Featured Faculty Book

Featured Faculty Book: Making Livable Worlds

Book cover: Making Livable Worlds: Afro-Puerto Rican Women Building Environmental Justice by Hilda Lloréns

Most anthropologists would refer to the ethnographic research that Hilda Lloréns did for her latest book as fieldwork. But Lloréns calls it “homework.”

That’s because the area she studies—the communities surrounding the Jobos Bay in southern Puerto Rico—is where she was born and where generations of her family have lived. In Making Livable Worlds: Afro-Puerto Rican Women Building Environmental Justice (2021), Lloréns chronicles the lives of women in this region who draw on deep cultural knowledge to navigate myriad environmental challenges from industrial pollution to disasters like hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Lloréns, an associate professor of anthropology at URI, says her goal was to elevate the stories of women whose contributions to their community are often overlooked or even erased entirely.

Last fall, Lloréns won two prestigious awards for her book. She says she’s appreciative of the recognition, but what’s more important to her is being an advocate for those living around Jobos Bay. “My academic tradition is advocacy anthropology, so I like to be involved in community work,” Lloréns said. “I didn’t write this book just to write a book; I’m really hoping to help change the reality of a place that needs advocacy.”

—Kevin Stacey

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