Long before Puerto Rico became known for reggaeton, the island had bomba. A music and dance tradition created by enslaved and self-emancipated Africans to forge community and even incite rebellion, bomba has continued to grow as a space of Black identity, community, and ancestral connection. In this episode, Dr. Sarah Bruno shares with us this history.
Sarah Bruno is the 2022-2023 postdoctoral fellow in Latinx Art, Cultures, and Religions in the Humanities Research Center at Rice University. Her research and art lie at the intersections of performance, diaspora, and digitality. She is currently creating a digital exhibition of the Fernando Pico papers, and as a member of LifeXCode: Digital Humanities Against Enclosure and Taller Electric Marronage. The Pico Papers informs her first manuscript, Re-Sounding Resistencia where she uses the Afro-Puerto Rican genre of bomba as a site and method in constructing a cartography of Black Puerto Rican femme feeling throughout history. Dr. Bruno was a Mellon ACLS Dissertation Fellow in 2020-2021 and the 2020 awardee of the Association of Black Anthropologists Vera Green Prize for Public Anthropology. Bruno was the 2021-2022 ACLS Emerging Voices Race and Digital Technologies postdoctoral fellow at the Franklin Humanities Institute and in the Department of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University. She charges herself to continue to write with care about the never-ending process of enduring, imagining, thriving, and healing in Puerto Rico and its diaspora.
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