The Olympics have developed into the world's premier sporting event. They are simultaneously a competitive exhibition and a grand display of cooperation that bring together global cultures on ski slopes, shooting ranges, swimming pools, and track ovals. Given their scale in the modern era, the Games are a useful window for better comprehending larger cultural, social, and historical processes, argues Jules Boykoff, an academic social scientist and a former Olympic athlete.
In Activism and the Olympics, Boykoff provides a critical overview of the Olympic industry and its political opponents in the modern era. After presenting a brief history of Olympic activism, he turns his attention to on-the-ground activism through the lens of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Here we see how anti-Olympic activists deploy a range of approaches to challenge the Olympic machine, from direct action and the seizure of public space to humor-based and online tactics. Drawing on primary evidence from myriad personal interviews with activists, journalists, civil libertarians, and Olympics organizers, Boykoff angles in on the Games from numerous vantages and viewpoints.
Although modern Olympic authorities have strived—even through the Cold War era—to appear apolitical, Boykoff notes, the Games have always been the site of hotly contested political actions and competing interests. During the last thirty years, as the Olympics became an economic juggernaut, they also generated numerous reactions from groups that have sought to challenge the event’s triumphalism and pageantry. The 21st century has seen an increased level of activism across the world, from the Occupy Movement in the United States to the Arab Spring in the Middle East. What does this spike in dissent mean for Olympic activists as they prepare for future Games?
Many schools of thought assert that Western culture has never been more politically apathetic. Tim Jordan's Activism! refutes this claim. In his powerful polemic, Jordan shows how acts of civil disobedience have come to dominate the political landscape. Because we inhabit such a quickly changing, high-tech and fragmented culture, the single-issue political movements and stable, conservative authorities of the past are continually being questioned. Traditional political battles have been replaced by the popular, collective practices of a new political activism. From Europe to the USA, from Australia to South America, from the Left to the Right, Jordan introduces us to the citizens who make up d-i-y culture: eco-activists, animal liberators, neo-fascists, ravers, anti-abortionists, squatters, hunt saboteurs and hacktivists. In his view, activism comprises a new ethics of living for the 21st century.
African Asylum at a Crossroads: Activism, Expert Testimony, and Refugee Rights examines the emerging trend of requests for expert opinions in asylum hearings or refugee status determinations. This is the first book to explore the role of court-based expertise in relation to African asylum cases and the first to establish a rigorous analytical framework for interpreting the effects of this new reliance on expert testimony.
Over the past two decades, courts in Western countries and beyond have begun demanding expert reports tailored to the experience of the individual claimant. As courts increasingly draw upon such testimony in their deliberations, expertise in matters of asylum and refugee status is emerging as an academic area with its own standards, protocols, and guidelines. This deeply thoughtful book explores these developments and their effects on both asylum seekers and the experts whose influence may determine their fate.
Contributors: Iris Berger, Carol Bohmer, John Campbell, Katherine Luongo, E. Ann McDougall, Karen Musalo, Tricia Redeker Hepner, Amy Shuman, Joanna T. Tague, Meredith Terretta, and Charlotte Walker-Said.
There is a common perception in the arts today that overtly activist art—often seen to sacrifice an aesthetic pleasure for a subversive one—is no longer in fashion. In bringing together sixteen of the most important essays on activist and community-based art from the pages of Afterimage—one of the most influential journals in the media and visual arts fields for more than twenty-five years—Grant H. Kester demonstrates that activist art, far from being antithetical to the true meaning of the aesthetic, can be its most legitimate expression.
Forging a style of criticism where aesthetic, critical, theoretical, and activist concerns converge, Afterimage has shaped American debates around the politics of visual production and arts education while offering a voice to politically involved artists and scholars. Art, Activism, and Oppositionality insists not only on the continuing relevance of an activist stance to contemporary art practice and criticism, but also on the significance of an engaged art practice that is aligned with social or political activism. With essays that span fifteen years—roughly from Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential win to the 1994 Republican victories in Congress, a period marked by waning public support for the arts and growing antagonism toward activist art—Art, Activism, and Oppositionality confronts issues ranging from arts patronage, pedagogy, and the very definitions of art and activism to struggles involving AIDS, reproductive rights, sexuality, and racial identity.
Contributors. Maurice Berger, Richard Bolton, Ann Cvetkovich, Coco Fusco, Brian Goldfarb, Mable Haddock, Grant H. Kester, Ioannis Mookas, Chiquita Mullins Lee, Darrell Moore, Lorraine O’Grady, Michael Renov, Martha Rosler, Patricia Thomson, David Trend, Charles A. Wright Jr., Patricia R. Zimmerman
The contributors to Beyond Civil Society argue that the conventional distinction between civic and uncivic protest, and between activism in institutions and in the streets, does not accurately describe the complex interactions of forms and locations of activism characteristic of twenty-first-century Latin America. They show that most contemporary political activism in the region relies upon both confrontational collective action and civic participation at different moments. Operating within fluid, dynamic, and heterogeneous fields of contestation, activists have not been contained by governments or conventional political categories, but rather have overflowed their boundaries, opening new democratic spaces or extending existing ones in the process. These essays offer fresh insight into how the politics of activism, participation, and protest are manifest in Latin America today while providing a new conceptual language and an interpretive framework for examining issues that are critical for the future of the region and beyond.
Contributors. Sonia E. Alvarez, Kiran Asher, Leonardo Avritzer, Gianpaolo Baiocchi, Andrea Cornwall, Graciela DiMarco, Arturo Escobar, Raphael Hoetmer, Benjamin Junge, Luis E. Lander, Agustín Laó-Montes, Margarita López Maya, José Antonio Lucero, Graciela Monteagudo, Amalia Pallares, Jeffrey W. Rubin, Ana Claudia Teixeira, Millie Thayer
For nearly forty years, feminists and patient activists have argued that medicine is a deeply individualizing and depoliticizing institution. According to this view, medical practices are incidental to people’s transformation from patients to patient activists. The Biopolitics of Breast Cancer turns this understanding upside down.
