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After the Bloodbath
Is Healing Possible in the Wake of Rampage Shootings?
James D. Diamond
Michigan State University Press, 2019
As violence in the United States seems to become increasingly more commonplace, the question of how communities reset after unprecedented violence also grows in significance. After the Bloodbath examines this quandary, producing insights linking rampage shootings and communal responses in the United States. Diamond, who was a leading attorney in the community where the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy occurred, focuses on three well-known shootings and a fourth shooting that occurred on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in Minnesota. The book looks to the roots of Indigenous approaches to crime, identifying an institutional weakness in the Anglo judicial model, and explores adapting Indigenous practices that contribute to healing following heinous criminal behavior. Emerging from the history of Indigenous dispute resolution is a spotlight turned on to restorative justice, a subject no author has discussed to date in the context of mass shootings. Diamond ultimately leads the reader to a positive road forward focusing on insightful steps people can take after a rampage shooting to help their wounded communities heal.

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After the Coup
An Ethnographic Reframing of Guatemala 1954
Edited by Timothy J. Smith and Abigail E. Adams
University of Illinois Press, 2011
This exceptional collection revisits the aftermath of the 1954 coup that ousted the democratically elected Guatemalan president Jacobo Arbenz. Contributors frame the impact of 1954 not only in terms of the liberal reforms and coffee revolutions of the nineteenth century, but also in terms of post-1954 U.S. foreign policy and the genocide of the 1970s and 1980s. This volume is of particular interest in the current era of the United States' re-emerging foreign policy based on preemptive strikes and a presumed clash of civilizations.

Recent research and the release of newly declassified U.S. government documents underscore the importance of reading Guatemala's current history through the lens of 1954. Scholars and researchers who have worked in Guatemala from the 1940s to the present articulate how the coup fits into ethnographic representations of Guatemala. Highlighting the voices of individuals with whom they have lived and worked, the contributors also offer an unmatched understanding of how the events preceding and following the coup played out on the ground.

Contributors are Abigail E. Adams, Richard N. Adams, David Carey Jr., Christa Little-Siebold, Judith M. Maxwell, Victor D. Montejo, June C. Nash, and Timothy J. Smith.


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Agenda Setting, the UN, and NGOs
Gender Violence and Reproductive Rights
Jutta M. Joachim
Georgetown University Press, 2007

In the mid-1990s, when the United Nations adopted positions affirming a woman's right to be free from bodily harm and to control her own reproductive health, it was both a coup for the international women's rights movement and an instructive moment for nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) seeking to influence UN decision making.

Prior to the UN General Assembly's 1993 Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Violence against Women and the 1994 decision by the UN's Conference on Population and Development to vault women's reproductive rights and health to the forefront of its global population growth management program, there was little consensus among governments as to what constituted violence against women and how much control a woman should have over reproduction. Jutta Joachim tells the story of how, in the years leading up to these decisions, women's organizations got savvy—framing the issues strategically, seizing political opportunities in the international environment, and taking advantage of mobilizing structures—and overcame the cultural opposition of many UN-member states to broadly define the two issues and ultimately cement women's rights as an international cause.

Joachim's deft examination of the documents, proceedings, and actions of the UN and women's advocacy NGOs—supplemented by interviews with key players from concerned parties, and her own participant-observation—reveals flaws in state-centered international relations theories as applied to UN policy, details the tactics and methods that NGOs can employ in order to push rights issues onto the UN agenda, and offers insights into the factors that affect NGO influence. In so doing, Agenda Setting, the UN, and NGOs departs from conventional international relations theory by drawing on social movement literature to illustrate how rights groups can motivate change at the international level.


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All Our Trials
Prisons, Policing, and the Feminist Fight to End Violence
Emily L. Thuma
University of Illinois Press, 2019
During the 1970s, grassroots women activists in and outside of prisons forged a radical politics against gender violence and incarceration. Emily L. Thuma traces the making of this anticarceral feminism at the intersections of struggles for racial and economic justice, prisoners’ and psychiatric patients’ rights, and gender and sexual liberation.
All Our Trials explores the organizing, ideas, and influence of those who placed criminalized and marginalized women at the heart of their antiviolence mobilizations. This activism confronted a "tough on crime" political agenda and clashed with the mainstream women’s movement’s strategy of resorting to the criminal legal system as a solution to sexual and domestic violence. Drawing on extensive archival research and first-person narratives, Thuma weaves together the stories of mass defense campaigns, prisoner uprisings, broad-based local coalitions, national gatherings, and radical print cultures that cut through prison walls. In the process, she illuminates a crucial chapter in an unfinished struggle––one that continues in today’s movements against mass incarceration and in support of transformative justice.

