For a Politics of Love and Rescue

Peer Reviewed

Excerpt From Essay

"An unlikely event provoked these reflections on love and our awkwardness about love in scholarly writing. In the summer of 1997, a group of gutsy, interesting Puerto Rican women, most of them anthropologists in early stages of their careers, invited me to be the keynote speaker at a conference they were organizing for the fall of the following year. The conference, entitled "Having Our Say (a como de lugar): Women and the Legacy of The People of Puerto Rico into the 21st Century," was being organized by this group of women scholars to feature, recognize, and galvanize scholarly work on Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans done by women over the past half century. I was touched and flattered by the invitation but also surprised. I am not Puerto Rican, and only a relatively small part of my scholarship over the years has addressed Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans directly. I knew that organizers Arlene Torres, Marvette Perez, Arlene Davila, Isar Godreau, and Yvonne Lassalle knew that I was Cuban (by both birth and ancestry), and we all shared the same assessment that relations between Puerto Ricans and Cubans on the island of Puerto Rico over the past two or three decades have often been tense. So, I asked myself, why were they inviting me? Then I asked myself, much more interestingly, what it was that made their gesture unusual and their entire project worth contemplating much more closely—their effort, the choices they were making, and the way the project played into contemporary U.S. "identity politics.""

"For a Politics of Love and Rescue,' Virginia R. Dominguez (361).

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