Maren Klawiter analyzes the evolution of the breast cancer movement to show the broad social impact of how diseases come to be medically managed and publicly administered. Examining surgical procedures, adjuvant therapies, early detection campaigns, and the rise in discourses of risk, Klawiter demonstrates that these practices created a change in the social relations-if not the mortality rate-of breast cancer that initially inhibited, but later enabled, collective action. Her research focuses on the emergence and development of new forms of activism that range from grassroots patient empowerment to environmental activism and corporate-funded breast cancer awareness.
The Biopolitics of Breast Cancer opens a window onto a larger set of changes currently transforming medically advanced societies and ultimately challenges our understanding of the origins, politics, and future of the breast cancer movement.
Maren Klawiter holds a PhD in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. She is currently pursuing a law degree at Yale University.
This timely book brings together activist scholars from a number of disciplines (political science, geography, sociology, anthropology, and communications) to provide new insights into a growing trend in publicly engaged research and scholarship. Bridging Scholarship and Activism creatively redefines what constitutes activism without limiting it to a narrow range of practices. Acknowledging that the current conjuncture of neoliberal globalization has created constraints on as well as possibilities for activist scholarly engagement, the book argues that racism and its intersections with gender and class oppression are salient forces to be interrogated and confronted in the predicaments and struggles activist scholarship targets. The book’s ultimate goal is to create a decolonized and democratized forum in which activist scholars from the Global South converse and cross-fertilize ideas and projects with their counterparts from the United States and other North Atlantic metropolitan-based academy. The coeditors and contributors attempt to decenter hegemonic knowledge and to create some of the necessary (if not sufficient) conditions for a more pluriversal (rather than orthodox “universal”) context for producing enabling knowledge, without the naiveté and romanticism that has characterized earlier projects in critical and radical social science.
Introduction, Ulrich Oslender and Bernd Reiter Part One. The Promises and Pitfalls of Collaborative Research
Of Academic Embeddedness: Communities of Choice and How to Make Sense of Activism and Research Abroad, Bernd Reiter
New Shapes of Revolution, Gustavo Esteva
The Accidental Activist Scholar: A Memoir on Reactive Boundary and Identity Work for Social Change within the Academy, Rob Benford
Leaving the Field: How to Write about Disappointment and Frustration in Collaborative Research, Ulrich Oslender
Invisible Heroes, Eshe Lewis
Part Two. Negotiating Racialized and Gendered Positionalities
El Muntuen America, Manuel Zapata Olivella
Activism as History Making: The Collective and the Personal in Collaborative Research with the Process of Black Communities in Colombia, Arturo Escobar
Out of Bounds: Negotiating Researcher Positionality in Brazil, Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman
Between Soapboxes and Shadows: Activism, Theory, and the Politics of Life and Death in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, Christen A. Smith
State Violence and the Ethnographic Encounter: Feminist Research and Racial Embodiment, Keisha-Khan Y. Perry
The Challenges Resulting from Combining Scientific Production and Social-Political Activism in the Brazilian Academy, Fernando Conceição
The Challenge of Doing Applied/Activist Anti-Racist Anthropology in Revolutionary Cuba, Gayle L. McGarrity
The reach of the Catholic Church is arguably greater than that of any other religion, extending across diverse political, ethnic, class, and cultural boundaries. But what is it about Catholicism that resonates so profoundly with followers who live under disparate conditions? What is it, for instance, that binds parishioners in America with those in Mexico? For Joseph M. Palacios, what unites Catholics is a sense of being Catholic—a social imagination that motivates them to promote justice and build a better world.
In The Catholic Social Imagination, Palacios gives readers a feeling for what it means to be Catholic and put one’s faith into action. Tracing the practices of a group of parishioners in Oakland, California, and another in Guadalajara, Mexico, Palacios reveals parallels—and contrasts—in the ways these ordinary Catholics receive and act on a church doctrine that emphasizes social justice. Whether they are building a supermarket for the low-income elderly or waging protests to promote school reform, these parishioners provide important insights into the construction of the Catholic social imagination. Throughout, Palacios also offers important new cultural and sociological interpretations of Catholic doctrine on issues such as poverty, civil and human rights, political participation, and the natural law.
Boldly and eloquently contributing to the argument against the prison system in the United States, these provocative essays offer an ideological and practical framework for empowering prisoners instead of incarcerating them. Experts and activists who have worked within and against the prison system join forces here to call attention to the debilitating effects of a punishment-driven society and offer clear-eyed alternatives that emphasize working directly with prisoners and their communities.
Edited by Stephen John Hartnett, the volume offers rhetorical and political analyses of police culture, the so-called drug war, media coverage of crime stories, and the public-school-to-prison pipeline. The collection also includes case studies of successful prison arts and education programs in Michigan, California, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania that provide creative and intellectual resources typically denied to citizens living behind bars. Writings and artwork created by prisoners in such programs richly enhance the volume.
Contributors are Buzz Alexander, Rose Braz, Travis L. Dixon, Garrett Albert Duncan, Stephen John Hartnett, Julilly Kohler-Hausmann, Daniel Mark Larson, Erica R. Meiners, Janie Paul, Lori Pompa, Jonathan Shailor, Robin Sohnen, and Myesha Williams.
This edited collection offers self-reflexive, critical accounts of how feminist writing studies scholars variously situated within rhetoric, composition, and literacy studies plan, implement, examine, and represent community-based inquiry and pedagogy. Readers will gain insight into the hows and whys involved with this important disciplinary work. Sharing a commitment to social change, the twenty-one chapter discussions and five course designs complicate and continue to evolve possibilities for how we conceptualize writing research and teaching as deeply collaborative, inclusive, and reciprocal practices.