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The Anatomy of a South African Genocide
The Extermination of the Cape San Peoples
Mohamed Adhikari
Ohio University Press, 2011
In 1998 David Kruiper, the leader of the ‡Khomani San who today live in the Kalahari Desert in South Africa, lamented, “We have been made into nothing.” His comment applies equally to the fate of all the hunter-gatherer societies of the Cape Colony who were destroyed by the impact of European colonialism. Until relatively recently, the extermination of the Cape San peoples has been treated as little more than a footnote to South African narratives of colonial conquest. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Dutch-speaking pastoralists who infiltrated the Cape interior dispossessed its aboriginal inhabitants. In response to indigenous resistance, colonists formed mounted militia units known as commandos with the express purpose of destroying San bands. This ensured the virtual extinction of the Cape San peoples. In The Anatomy of a South African Genocide, Mohamed Adhikari examines the history of the San and persuasively presents the annihilation of Cape San society as genocide.

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The Anti-Black City
Police Terror and Black Urban Life in Brazil
Jaime Amparo Alves
University of Minnesota Press, 2018

An important new ethnographic study of São Paulo’s favelas revealing the widespread use of race-based police repression in Brazil

While Black Lives Matter still resonates in the United States, the movement has also become a potent rallying call worldwide, with harsh police tactics and repressive state policies often breaking racial lines. In The Anti-Black City, Jaime Amparo Alves delves into the dynamics of racial violence in Brazil, where poverty, unemployment, residential segregation, and a biased criminal justice system create urban conditions of racial precarity. 

The Anti-Black City provocatively offers race as a vital new lens through which to view violence and marginalization in the supposedly “raceless” São Paulo. Ironically, in a context in which racial ambiguity makes it difficult to identify who is black and who is white, racialized access to opportunities and violent police tactics establish hard racial boundaries through subjugation and death. Drawing on two years of ethnographic research in prisons and neighborhoods on the periphery of this mega-city, Alves documents the brutality of police tactics and the complexity of responses deployed by black residents, including self-help initiatives, public campaigns against police violence, ruthless gangs, and self-policing of communities.

The Anti-Black City reveals the violent and racist ideologies that underlie state fantasies of order and urban peace in modern Brazil. Illustrating how “governing through death” has become the dominant means for managing and controlling ethnic populations in the neoliberal state, Alves shows that these tactics only lead to more marginalization, criminality, and violence. Ultimately, Alves’s work points to a need for a new approach to an intractable problem: how to govern populations and territories historically seen as “ungovernable.”


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Are Women Human?
And Other International Dialogues
Catharine A. MacKinnon
Harvard University Press, 2006

More than half a century after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights defined what a human being is and is entitled to, Catharine MacKinnon asks: Are women human yet? If women were regarded as human, would they be sold into sexual slavery worldwide; veiled, silenced, and imprisoned in homes; bred, and worked as menials for little or no pay; stoned for sex outside marriage or burned within it; mutilated genitally, impoverished economically, and mired in illiteracy--all as a matter of course and without effective recourse?

The cutting edge is where law and culture hurts, which is where MacKinnon operates in these essays on the transnational status and treatment of women. Taking her gendered critique of the state to the international plane, ranging widely intellectually and concretely, she exposes the consequences and significance of the systematic maltreatment of women and its systemic condonation. And she points toward fresh ways--social, legal, and political--of targeting its toxic orthodoxies.

MacKinnon takes us inside the workings of nation-states, where the oppression of women defines community life and distributes power in society and government. She takes us to Bosnia-Herzogovina for a harrowing look at how the wholesale rape and murder of women and girls there was an act of genocide, not a side effect of war. She takes us into the heart of the international law of conflict to ask--and reveal--why the international community can rally against terrorists' violence, but not against violence against women. A critique of the transnational status quo that also envisions the transforming possibilities of human rights, this bracing book makes us look as never before at an ongoing war too long undeclared.


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Atmospheres of Violence
Structuring Antagonism and the Trans/Queer Ungovernable
Eric A. Stanley
Duke University Press, 2021
Advances in LGBTQ rights in the recent past—marriage equality, the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and the expansion of hate crimes legislation—have been accompanied by a rise in attacks against trans, queer and/or gender-nonconforming people of color. In Atmospheres of Violence, theorist and organizer Eric A. Stanley shows how this seeming contradiction reveals the central role of racialized and gendered violence in the United States. Rather than suggesting that such violence is evidence of individual phobias, Stanley shows how it is a structuring antagonism in our social world. Drawing on an archive of suicide notes, AIDS activist histories, surveillance tapes, and prison interviews, they offer a theory of anti-trans/queer violence in which inclusion and recognition are forms of harm rather than remedies to it. In calling for trans/queer organizing and worldmaking beyond these forms, Stanley points to abolitionist ways of life that might offer livable futures.

