Yarimar Bonilla is a political anthropologist, professor and writer specialising in questions around sovereignty, citizenship and race across the Americas. Her work blurs the lines between political and historical anthropology. She teaches and writes about political imaginaries, colonial legacies and the politics of history in the Atlantic World. Her book Non-Sovereign Futures (2015) examines the political possibilities that emerge in the wake of disenchantment with postcolonial sovereignty through an ethnographic study of labour activism in the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe.
Bonilla has a strong interest in the role of digital technologies within both social movements and academic practices. Currently working on several projects regarding the use of digital technologies among both African-American and Caribbean activists, she is also in the process of developing a multi-media political atlas of the Caribbean titled Visualizing Sovereignty. She is the founder of the Puerto Rico Syllabus project, a digital portal of resources for teaching and learning about the economic crisis in Puerto Rico that provides historical and sociological tools to assess the roots of the crisis and its repercussions.
Named a 2018 Carnegie Fellow to study the political, economic and social aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, she is also the recipient of multiple grants and awards from the National Science Foundation, Wenner-Gren Foundation, Chateaubriand Fellowship Program, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and Carter G. Woodson Institute for Afro-American and African Studies.
Bonilla currently serves on the Executive Board of the Society for Cultural Anthropology, the editorial committee for Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism and the editorial board of the Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology. She has also held faculty positions at the University of Virginia, Rutgers University and the City University of New York.
Bonilla was born 1975 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where she continues to live and work.
March Meeting 2019