The first work to combine literary criticism with other forms of death penalty–abolitionist writing, Demands of the Dead demonstrates the active importance of literature and literary criticism to the struggle for greater justice in the United States. Gathering personal essays, scholarly articles, and creative writings on the death penalty in American culture, this striking collection brings human voices and literary perspectives to a subject that is often overburdened by statistics and angry polemics. Contributors include death-row prisoners, playwrights, poets, activists, and literary scholars.
Highlighting collaborations between writers inside and outside prison, all within the context of the history of state killing laws and foundational concepts that perpetuate a culture of violent death, Demands of the Dead opens with a pamphlet dictated by Willie Francis, a teenager who survived a first execution attempt in Louisiana’s electric chair before he was subsequently killed by the state in 1947.
Writers are a conspicuous part of U.S. death-penalty history, composing a vibrant literary record of resistance to state killing. This multigenre collection both recalls and contributes to this tradition through discussions of such writers as Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, Gertrude Atherton, Ernest Gaines, Sonia Sanchez, Kia Corthron, and Sherman Alexie. A major contribution to literary studies and American prison studies, Demands of the Dead asserts the relevance of storytelling to ethical questions and matters of public policy.
The border region of the Sonoran Desert, which spans southern Arizona in the United States and northern Sonora, Mexico, has attracted national and international attention. But what is less discussed in national discourses is the impact of current border policies on the Native peoples of the region. There are twenty-six tribal nations recognized by the U.S. federal government in the southern border region and approximately eight groups of Indigenous peoples in the United States with historical ties to Mexico—the Yaqui, the O’odham, the Cocopah, the Kumeyaay, the Pai, the Apaches, the Tiwa (Tigua), and the Kickapoo.
Divided Peoples addresses the impact border policies have on traditional lands and the peoples who live there—whether environmental degradation, border patrol harassment, or the disruption of traditional ceremonies. Anthropologist Christina Leza shows how such policies affect the traditional cultural survival of Indigenous peoples along the border. The author examines local interpretations and uses of international rights tools by Native activists, counterdiscourse on the U.S.-Mexico border, and challenges faced by Indigenous border activists when communicating their issues to a broader public.
Through ethnographic research with grassroots Indigenous activists in the region, the author reveals several layers of division—the division of Indigenous peoples by the physical U.S.-Mexico border, the divisions that exist between Indigenous perspectives and mainstream U.S. perspectives regarding the border, and the traditionalist/nontraditionalist split among Indigenous nations within the United States. Divided Peoples asks us to consider the possibilities for challenging settler colonialism both in sociopolitical movements and in scholarship about Indigenous peoples and lands.
Dockworkers have power. Often missed in commentary on today's globalizing economy, workers in the world's ports can harness their role, at a strategic choke point, to promote their labor rights and social justice causes. Peter Cole brings such overlooked experiences to light in an eye-opening comparative study of Durban, South Africa, and the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Path-breaking research reveals how unions effected lasting change in some of the most far-reaching struggles of modern times. First, dockworkers in each city drew on longstanding radical traditions to promote racial equality. Second, they persevered when a new technology--container ships--sent a shockwave of layoffs through the industry. Finally, their commitment to black internationalism and leftist politics sparked transnational work stoppages to protest apartheid and authoritarianism. Dockworker Power not only brings to light surprising parallels in the experiences of dockers half a world away from each other. It also offers a new perspective on how workers can change their conditions and world.
In 1968 a cohort of politically engaged young academics established the Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars (CCAS). Critical of the field of Asian studies and its complicity with the United States' policies in Vietnam, the CCAS mounted a sweeping attack on the field's academic, political, and financial structures. While the CCAS included scholars of Japan, Korea, and South and Southeast Asia, the committee focused on Maoist China, as it offered the possibility of an alternative politics and the transformation of the meaning of labor and the production of knowledge. In The End of Concern Fabio Lanza traces the complete history of the CCAS, outlining how its members worked to merge their politics and activism with their scholarship. Lanza's story exceeds the intellectual history and legacy of the CCAS, however; he narrates a moment of transition in Cold War politics and how Maoist China influenced activists and intellectuals around the world, becoming a central element in the political upheaval of the long 1960s.
Anthropology has long been associated with an ethos of “engagement.” The field’s core methods and practices involve long-term interpersonal contact between researchers and their study participants, giving major research topics in the field a distinctively human face. Can research findings be authentic and objective? Are anthropologists able to use their data to aid the participants of their study, and is that aid always welcome?
In Engaged Observer, Victoria Sanford and Asale Angel-Ajani bring together an international array of scholars who have been embedded in some of the most conflict-ridden and dangerous zones in the world to reflect on the role and responsibility of anthropological inquiry. They explore issues of truth and objectivity, the role of the academic, the politics of memory, and the impact of race, gender, and social position on the research process. Through ethnographic case studies, they offer models for conducting engaged research and illustrate the contradictions and challenges of doing so.
In Erotic Islands, Lyndon K. Gill maps a long queer presence at a crossroads of the Caribbean. This transdisciplinary book foregrounds the queer histories of Carnival, calypso, and HIV/AIDS in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. At its heart is an extension of Audre Lorde's use of the erotic as theory and methodology. Gill turns to lesbian/gay artistry and activism to insist on eros as an intertwined political-sensual-spiritual lens through which to see self and society more clearly. This analysis juxtaposes revered musician Calypso Rose, renowned mas man Peter Minshall, and resilient HIV/AIDS organization Friends For Life. Erotic Islands traverses black studies, queer studies, and anthropology toward an emergent black queer diaspora studies.
Fleshing the Spirit brings together established and new writers exploring the relationships between the physical body, the spirit and spirituality, and social justice activism. Examining the complex and dynamic connections among these concepts, the writers emphasize the value of “flesh and blood experience” as a site of knowledge. They argue that spirituality—something quite different from institutional religious practice—can heal the mind/body split and set the stage for social change. Spirituality, they argue, is a necessary component of an alternative political agenda focused on equitable social and ecological change.