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Beyond Partition
Gender, Violence and Representation in Postcolonial India
Deepti Misri
University of Illinois Press, 2014
Communal violence, ethnonationalist insurgencies, terrorism, and state violence have marred the Indian natio- state since its inception. These phenomena frequently intersect with prevailing forms of gendered violence complicated by caste, religion, regional identity, and class within communities.

Deepti Misri shows how Partition began a history of politicized animosity associated with the differing ideas of ""India"" held by communities and in regions on one hand, and by the political-military Indian state on the other. She moves beyond that formative national event, however, in order to examine other forms of gendered violence in the postcolonial life of the nation, including custodial rape, public stripping, deturbanning, and enforced disappearances. Assembling literary, historiographic, performative, and visual representations of gendered violence against women and men, Misri establishes that cultural expressions do not just follow violence but determine its very contours, and interrogates the gendered scripts underwriting the violence originating in the contested visions of what ""India"" means.

Ambitious and ranging across disciplines, Beyond Partition offers both an overview of and nuanced new perspectives on the ways caste, identity, and class complicate representations of violence, and how such representations shape our understandings of both violence and India.


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Body Evidence
Intimate Violence against South Asian Women in America
Edited by Shamita Das Dasgupta
Rutgers University Press, 2007
When South Asians immigrated to the United States in great numbers in the 1970s, they were passionately driven to achieve economic stability and socialize the next generation to retain the traditions of their home culture. During these years, the immigrant community went to great lengths to project an impeccable public image by denying the existence of social problems such as domestic violence, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, mental illness, racism, and intergenerational conflict. It was not until recently that activist groups have worked to bring these issues out into the open.

In Body Evidence, more than twenty scholars and public health professionals uncover the unique challenges faced by victims of violence in intimate spaces . . . within families, communities and trusted relationships in South Asian American communities. Topics include cultural obsession with women's chastity and virginity; the continued silence surrounding intimate violence among women who identify themselves as lesbian, bisexual, or transgender; the consequences of refusing marriage proposals or failing to meet dowry demands; and, ultimately, the ways in which the United States courts often confuse and exacerbate the plights of these women.

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Border Women and the Community of Maclovio Rojas
Autonomy in the Spaces of Neoliberal Neglect
Michelle Téllez
University of Arizona Press, 2021
Near Tijuana, Baja California, the autonomous community of Maclovio Rojas demonstrates what is possible for urban place-based political movements. More than a community, Maclovio Rojas is a women-led social movement that works for economic and political autonomy to address issues of health, education, housing, nutrition, and security.

Border Women and the Community of Maclovio Rojas tells the story of the community’s struggle to carve out space for survival and thriving in the shadows of the U.S.-Mexico geopolitical border. This ethnography by Michelle Téllez demonstrates the state’s neglect in providing social services and local infrastructure. This neglect exacerbates the structural violence endemic to the border region—a continuation of colonial systems of power on the urban, rural, and racialized poor. Téllez shows that in creating the community of Maclovio Rojas, residents have challenged prescriptive notions of nation and belonging. Through women’s active participation and leadership, a women’s political subjectivity has emerged—Maclovianas. These border women both contest and invoke their citizenship as they struggle to have their land rights recognized, and they transform traditional political roles into that of agency and responsibility.

This book highlights the U.S.-Mexico borderlands as a space of resistance, conviviality, agency, and creative community building where transformative politics can take place. It shows hope, struggle, and possibility in the context of gendered violences of racial capitalism on the Mexican side of the U.S.-Mexico border.


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Building Financial Empowerment for Survivors of Domestic Violence
A Path to Hope and Freedom
Judy L. Postmus
Rutgers University Press, 2023
Each year, millions of women throughout the world experience violence and abuse at the hands of their intimate partner. Abusers coercively control them by using a variety of tactics ranging from physical or sexual violence to emotional or psychological abuse. An additional tactic often used includes financial abuse in which the abuser controls the money in the family, exploits the victim’s financial standing, and interrupts her efforts to be self-sufficient. The impact of financial abuse can leave women financially trapped in the relationship with limited financial management skills, knowledge, or self-confidence. Indeed, survivors often mention financial barriers as a top reason for keeping them trapped by the abuser in the relationship.
Curiously, little of the research on domestic violence has sought to either fully understand the impact of financial abuse or to determine which intervention strategies are most effective for the financial empowerment of survivors. Building Financial Empowerment for Survivors of Domestic Violence aims to address this critical knowledge gap by providing those who work with survivors of domestic violence with practical knowledge on how to empower the financial well-being and stability of survivors. Specifically, every practitioner, human service provider, criminal justice practitioner, financial manager, and corporate supervisor should be screening the women they encounter for economic abuse, and when such abuse is found, they should work with the women toward developing financial safety plans and refer survivors to financial empowerment programs to assist survivors to become free from abuse.

