SUNDAY FILE: Full leader Rima Brusi, wife of new NAU president, author and scholar | Local
Threaded together in short chapters, each essay building on the previous, “Chulos de la Pobreza“serves as a good representation of the myriad of concerns that have long occupied Brusi’s mind, dating back at least 10 years with his first book of essays,”Mi Tecato Favorito”(My Favorite Junkie) and clear when she got her PhD from Cornell University and started teaching anthropology at the University of Puerto Rico, where she met a certain engineering professor named Jose.
The post comes at a time of transition for Brusi, let alone Cruz Rivera. Although she returns to Puerto Rico in October for a book tour, she can no longer make a quick jaunt to southern New York City, where she taught at Lehman College and was a researcher in residence at the Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies at the City University of New York.
She is in Flagstaff now and says she is immensely happy to be here. Next academic year Brusi, 50, will join the anthropology department at NAU, but for now, she’s a writer whose audiences are predominantly four time zones in the Caribbean. But she’s also a mother whose youngest of five, Alvaro, 15, has just started at Flagstaff High School, and she’s the new “dog mom” to a puppy named Louie – and, yes, c ‘is the wife of the president of the NAU, so that means attending functions and reaching out to the community.
Plus, she still writes. She can write from anywhere, after all, weighing from afar about “disaster capitalism” and Puerto Rico’s push for self-determination. Brusi is a cheeky advocate of progressivism and social justice, often critical of US actions or inaction on the territory, but also against the government of Puerto Rico for a neoliberal push to privatize everything , from health care to education.