The anthology incorporates different genres of writing—such as poetry, testimonials, critical essays, and historical analysis—and stimulates the reader to engage spirituality in a critical, personal, and creative way. This interdisciplinary work is the first that attempts to theorize the radical interconnection between women of color, spirituality, and social activism. Before transformative political work can be done, the authors say in multiple ways, we must recognize that our spiritual need is a desire to more fully understand our relations with others. Conflict experienced on many levels sometimes severs those relations, separating us from others along racial, class, gender, sexual, national, or other socially constructed lines.
Fleshing the Spirit offers a spiritual journey of healing, health, and human revolution. The book’s open invitation to engage in critical dialogue and social activism—with the spirit and spirituality at the forefront—illuminates the way to social change and the ability to live in harmony with life’s universal energies.
Norma E. Cantú
C. Alejandra Elenes
Alicia Enciso Litschi
Oliva M. Espín
Inés Hernández- Avila
Rosa María Hernández Juárez
Sarahi Nuñez- Mejia
Laura E. Pérez
Paul Lauter, an icon of American Studies who has been a primary agent in its transformation and its chief ambassador abroad, offers a wide-ranging collection of essays that demonstrate and reflect on this important and often highly politicized discipline. While American Studies was formerly seen as a wholly subsidiary academic program that loosely combined the study of American history, literature, and art, From Walden Pond to Jurassic Park reveals the evolution of an independent, highly interdisciplinary program with distinctive subjects, methods, and goals that are much different than the traditional academic departments that nurtured it. With anecdote peppered discussions ranging from specific literary texts and movies to the future of higher education and the efficacy of unions, From Walden Pond to Jurassic Park entertains even as it offers a twenty-first century account of how and why Americanists at home and abroad now do what they do. Drawing on his forty-five years of teaching and research as well as his experience as a political activist and a cultural radical, Lauter shows how a multifaceted increase in the United States’ global dominion has infused a particular political urgency into American Studies. With its military and economic influence, its cultural and linguistic reach, the United States is—for better or for worse—too formidable and potent not to be understood clearly and critically.
In 2012 Kateri Tekakwitha became the first North American Indian to be canonized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, an event that American Indian Catholics have awaited for generations. Saint Kateri, known as the patroness of the environment, was born in 1656 near present-day Albany, New York, to an Algonquin mother and a Mohawk father. Tekakwitha converted to Christianity at age nineteen and took a vow of perpetual virginity. Her devotees have advocated for her sainthood since her death in 1680. Within historical Catholic writings, Tekakwitha is portrayed as a model of pious, submissive femininity. Indian Pilgrims moves beyond mainstream narratives and shows that Saint Kateri is a powerful feminine figure who inspires decolonizing activism in contemporary Indigenous peoples’ lives.
Author Michelle M. Jacob examines Saint Kateri’s influence on and relation to three important themes—caring for the environment, building community, and reclaiming the Native feminine as sacred—and brings a Native feminist perspective to the story of Saint Kateri. The book demonstrates the power and potential of Indigenous decolonizing activism, as Saint Kateri’s devotees claim the space of the Catholic Church to revitalize traditional cultural practices, teach and learn Indigenous languages, and address critical issues such as protecting Indigenous homelands from environmental degradation. The book is based on ethnographic research at multiple sites, including Saint Kateri’s 2012 canonization festivities in Vatican City and Italy, the Akwesasne Mohawk Reservation (New York and Canada), the Yakama Reservation (Washington), and the National Tekakwitha Conferences in Texas, North Dakota, and Louisiana. Through narratives from these events, Jacob addresses issues of gender justice—such as respecting the autonomy of women while encouraging collectivist thinking and strategizing—and seeks collective remedies that challenge colonial and capitalist filters.
The essays in Indigenous Women and Work create a transnational and comparative dialogue on the history of the productive and reproductive lives and circumstances of Indigenous women from the late nineteenth century to the present in the United States, Australia, New Zealand/Aotearoa, and Canada. Surveying the spectrum of Indigenous women's lives and circumstances as workers, both waged and unwaged, the contributors offer varied perspectives on the ways women's work has contributed to the survival of communities in the face of ongoing tensions between assimilation and colonization. They also interpret how individual nations have conceived of Indigenous women as workers and, in turn, convert these assumptions and definitions into policy and practice. The essays address the intersection of Indigenous, women's, and labor history, but will also be useful to contemporary policy makers, tribal activists, and Native American women's advocacy associations.
Contributors are Tracey Banivanua Mar, Marlene Brant Castellano, Cathleen D. Cahill, Brenda J. Child, Sherry Farrell Racette, Chris Friday, Aroha Harris, Faye HeavyShield, Heather A. Howard, Margaret D. Jacobs, Alice Littlefield, Cybèle Locke, Mary Jane Logan McCallum, Kathy M'Closkey, Colleen O'Neill, Beth H. Piatote, Susan Roy, Lynette Russell, Joan Sangster, Ruth Taylor, and Carol Williams.
AIDS activists are often romanticized as extremely noble and selfless. However, the relationships among HIV support group members highlighted in Landscapes of Activism are hardly utopian or ideal. At first, the group has everything it needs, a thriving membership, and support from major donors. Soon, the group undergoes an identity crisis over money and power, eventually fading from the scene. As government and development institutions embraced activist demands—decentralizing AIDS care through policies of health systems strengthening—civil society was increasingly rendered obsolete. Charting this transition—from subjects, to citizens, and back again—reveals the inefficacy of protest, and the importance of community resilience. The product of in-depth ethnography and focused anthropological inquiry, this is the first book on AIDS activists in Mozambique. AIDS activism’s strange decline in southern Africa, rather than a reflection of citizen apathy, is the direct result of targeted state and donor intervention.