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Child Martyrs and Militant Evangelization in New Spain
Missionary Narratives, Nahua Perspectives
Stephanie Schmidt
University of Texas Press, 2025

Examines the many iterations of a story of child martyrdom in colonial Mexico.

A cornerstone of the evangelization of early New Spain was the conversion of Nahua boys, especially the children of elites. They were to be emissaries between Nahua society and foreign missionaries, hastening the transmission of the gospel. Under the tutelage of Franciscan friars, the boys also learned to act with militant zeal. They sermonized and smashed sacred objects. Some went so far as to kill a Nahua religious leader. For three boys from Tlaxcala, the reprisals were just as deadly.

In Child Martyrs and Militant Evangelization in New Spain, Stephanie Schmidt sheds light on a rare manuscript about Nahua child converts who were killed for acts of zealotry during the late 1520s. This is the Nahuatl version of an account by an early missionary-friar, Toribio de Benavente Motolinía. To this day, Catholics venerate the slain boys as Christian martyrs who suffered for their piety. Yet Franciscan accounts of the boys’ sacrifice were influenced by ulterior motives, as the friars sought to deflect attention from their missteps in New Spain. Illuminating Nahua perspectives on this story and period, Schmidt leaves no doubt as to who drove this violence as she dramatically expands the knowledgebase available to students of colonial Latin America.


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The Chinese Must Go
Violence, Exclusion, and the Making of the Alien in America
Beth Lew-Williams
Harvard University Press, 2018

Winner of the Ray Allen Billington Prize
Winner of the Ellis W. Hawley Prize
Winner of the Sally and Ken Owens Award
Winner of the Vincent P. DeSantis Book Prize
Winner of the Caroline Bancroft History Prize

“A powerful argument about racial violence that could not be more timely.”
—Richard White

“A riveting, beautifully written account…that foregrounds Chinese voices and experiences. A timely and important contribution to our understanding of immigration and the border.”
—Karl Jacoby, author of Shadows at Dawn

In 1885, following the massacre of Chinese miners in Wyoming Territory, communities throughout California and the Pacific Northwest harassed, assaulted, and expelled thousands of Chinese immigrants. The Chinese Must Go shows how American immigration policies incited this violence, and how this gave rise to the concept of the “alien” in America.

Our story begins in the 1850s, before federal border control established strict divisions between citizens and aliens—and long before Congress passed the Chinese Restriction Act, the nation’s first attempt to bar immigration based on race and class. When this unprecedented experiment failed to slow Chinese migration, armed vigilante groups took the matter into their own hands. Fearing the spread of mob violence, policymakers redoubled their efforts to seal the borders, overhauling immigration law and transforming America’s relationship with China in the process. By tracing the idea of the alien back to this violent era, Lew-Williams offers a troubling new origin story of today’s racialized border.

The Chinese Must Go shows how a country that was moving, in a piecemeal and halting fashion, toward an expansion of citizenship for formerly enslaved people and Native Americans, came to deny other classes of people the right to naturalize altogether…The stories of racist violence and community shunning are brutal to read.”
—Rebecca Onion, Slate


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Composing Violence
The Limits of Exposure and the Making of Minorities
Moyukh Chatterjee
Duke University Press, 2023
In 2002, armed Hindu mobs attacked Muslims in broad daylight in the west Indian state of Gujarat. The pogrom, which was widely seen over television, left more than one thousand dead. In Composing Violence Moyukh Chatterjee examines how highly visible political violence against minorities acts as a catalyst for radical changes in law, public culture, and power. He shows that, far from being quashed through its exposure by activists, media, and politicians, state-sanctioned anti-Muslim violence set the stage for transforming India into a Hindu supremacist state. The state's and civil society’s responses to the violence, Chatterjee contends, reveal the constitutive features of modern democracy in which riots and pogroms are techniques to produce a form of society based on a killable minority and a triumphant majority. Focusing on courtroom procedures, police archives, legal activism, and mainstream media coverage, Chatterjee theorizes violence as a form of governance that creates minority populations. By tracing the composition of anti-Muslim violence and the legal structures that transform that violence into the making of minorities and majorities, Chatterjee demonstrates that violence is intrinsic to liberal democracy.

