• Wicked Colonial Nostalgias: Power, Tragedy, and Heritage-Making in Caribbean Cities
    Jorge L. Lizardi Pollock

Charlie Rotkin, Aerial View of San Juan, 1948. Courtesy Archivo Luis Muñoz Marín, IMM-4844

Wicked Colonial Nostalgias explores power and identity politics as key themes in the preservation of historical landscapes and buildings in major Caribbean cities. San Juan, Havana, and Santo Domingo share a common Spanish colonial past and, ironically, policies for preservation were established, simultaneously, at the beginnings of rampant campaigns for urban modernization and the beginnings of the Cold War. The capitals of Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic were then governed by US-backed populist leader, Puerto Rican Luis Muñoz Marín, and two ruthless dictators, Cuban Fulgencio Batista and Dominican Rafael Trujillo. This project compares architectural preservation histories during the Cold War and the social and cultural pitfalls of modern heritage-making in the Caribbean.

Jorge L. Lizardi Pollock obtained his doctorate in Latin American History from the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) after completing a doctoral grant at El Colegio de México. Since 2006 he has been a professor in the UPR’s School of Architecture, where he founded the Center for Research on Urbanism and Environmental Design. He has published widely on topics of Caribbean and Latin American architectural history. His latest book, The Nation and its Mirrors: Architecture, Memory and Citizenship in Mexico City, 1863–1917, was published in 2015 with the UPR, and his latest research project “On the Possibility of Memory After Destruction: Time, Heritage and Latin American Disasters,” gained him an appointment as visiting scholar at Princeton University. Currently, Lizardi is director of the collaborative project “Displacements and Collective Memory: Time, Space and Culture,” focused on hurricane Maria’s aftermath.