As the twenth-first century begins, Latinas/os represent 45 percent of the residents of Los Angeles County, making them the largest racial/ethnic group in the region. At the same time, the shift from manufacturing to a service-based economy in the area has contributed to a decline in good-paying jobs, significantly impacting working class families. These transformations have created a backlash that has included state propositions impacting Latinas/os and escalating anti-immigrant rhetoric—and Latina/os of all backgrounds are making their voices heard. Until recently, most research on Latinas/os in the U.S. has ignored historical and contemporary dynamics in Latin America, just as scholars of Latin America have generally stopped their studies at the border. This volume roots Los Angeles in the larger arena of globalization, exploring the demographic changes that have transformed the Latino presence in LA from primarily Mexican-origin to one that now includes peoples from throughout the hemisphere. Bringing together scholars from a range of disciplines, it combines historical perspectives with analyses of power and inequality to consider how Latinas/os are responding to exclusionary immigration, labor, and schooling practices and actively creating communities. The contributors examine Latina/o Los Angeles in the context of historical, economic and social factors that have shaped the region. The first section provides contexts for understanding Latina/o migration, with chapters focusing on such factors as U.S. economic and military domination, labor and economic integration in the Americas, and Los Angeles’ economic history. The second section considers how various Latina/o groups have settled and formed communities and interacted with the existing Mexican-origin populations, showing how Zapotecs, Salvadorans, and other peoples are remaking urban demographics. The final section on labor organizing and political activism examines the role of Latina/o immigrants in such actions as the janitors’ strike and also considers the contemporary role of students in political activism. The volume concludes with an up-to-date compilation of contemporary scholarship on immigration, the economy, schools, neighborhoods, gender and activism as they relate to Central American and Mexican immigrants. Reflecting a range of methodologies—statistical, historical, ethnographic, and participatory research—this collection is relevant not only to ethnic studies but also to broader concerns in political science, sociology, history, economics, and urban studies. In addition, some chapters focus explicitly on women, and gender issues are interwoven throughout the text. Latino Los Angeles is an important work that contributes to contemporary scholarship on transnationalism as it reexamines the changing face of America’s largest western metropolis.
What makes a social movement a movement? Where do the contagious energy, vision, and sense of infinite possibility come from? Students of progressive social movements know a good deal about what works and what doesn't and about the constituencies that are conducive to political activism, but what are the personal and emotional dynamics that turn ordinary people into activists? And, what are the visions and practices of democracy that foster such transformations?
This book seeks to answer these questions through conversations and interviews with a generation of activists who came of political age in Los Angeles during the 1990s. Politically schooled in the city's vibrant immigrant worker and youth-led campaigns against xenophobic and racist voter initiatives, these young activists created a new political cohort with its own signature of democratic practice and vision. Combining analytical depth, engaging oral history, and rich description, this absorbing and accessible book will appeal to all those interested in social movements, racial justice, the political activism of women and men of color, and the labor movement today.
This collection presents a rich, multidisciplinary inquiry into the role of religion in the Mexican American community. Breaking new ground by analyzing the influence of religion on Mexican American literature, art, activism, and popular culture, it makes the case for the establishment of Mexican American religious studies as a distinct, recognized field of scholarly inquiry. Scholars of religion, Latin American, and Chicano/a studies as well as of sociology, anthropology, and literary and performance studies, address several broad themes. Taking on questions of history and interpretation, they examine the origins of Mexican American religious studies and Mario Barrera’s theory of internal colonialism. In discussions of the utopian community founded by the preacher and activist Reies López Tijerina, César Chávez’s faith-based activism, and the Los Angeles-based Católicos Por La Raza movement of the late 1960s, other contributors focus on mystics and prophets. Still others illuminate popular Catholicism by looking at Our Lady of Guadalupe, home altars, and Los Pastores dramas (nativity plays) as vehicles for personal, social, and political empowerment.
Turning to literature, contributors consider Gloria Anzaldúa’s view of the borderlands as a mystic vision and the ways that Chicana writers invoke religious symbols and rhetoric to articulate a moral vision highlighting social injustice. They investigate the role of healing, looking at it in relation to both the Latino Pentecostal movement and the practice of the curanderismo tradition in East Los Angeles. Delving into to popular culture, they reflect on Luis Valdez’s video drama La Pastorela: “The Shepherds’ Play,” the spirituality of Chicana art, and the religious overtones of the reverence for the slain Tejana music star Selena. This volume signals the vibrancy and diversity of the practices, arts, traditions, and spiritualities that reflect and inform Mexican American religion.
Contributors: Rudy V. Busto, Davíd Carrasco, Socorro Castañeda-Liles, Gastón Espinosa, Richard R. Flores, Mario T. García, María Herrera-Sobek, Luís D. León, Ellen McCracken, Stephen R. Lloyd-Moffett, Laura E. Pérez, Roberto Lint Saragena, Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo, Kay Turner
In Muddying the Waters, Richa Nagar uses stories, encounters, and anecdotes as well as methodological reflections, to grapple with the complexity of working through solidarities, responsibility, and ethics while involved in politically engaged scholarship. Experiences that range from the streets of Dar es Salaaam to farms and development offices in North India inform discussion of the labor and politics of co-authorship, translation and genre blending in research and writing that cross multiple--and often difficult--borders, Nagar links the implicit assumptions, issues, and questions involved with scholarship and political action, and explores the epistemological risks and possibilities of creative research that brings these into intimate dialogue.
Daringly self-conscious, Muddying the Waters reveals a politically engaged research and writer working to become "radically vulnerable," and on the ways a focus on such radical vulnerability could allow a re-imagining of collaboration that opens new avenues to collective dreaming and laboring across sociopolitical, geographical, linguistic, and institutional borders.
Women make up the vast majority of activists and organizers of grassroots movements fighting against environmental ills that threaten poor and people of color communities. New Perspectives on Environmental Justice is the first collection of essays that pays tribute to the enormous contributions women have made in these endeavors.
