Core Faculty

BonillaYarimar Bonilla, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
LCS and Anthropology
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Ph. D. 2008, University of Chicago, Socio-Cultural Anthropology
M.A. 1998, University of New Mexico, Latin American Studies
B.A. 1996, University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras

Office Room: A-264, Lucy Stone Hall, Livingston Campus
Office Phone: 848-445-4232
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Research Interests

Political and Historical Anthropology, Postcolonial Studies, Digital Studies, Social Movements, Caribbean Sovereignty, American Studies, Francophone Studies


Biographical Information

Professor Bonilla is Associate Professor in the Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies and the Department of Anthropology. Blurring 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 first book, Non-Sovereign Futures, examines the political possibilities that emerge in the wake of disenchantment with postcolonial sovereignty, through an ethnographic study of labor activism in the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. She is currently at work on an ethnographic study of the Puerto Rican pro-statehood movement, tentatively titled The Unthinkable State, which seeks to interrogate how and why annexationism is being re-imagined as a form of anti-colonial politics.

In addition, Professor Bonilla has a strong interest in the role of digital technologies within both social movements and academic practices. She is currently working on several projects regarding the use of digital technologies among both African-American and Caribbean activists, and is also in the process of developing a multi-media political atlas of the Caribbean entitled, Visualizing Sovereignty.

Professor Bonilla has been the recipient of multiple grants and awards from the National Science Foundation, the Wenner Gren Foundation, the Chateaubriand Fellowship Program, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and the Carter G. Woodson Institute for Afro-American and African Studies. She currently serves on the Executive Board of the Society for Cultural Anthropology, on the editorial committee for Small Axe: A Caribbean Platform for Criticism, and the editorial board of the Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology.


Courses Regularly Taught

  • Introduction to Caribbean Studies
  • Global Haiti
  • The Problem of Freedom
  • The Anthropology of Sovereignty
  • The Anthropology of Dissent




Bonilla non sovereign 2015. Non-Sovereign Futures: French Caribbean Politics in the Wake of Disenchantment. Chicago: University of Chicago Press




Book Chapters

  • 2015 Between Terror and Transcendence: Global Narratives of Islam and the Political Scripts of Guadeloupe's Indianité. In Islam and the Americas, Aisha Khan (Ed.), University of Florida Press.
  • 2013. "Non-Sovereign Futures: French Caribbean Politics in theWake of Disenchantment". In Caribbean Sovereignty, Democracy and Development in an Age of Globalization, Linden Lewis (Ed.). New York: Routledge.
  • 2012 Le syndicalisme comme marronage: épistémologies du travail et de l'histoire en Guadeloupe. In Mobilisations sociales aux Antilles: Les événements de 2009 dans tous leurs sens, Jean-Claue William, Fred Reno and Fabienne Alvarez (Eds). Paris: Karthala 77-94


Media Appearances