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Courage, Resistance, and Women in Ciudad Juárez
Challenges to Militarization
By Kathleen Staudt and Zulma Y. Méndez
University of Texas Press, 2015

Ciudad Juárez has recently become infamous for its murder rate, which topped 3,000 in 2010 as competing drug cartels grew increasingly violent and the military responded with violence as well. Despite the atmosphere of intimidation by troops, police, and organized criminals, women have led the way in civil society activism, spurring the Juárez Resistance and forging powerful alliances with anti-militarization activists.

An in-depth examination of la Resistencia Juarense, Courage, Resistance, and Women in Ciudad Juárez draws on ethnographic research to analyze the resistance’s focus on violence against women, as well as its clash with the war against drugs championed by Mexican President Felipe Calderón with the support of the United States. Through grounded insights, the authors trace the transformation of hidden discourses into public discourses that openly challenge the militarized border regimes. The authors also explore the advocacy carried on by social media, faith-based organizations, and peace-and-justice activist Javier Sicilia while Calderón faced U.S. political schisms over the role of border trade in this global manufacturing site.

Bringing to light on-the-ground strategies as well as current theories from the fields of sociology, political anthropology, and human rights, this illuminating study is particularly significant because of its emphasis on the role of women in local and transnational attempts to extinguish a hot zone. As they overcome intimidation to become game-changing activists, the figures featured in Courage, Resistance, and Women in Ciudad Juárez offer the possibility of peace and justice in the wake of seemingly irreconcilable conflict.


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The Cunning of Gender Violence
Geopolitics and Feminism
Lila Abu-Lughod, Rema Hammami, and Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, editors
Duke University Press, 2023
The Cunning of Gender Violence focuses on how a once visionary feminist project has folded itself into contemporary world affairs. Combating violence against women and gender-based violence constitutes a highly visible and powerful agenda enshrined in international governance and law and embedded in state violence and global securitization. Case studies on Palestine, Bangladesh, Iran, India, Pakistan, Israel, and Turkey as well as on UN and US policies trace the silences and omissions, along with the experiences of those subjected to violence, to question the rhetoric that claims the agenda as a “feminist success story.” Because religion and racialized ethnicity, particularly “the Muslim question,” run so deeply through the institutional structures of the agenda, the contributions explore ways it may be affirming or enabling rationales and systems of power, including civilizational hierarchies, that harm the very people it seeks to protect.

Contributors. Lila Abu-Lughod, Nina Berman, Inderpal Grewal, Rema Hammami, Janet R. Jakobsen, Shenila Khoja-Moolji, Vasuki Nesiah, Samira Shackle, Sima Shakhsari, Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Dina M Siddiqi, Shahla Talebi, Leti Volpp, Rafia Zakaria

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Decolonizing Discipline
Children, Corporal Punishment, Christian Theologies, and Reconciliation
Valerie E. Michaelson
University of Manitoba Press, 2020

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Disruptive Archives
Feminist Memories of Resistance in Latin America's Dirty Wars
Viviana Beatriz MacManus
University of Illinois Press, 2020
The histories of the Dirty Wars in Mexico and Argentina (1960s–1980s) have largely erased how women experienced and remember the gendered violence during this traumatic time. Viviana Beatriz MacManus restores women to the revolutionary struggle at the heart of the era by rejecting both state projects and the leftist accounts focused on men. Using a compelling archival blend of oral histories, interviews, human rights reports, literature, and film, MacManus illuminates complex narratives of loss, violence, and trauma. The accounts upend dominant histories by creating a feminist-centered body of knowledge that challenges the twinned legacies of oblivion for the victims and state-sanctioned immunity for the perpetrators. A new Latin American feminist theory of justice emerges—one that acknowledges women's strength, resistance, and survival during and after a horrific time in their nations' histories.

Haunting and methodologically innovative, Disruptive Archives attests to the power of women's storytelling and memory in the struggle to reclaim history.


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Economies of Desire
Sex and Tourism in Cuba and the Dominican Republic
Amalia L. Cabezas
Temple University Press, 2009

Is a native-born tour guide who has sex with tourists—in exchange for dinner or gifts or cash—merely a prostitute or gigolo? What if the tourist continues to send gifts or money to the tour guide after returning home? As this original and provocative book demonstrates, when it comes to sex—and the effects of capitalism and globalization —nothing is as simple as it might seem.

Based on ten years of research, Economies of Desire is the first ethnographic study to examine the erotic underpinnings of transnational tourism. It offers startling insights into the commingling of sex, intimacy, and market forces in Cuba and the Dominican republic, two nations where tourism has had widespread effects. In her multi-layered analyses, amalia cabezas reconceptualizes our understandings of informal economies (particularly "affective economies"), "sex workers," and “sexual tourism,” and she helps us appreciate how money, sex and love are intertwined within the structure of globalizing capitalism.