The writers offer varied examples of environmental justice issues such as children's environmental health campaigns, cancer research, AIDS/HIV activism, the Environmental Genome Project, and popular culture, among many others. Each one focuses on gender and sexuality as crucial factors in women's or gay men's activism and applies environmental justice principles to related struggles for sexual justice. The contributors represent a wide variety of activist and scholarly perspectives including law, environmental studies, sociology, political science, history, medical anthropology, American studies, English, African and African American studies, women's studies, and gay and lesbian studies, offering multiple vantage points on gender, sexuality, and activism.
Feminist/womanist impulses shape and sustain environmental justice movements around the world, making an understanding of gender roles and differences crucial for the success of these efforts.
In the wake of Barack Obama's 2008 presidential victory, most Americans believed that race relations would improve. While many leaders rallied behind the first black president and the black community felt optimistic on the whole, statistics reveal a decline in black Americans' economic fortunes and a slower recovery from the recession in the years that followed.
Lessie B. Branch confronts the tension between black Americans' economic realities and the hope many felt for the future, looking at survey data alongside the rhetoric of leading black figures, including President Obama. This disparity has caused a dangerous resistance to social activism, as discourses of optimism privilege individual success over the need for collective action. Branch sees the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement as a constructive change in this dynamic. As Americans continue to grapple with complicated questions of race and progress in classrooms, in the media, and in legislatures, this short, provocative book will inform and enrich these important discussions.
These new essays map the ways political parties remain vital components in the American political system, especially in the eleven states in the South.
As Tocqueville noted more than 100 years ago, "No countries need associations more . . . than those with a democratic social state." Although some contemporary observers see a decline in associations, especially in the political sphere, the contributors in this volume argue not only that political parties remain an essential component of the American political system but also that grassroots political groups have revitalized the political process, especially in the South.
Using data gathered from local party officials in the eleven southern states, the authors examine such key issues as: Who becomes involved in local party organizations and why? How do parties recruit and retain workers? What are the ideological and issue orientations of these activists? How does intraparty factionalism affect local party organizations? What is the connection between the party organization and its external environment?
The large regional database provides these contributors with the opportunity to extend the study of local party organization and activists, thus addressing some of the significant gaps in previous research. The additional data enable them to clarify the nature of local party organizations and, in a larger sense, the role of the parties in the contemporary American political system.
Performance Constellations maps transnational protest movements and the dynamics of networked expressive behavior in the streets and online, as people struggle to be heard and effect long-term social justice. Its case studies explore collective political action in Latin America, including the Zapatistas in the mid-’90s, protests during the 2001 Argentine economic crisis, the 2011 Chilean student movement, the 2014–2015 mobilizations for the disappeared Ayotzinapa students, and the 2018 transnational reproductive rights movement. The book analyzes uses of space, time, media communication, and corporeality in protests such as virtual sit-ins, flash mobs, scarfazos, and hashtag campaigns, arguing that these protests not only challenge hegemonic power but are also socially transformative. While other studies have focused either on digital activism or on street protests, Performance Constellations shows that they are in fact integrally entwined. Zooming in on protest movements and art-activism in Mexico, Argentina, and Chile, and putting contemporary insurgent actions in dialogue with their historical precedents, the book demonstrates how, even in moments of extreme duress, social actors in Latin America have taken up public and virtual space to intervene politically and to contest dominant powers.
Scholars increasingly view the arts, creativity, and the creative economy as engines for regenerating global citizenship, renewing decayed local economies, and nurturing a new type of all-inclusive politics. Dia Da Costa delves into these ideas with a critical ethnography of two activist performance groups in India: the Communist-affiliated Jana Natya Manch, and Bhutan Theatre, a community-based group of the indigenous Chhara people. As Da Costa shows, commodification, heritage, and management discussions inevitably creep into performance. Yet the ability of performance to undermine such subtle invasions make street theater a crucial site for considering what counts as creativity in the cultural politics of creative economy. Da Costa explores the precarious lives, livelihoods, and ideologies at the intersection of heritage projects, planning discourse, and activist performance. By analyzing the creators, performers, and activists involved--individuals at the margins of creative economy as well as society--Da Costa builds a provocative argument. Their creative economy practices may survive, challenge, and even reinforce the economies of death, displacement, and divisiveness used by the urban poor to survive.
Reformed American Dreams explores the experiences of low-income single mothers who pursued higher education while on welfare after the 1996 welfare reforms. This research occurred in an area where grassroots activism by and for mothers on welfare in higher education was directly able to affect the implementation of public policy. Half of the participants in Sheila M. Katz’s research were activists with the grassroots welfare rights organization, LIFETIME, trying to change welfare policy and to advocate for better access to higher education. Reformed American Dreams takes up their struggle to raise families, attend school, and become student activists, all while trying to escape poverty. Katz highlights mothers’ experiences as they pursued higher education on welfare and became grassroots activists during the Great Recession.
An activist influential in the civil rights movement, Rosemarie Freeney Harding’s spirituality blended many traditions, including southern African American mysticism, Anabaptist Christianity, Tibetan Buddhism, and Afro-Brazilian Candomblé. Remnants, a multigenre memoir, demonstrates how Freeney Harding's spiritual life and social justice activism were integral to the instincts of mothering, healing, and community-building. Following Freeney Harding’s death in 2004, her daughter Rachel finished this decade-long collaboration, using recorded interviews, memories of her mother, and her mother's journal entries, fiction, and previously published essays.
We live at a time when the need for resistance has come front and center to international consciousness. Rise Up! Activism as Education works to advance theory and practice-oriented understandings of multiple forms of and relationships between racial justice activism and diverse and transnational educational contexts. Here contributors provide detailed accounts and examinations—historical and contemporary, local and international—of active resistance efforts aimed at transforming individuals, institutions, and communities to dismantle systems of racial domination. They explore the ways in which racial justice activism serves as public education and consciousness-raising and a form of education and resistance from those engaged in the activism. The text makes a case for activism as an educational concept that enables organizers and observers to gain important learning outcomes from on-the-ground perspectives as it explores racial justice activism, specifically in the context of community and campus activism, intersectional activism, and Black diasporic liberation. This volume is an essential handbook for preparing both students and activists to effectively resist.
