CYBER-HOBOS, STATELESS WAR MACHINES, AND DIASPORIC RHIZOMES: Mapping Milieus of Differential Speed in Post-Disaster Puerto Rico (2017-2023)

Auteur Franca KAPPES
Directeur /trice Anna Leander
Co-directeur(s) /trice(s) -
Résumé de la thèse

The dissertation seeks to map, trace, and analyse the ties between two disparate transnational ‘milieus of nomadic connectivity’ (Ansems de Vries 2015: vii) and the state apparatus in the context of post-Irma and Maria Puerto Rico (PR) (2017-2023). Empirically, it follows ‘modern vagabonds’ [i.e., internally displaced people (IDPs), climate refugees from adjacent Caribbean islands, disaster reconstruction and temporary workers and the PR diaspora in the United States (US)], on the one hand, and a transnational ‘kinetic elite’ (Costas 2013), on the other hand (i.e., white collar humanitarian workers and ‘disaster ethnographers’ as well as digital nomads, and offshore capitalists). Theoretically, my work challenges the reception of the Deleuzian figure of the nomad as much as it is inspired by it and selectively incorporates the heuristic tools the many supposedly opposing relational camps in the social sciences have to offer. Against Deleuze’s anti-Newtonian credo, I will make sense of the topologies of regimes of differential speed in network-analytical terms and systematically analyse their kinematic properties (i.e., velocity, speed, acceleration, displacement, distance) and those of the dynamic forces that act upon them. I do so to problematise prevalent metaphorical dichotomies such as mobility-stasis, slow-fast, or nomad-state, as well as to bridge the gap between theoretical abstraction and idiosyncratic empiricism. Building on interventions made by critical security, mobility, and island scholars, the dissertation will shed light on the Janus-faced nature of not only disparate hypermobile networks and the mobility inequalities they face but also on the fluid make-up of the PR state and changing notions of statehood in an era of disaster acceleratio

Statut au début
Délai administratif de soutenance de thèse 2025