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Ending Gender-Based Violence
Justice and Community in South Africa
Hannah E. Britton
University of Illinois Press, 2020
South African women's still-increasing presence in local, provincial, and national institutions has inspired sweeping legislation aimed at advancing women's rights and opportunity. Yet the country remains plagued by sexual assault, rape, and intimate partner violence.

Hannah E. Britton examines the reasons gendered violence persists in relationship to social inequalities even after women assume political power. Venturing into South African communities, Britton invites service providers, religious and traditional leaders, police officers, and medical professionals to address gender-based violence in their own words. Britton finds the recent turn toward carceral solutions—with a focus on arrests and prosecutions—fails to address the complexities of the problem and looks at how changing specific community dynamics can defuse interpersonal violence. She also examines how place and space affect the implementation of policy and suggests practical ways policymakers can support street level workers.

Clear-eyed and revealing, Ending Gender-Based Violence offers needed tools for breaking cycles of brutality and inequality around the world.


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Everyday Violence
The Public Harassment of Women and LGBTQ People
Simone Kolysh
Rutgers University Press, 2021
Everyday Violence is based on ten years of scholarly rage against catcalling and aggression directed at women and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) people of New York City. Simone Kolysh recasts public harassment as everyday violence and demands an immediate end to this pervasive social problem. Analyzing interviews with initiators and recipients of everyday violence through an intersectional lens, Kolysh argues that gender and sexuality, shaped by race, class, and space, are violent processes that are reproduced through these interactions in the public sphere. They examine short and long-term impacts and make inroads in urban sociology, queer and trans geographies, and feminist thought. Kolysh also draws a connection between public harassment, gentrification, and police brutality resisting criminalizing narratives in favor of restorative justice. Through this work, they hope for a future where women and LGBTQ people can live on their own terms, free from violence.

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A Feminist Theory of Violence
A Decolonial Perspective
Françoise Vergès
Pluto Press, 2022
'A robust, decolonial challenge to carceral feminism' - Angela Y. Davis

***Winner of an English PEN Award 2022***

The mainstream conversation surrounding gender equality is a repertoire of violence: harassment, rape, abuse, femicide. These words suggest a cruel reality. But they also hide another reality: that of gendered violence committed with the complicity of the State.

In this book, Françoise Vergès denounces the carceral turn in the fight against sexism. By focusing on 'violent men', we fail to question the sources of their violence. There is no doubt as to the underlying causes: racial capitalism, ultra-conservative populism, the crushing of the Global South by wars and imperialist looting, the exile of millions and the proliferation of prisons - these all put masculinity in the service of a policy of death.

Against the spirit of the times, Françoise Vergès refuses the punitive obsession of the State in favour of restorative justice.

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The Force of Witness
Contra Feminicide
Rosa-Linda Fregoso
Duke University Press, 2023
In The Force of Witness Rosa-Linda Fregoso examines the contra feminicide movement in Mexico and other feminist efforts to eradicate gender violence. Drawing on interviews, art, documentaries, and her years of activism, Fregoso traces the micro and macro scales of misogyny and the patterns of state complicity with gender violence. She shows how different forms of witnessing—from activist-mothers’ bearing witness to the memories of their daughters and expert witnesses in court cases to communal witnessing and a scholar-activist-citizen witnessing her own actions—are key to resisting feminicidal violence. Fregoso situates these forms of witness in the histories, contexts, structures, bodies, and intersectional struggles they emerge from. By outlining the complexities of feminicidal violence in relation to witnessing processes, Fregoso challenges the notion of witness as an individual or autonomous subject inscribed solely in the legal or religious arenas. Rather, she theorizes witness as a force of collectivity and a constellation of multiple social locations and intersectional practices that work together to abolish feminicidal violence.

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The Four Deaths of Acorn Whistler
Telling Stories in Colonial America
Joshua Piker
Harvard University Press, 2013

Who was Acorn Whistler, and why did he have to die? A deeply researched analysis of a bloody eighteenth-century conflict and its tangled aftermath, The Four Deaths of Acorn Whistler unearths competing accounts of the events surrounding the death of this Creek Indian. Told from the perspectives of a colonial governor, a Creek Nation military leader, local Native Americans, and British colonists, each story speaks to issues that transcend the condemned man’s fate: the collision of European and Native American cultures, the struggle of Indians to preserve traditional ways of life, and tensions within the British Empire as the American Revolution approached.