In the nineteenth century, long before film and television brought us explosions, car chases, and narrow escapes, it was America's theaters that thrilled audiences, with “sensation scenes” of speeding trains, burning buildings, and endangered bodies, often in melodramas extolling the virtues of temperance, abolition, and women's suffrage. Amy E. Hughes scrutinizes these peculiar intersections of spectacle and reform, revealing the crucial role that spectacle has played in American activism and how it has remained central to the dramaturgy of reform.
Hughes traces the cultural history of three famous sensation scenes—the drunkard with the delirium tremens, the fugitive slave escaping over a river, and the victim tied to the railroad tracks—assessing how these scenes conveyed, allayed, and denied concerns about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. These images also appeared in printed propaganda, suggesting that the coup de théâtre was an essential part of American reform culture. Additionally, Hughes argues that today’s producers and advertisers continue to exploit the affective dynamism of spectacle, reaching an even broader audience through film, television, and the Internet.
To be attuned to the dynamics of spectacle, Hughes argues, is to understand how we see. Her book will interest not only theater historians, but also scholars and students of political, literary, and visual culture who are curious about how U.S. citizens saw themselves and their world during a pivotal period in American history.
Talking to Action: Art, Pedagogy, and Activism in the Americas is the first publication to bring together scholarship, critical essays, and documentation of collaborative community-based art making by researchers from across the American hemisphere. The comprehensive volume is a compendium of texts, analysis, and research documents from the Talking to Action research and exhibition platform, part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles. While the field of social practice has had an increasingly high profile within contemporary art discourse, this book documents artists who have been under-recognized because they do not show in traditional gallery or museum contexts and are often studied by specialists in other disciplines, particularly within the Latin American context. Talking to Action: Art, Pedagogy, and Activism in the Americas addresses the absence of a publication documenting scholarly exchange between research sites throughout the hemisphere and is intended for those interested in community-based practices operating within the intersection of art, activism, and the social sciences.
Surprisingly, Hollywood is still clumsily grappling with its representation of sexual minorities, and LGBTQ filmmakers struggle to find a place in the mainstream movie industry. However, organizations outside the mainstream are making a difference, helping to produce and distribute authentic stories that are both by and for LGBTQ people.
Turning the Page introduces readers to three nonprofit organizations that, in very different ways, have each positively transformed the queer media landscape. David R. Coon takes readers inside In the Life Media, whose groundbreaking documentaries on the LGBTQ experience aired for over twenty years on public television stations nationwide. Coon reveals the successes of POWER UP, a nonprofit production company dedicated to mentoring filmmakers who can turn queer stories into fully realized features and short films. Finally, he turns to Three Dollar Bill Cinema, an organization whose film festivals help queer media find an audience and whose filmmaking camps for LGBTQ youth are nurturing the next generation of queer cinema.
Combining a close analysis of specific films and video programs with extensive interviews of industry professionals, Turning the Page demonstrates how queer storytelling in visual media has the potential to empower individuals, strengthen communities, and motivate social justice activism.
In Uncivil Youth, Soo Ah Kwon explores youth of color activism as linked to the making of democratic citizen-subjects. Focusing attention on the relations of power that inform the social and political practices of youth of color, Kwon examines how after-school and community-based programs are often mobilized to prevent potentially "at-risk" youth from turning to "juvenile delinquency" and crime. These sorts of strategic interventions seek to mold young people to become self-empowered and responsible citizens. Theorizing this mode of youth governance as "affirmative governmentality," Kwon investigates the political conditions that both enable youth of color to achieve meaningful change and limit their ability to do so given the entrenchment of nonprofits in the logic of a neoliberal state. She draws on several years of ethnographic research with an Oakland-based, panethnic youth organization that promotes grassroots activism among its second-generation Asian and Pacific Islander members (ages fourteen to eighteen). While analyzing the contradictions of the youth organizing movement, Kwon documents the genuine contributions to social change made by the young people with whom she worked in an era of increased youth criminalization and anti-immigrant legislation.
In Unearthing Conflict Fabiana Li analyzes the aggressive expansion and modernization of mining in Peru since the 1990s to tease out the dynamics of mining-based protests. Issues of water scarcity and pollution, the loss of farmland, and the degradation of sacred land are especially contentious. She traces the emergence of the conflicts by discussing the smelter-town of La Oroya—where people have lived with toxic emissions for almost a century—before focusing her analysis on the relatively new Yanacocha gold mega-mine. Debates about what kinds of knowledge count as legitimate, Li argues, lie at the core of activist and corporate mining campaigns. Li pushes against the concept of "equivalence"—or methods with which to quantify and compare things such as pollution—to explain how opposing groups interpret environmental regulations, assess a project’s potential impacts, and negotiate monetary compensation for damages. This politics of equivalence is central to these mining controversies, and Li uncovers the mechanisms through which competing parties create knowledge, assign value, arrive at contrasting definitions of pollution, and construct the Peruvian mountains as spaces under constant negotiation.
In Unruly Immigrants, Monisha Das Gupta explores the innovative strategies that South Asian feminist, queer, and labor organizations in the United States have developed to assert claims to rights for immigrants without the privileges or security of citizenship. Since the 1980s many South Asian immigrants have found the India-centered “model minority” politics of previous generations inadequate to the task of redressing problems such as violence against women, homophobia, racism, and poverty. Thus they have devised new models of immigrant advocacy, seeking rights that are mobile rather than rooted in national membership, and advancing their claims as migrants rather than as citizens-to-be. Creating social justice organizations, they have inventively constructed a transnational complex of rights by drawing on local, national, and international laws to seek entitlements for their constituencies.
