learn about cultural change, public health, and the value of empathy for intercultural learning.

The documentary film that our Filmmakers in Residence are completing is one example of the ways that students will show their understanding of Puerto Rico post-Hurricane Maria. Applying their knowledge, students are also engaged in developing ethnographic narratives, health and public policy initiatives, and artwork.