At the hand of his own nephew, Acorn Whistler was executed in the summer of 1752 for the crime of murdering five Cherokee men. War had just broken out between the Creeks and the Cherokees to the north. To the east, colonists in South Carolina and Georgia watched the growing conflict with alarm, while British imperial officials kept an eye on both the Indians’ war and the volatile politics of the colonists themselves. They all interpreted the single calamitous event of Acorn Whistler’s death through their own uncertainty about the future. Joshua Piker uses their diverging accounts to uncover the larger truth of an early America rife with violence and insecurity but also transformative possibility.


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Fractal Repair
Queer Histories of Modern Jamaica
Matthew Chin
Duke University Press, 2024
In Fractal Repair, Matthew Chin investigates queerness in Jamaica from early colonial occupation to the present, critically responding to the island’s global reputation for extreme homophobia and anti-queer violence. Chin advances a theory and method of queer fractals to bring together genealogies of queer and Caribbean formation. Fractals—a kind of geometry in which patterns repeat but never exactly in the same way—make visible shifting accounts of Caribbean queerness in terms of race, gender, and sexual alterity. Drawing on this fractal orientation, Chin assembles and analyzes multigenre archives, ranging from mid-twentieth-century social science studies of the Caribbean to Jamaica’s National Dance Theatre Company to HIV/AIDS organizations, to write reparative histories of queerness. Chin’s proposal of a fractal politics of repair invests in the horizon of difference that repetition materializes, and it extends reparations discourses intent on overcoming the past and calculating economic compensation for survivors of violence.

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Framing the Rape Victim
Gender and Agency Reconsidered
Mardorossian, Carine M
Rutgers University Press, 2014
Winner of the 2016 Nonfiction Category from The Authors' Zone

In recent years, members of legal, law enforcement, media and academic circles have portrayed rape as a special kind of crime distinct from other forms of violence. In Framing the Rape Victim, Carine M. Mardorossian argues that this differential treatment of rape has exacerbated the ghettoizing of sexual violence along gendered lines and has repeatedly led to women’s being accused of triggering, if not causing, rape through immodest behavior, comportment, passivity, or weakness.

Contesting the notion that rape is the result of deviant behaviors of victims or perpetrators, Mardorossian argues that rape saturates our culture and defines masculinity’s relation to femininity, both of which are structural positions rather than biologically derived ones. Using diverse examples throughout, Mardorossian draws from Hollywood film and popular culture to contemporary women’s fiction and hospitalized birth emphasizing that the position of dominant masculinity can be occupied by men, women, or institutions, while structural femininity is a position that may define and subordinate men, minorities, and other marginalized groups just as effectively as it does women.  Highlighting the legacies of the politically correct debates of the 1990s and the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the book illustrates how the framing of the term “victim” has played a fundamental role in constructing notions of agency that valorize autonomy and support exclusionary, especially masculine, models of American selfhood.

The gendering of rape, including by well-meaning, sometimes feminist, voices that claim to have victims’ best interests at heart, ultimately obscures its true role in our culture. Both a critical analysis and a call to action, Framing the Rape Victim shows that rape is not a special interest issue that pertains just to women but a pervasive one that affects our society as a whole.

front cover of GENDER AND PETTY VIOLENCE IN LONDON, 1680-1720
The Ohio State University Press, 2005

Looking at a heretofore overlooked set of archival records of London in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, Hurl-Eamon reassesses the impact of gender on petty crime and its prosecution during the period. This book offers a new approach to the growing body of work on the history of violence in past societies. By focusing upon low-cost prosecutions in minor courts, Hurl-Eamon uncovers thousands of assaults on the streets of early modern London. Previous histories stressing the masculine nature of past violence are questioned here: women perpetrated one-third of all assaults. In looking at more mundane altercations rather than the homicidal attacks studied in previous histories, the book investigates violence as a physical language, with some forms that were subject to gender constraints, but many of which were available to both men and women. Quantitative analyses of various circumstances surrounding the assaults—including initial causes, weapons used, and injuries sustained—outline the patterns of violence as a language.