Das Gupta offers an ethnography of seven South Asian organizations in the northeastern United States, looking at their development and politics as well as the conflicts that have emerged within the groups over questions of sexual, class, and political identities. She examines the ways that women’s organizations have defined and responded to questions of domestic violence as they relate to women’s immigration status; she describes the construction of a transnational South Asian queer identity and culture by people often marginalized by both mainstream South Asian and queer communities in the United States; and she draws attention to the efforts of labor groups who have sought economic justice for taxi drivers and domestic workers by confronting local policies that exploit cheap immigrant labor. Responding to the shortcomings of the state, their communities, and the larger social movements of which they are a part, these groups challenge the assumption that citizenship is the necessary basis of rights claims.
By foregrounding the ways that human existence is bound together with the lives of other entities, contemporary cultural theorists have sought to move beyond an anthropocentric worldview. Yet as Eva Haifa Giraud contends in What Comes after Entanglement?, for all their conceptual power in implicating humans in ecologically damaging practices, these theories can undermine scope for political action. Drawing inspiration from activist projects between the 1980s and the present that range from anticapitalist media experiments and vegan food activism to social media campaigns against animal research, Giraud explores possibilities for action while fleshing out the tensions between theory and practice. Rather than an activist ethics based solely on relationality and entanglement, Giraud calls for what she describes as an ethics of exclusion, which would attend to the entities, practices, and ways of being that are foreclosed when other entangled realities are realized. Such an ethics of exclusion emphasizes foreclosures in the context of human entanglement in order to foster the conditions for people to create meaningful political change.
Scholars of southern Appalachia have largely focused their research on men, particularly white men. While there have been a few important studies of Appalachian women, no one book has offered a broad overview across time and place. With this collection, editors Connie Park Rice and Marie Tedesco redress this imbalance, telling the stories of these women and calling attention to the varied backgrounds of those who call the mountains home.
The essays of Women of the Mountain South debunk the entrenched stereotype of Appalachian women as poor and white, and shine a long-overdue spotlight on women too often neglected in the history of the region. Each author focuses on a particular individual or group, but together they illustrate the diversity of women who live in the region and the depth of their life experiences. The Mountain South has been home to Native American, African American, Latina, and white women, both rich and poor. Civil rights and gay rights advocates, environmental and labor activists, prostitutes, and coal miners—all have lived in the place called the Mountain South and enriched its history and culture.
This collection documents the efforts of the Prison Communication, Activism, Research, and Education collective (PCARE) to put democracy into practice by merging prison education and activism. Through life-changing programs in a dozen states (Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin), PCARE works with prisoners, in prisons, and in communities to reclaim justice from the prison-industrial complex. Based on years of pragmatic activism and engaged teaching, the materials in this volume present a sweeping inventory of how communities and individuals both within and outside of prisons are marshaling the arts, education, and activism to reduce crime and enhance citizenship. Documenting hands-on case studies that emphasize educational initiatives, successful prison-based programs, and activist-oriented analysis, Working for Justice provides readers with real-world answers based on years of pragmatic activism and engaged teaching.
Contributors are David Coogan, Craig Lee Engstrom, Jeralyn Faris, Stephen John Hartnett, Edward A. Hinck, Shelly Schaefer Hinck, Bryan J. McCann, Nikki H. Nichols, Eleanor Novek, Brittany L. Peterson, Jonathan Shailor, Rachel A. Smith, Derrick L. Williams, Lesley A. Withers, Jennifer K. Wood, and Bill Yousman.
In Writing against War, Charles Andrews integrates literary analysis and peace studies to create innovative new ways to view experimental British fiction in the interwar period.
The cataclysm of the First World War gave rise to the British Peace Movement, a spectrum of pacifist, internationalist, and antiwar organizations and individuals. Antiwar sentiments found expression not only in editorials, criticism, and journalism but also in novels and other works of literature. Writing against War examines the work of Aldous Huxley, Storm Jameson, Siegfried Sassoon, Rose Macaulay, and Virginia Woolf to analyze the effects of their attempts to employ fiction in the service of peace activism. It further traces how Huxley, Woolf, and others sought to reconcile their antiwar beliefs with implacable military violence.
The British Peace Movement's failure to halt the rise of fascism and the Second World War continues to cast a shadow over contemporary pacifist movements. Writing about War will fascinate scholars of peace studies and literature and offers valuable insights for current-day peace activists and artists who seek to integrate creativity with activism.
The Yakama Nation of present-day Washington State has responded to more than a century of historical trauma with a resurgence of grassroots activism and cultural revitalization. This pathbreaking ethnography shifts the conversation from one of victimhood to one of ongoing resistance and resilience as a means of healing the soul wounds of settler colonialism. Yakama Rising: Indigenous Cultural Revitalization, Activism, and Healing argues that Indigenous communities themselves have the answers to the persistent social problems they face. This book contributes to discourses of Indigenous social change by articulating a Yakama decolonizing praxis that advances the premise that grassroots activism and cultural revitalization are powerful examples of decolonization.
Michelle M. Jacob employs ethnographic case studies to demonstrate the tension between reclaiming traditional cultural practices and adapting to change. Through interviewees’ narratives, she carefully tacks back and forth between the atrocities of colonization and the remarkable actions of individuals committed to sustaining Yakama heritage. Focusing on three domains of Indigenous revitalization—dance, language, and foods—Jacob carefully elucidates the philosophy underlying and unifying each domain while also illustrating the importance of these practices for Indigenous self-determination, healing, and survival.
In the impassioned voice of a member of the Yakama Nation, Jacob presents a volume that is at once intimate and specific to her home community and that also advances theories of Indigenous decolonization, feminism, and cultural revitalization. Jacob’s theoretical and methodological contributions make this work valuable to a range of students, academics, tribal community members, and professionals, and an essential read for anyone interested in the ways that grassroots activism can transform individual lives, communities, and society.