Hurl-Eamon also stresses the importance of focusing on the prosecutorial voice. In bringing the court’s attention to petty attacks, thousands of early modern men and women should be seen as agents rather than victims. This view is especially interesting in the context of domestic violence, where hundreds of wives and servants prosecuted patriarchs for assault, and in the Mohock Scare of 1712, where London’s populace rose up in opposition to aristocratic violence. The discussion is informed by a detailed knowledge of assault laws and the rules governing justices of the peace.


front cover of Gender and Violence against Political Actors
Gender and Violence against Political Actors
Edited by Elin Bjarnegård and Pär Zetterberg
Temple University Press, 2023
There has been an increase in testimonies from women politicians who have been targets of violence and from survivors of conflict-related sexual violence. The editors and contributors to of Gender and Violence against Political Actors seek to understand how gender influences both physical and psychological forms of violence and how sexual violence affects both men and women.
Chapters focus on theoretical approaches demonstrating how different disciplinary starting points—e.g., politics, violence and gender—give rise to different lenses. Essays examine violence carried out during conflict and peacetime, and relate to the continuum of violence—physical, sexual, psychological, and online. In addition, six country case studies reveal how different types of political actors have been targets of violence.
Gender and Violence against Political Actors ends by providing various approaches to responding to the problem of gendered violence in politics while also evaluating policy responses.
Contributors: Kerryn Baker, Julie Ballington, Gabrielle Bardall, Gabriella Borovsky, Cheryl N. Collier, Sofia Collignon, Maria Eriksson Baaz, Eleonora Esposito, Nicole Haley, Rebekah Herrick, Sandra Håkansson, Roudabeh Kishi, Anne-Kathrin Kreft, Mona Lena Krook, Rebecca Kuperberg, Robert U. Nagel, Louise Olsson, Jennifer M. Piscopo, Tracey Raney, Juliana Restrepo Sanín, Paige Schneider, Maria Stern, Sue Thomas, and the editors


front cover of Gender and Violence in Haiti
Gender and Violence in Haiti
Women’s Path from Victims to Agents
Benedetta Faedi Duramy
Rutgers University Press, 2014
Women in Haiti are frequent victims of sexual violence and armed assault. Yet an astonishing proportion of these victims also act as perpetrators of violent crime, often as part of armed groups. Award-winning legal scholar Benedetta Faedi Duramy visited Haiti to discover what causes these women to act in such destructive ways and what might be done to stop this tragic cycle of violence.

Gender and Violence in Haiti is the product of more than a year of extensive firsthand observations and interviews with the women who have been caught up in the widespread violence plaguing Haiti. Drawing from the experiences of a diverse group of Haitian women, Faedi Duramy finds that both the victims and perpetrators of violence share a common sense of anger and desperation. Untangling the many factors that cause these women to commit violence, from self-defense to revenge, she identifies concrete measures that can lead them to feel vindicated and protected by their communities.

Faedi Duramy vividly conveys the horrifying conditions pervading Haiti, even before the 2010 earthquake. But Gender and Violence in Haiti also carries a message of hope—and shows what local authorities and international relief agencies can do to help the women of Haiti.

front cover of Gender Violence and the Transnational Politics of the Honor Crime
Gender Violence and the Transnational Politics of the Honor Crime
Dana M. Olwan
The Ohio State University Press, 2021
In Gender Violence and the Transnational Politics of the Honor Crime, Dana M. Olwan examines how certain forms of violence become known, recognized, and contested across multiple geopolitical contexts—looking specifically at a particular form of gender-based violence known as the “honor crime” and tracing how a range of legal, political, and literary texts inform normative and critical understandings of this term. Although a number of studies now acknowledge the complicated mobilizations of honor crime discourses, the ways in which these discourses move across and in between different geographies and contexts remain relatively unexplored. This book fills that void by providing a transnational feminist examination of the disparate—yet interconnected—sites of the US, Canada, Jordan, and Palestine, showing how the concept travels across nations and is deployed to promote hegemonic agendas—becoming intertwined in notions of modernity, citizenship, and belonging.
More specifically, Olwan traces the term’s appearance in public and popular works that allow for its continued mass acceptance and circulation—from media depictions in Canada and beyond, to how it is taken up in national registers about migration and belonging in the US, to activism in Palestine that reveal the fault lines between activist and academic critiques of the honor crime, and finally to feminist efforts in Jordan and the wider Middle East to confront legal codes used to sanction gender-related violence. Through these cases, Olwan demonstrates how the honor crime functions as a signifier that governs and manages populations and how its meanings travel and circulate across and between separate and interconnected circuits of power and knowledge.

front cover of Gender Violence in Peace and War
Gender Violence in Peace and War
States of Complicity
Sanford, Victoria
Rutgers University Press, 2016
Reports from war zones often note the obscene victimization of women, who are frequently raped, tortured, beaten, and pressed into sexual servitude. Yet this reign of terror against women not only occurs during exceptional moments of social collapse, but during peacetime too. As this powerful book argues, violence against women should be understood as a systemic problem—one for which the state must be held accountable. 
The twelve essays in Gender Violence in Peace and War present a continuum of cases where the state enables violence against women—from state-sponsored torture to lax prosecution of sexual assault. Some contributors uncover buried histories of state violence against women throughout the twentieth century, in locations as diverse as Ireland, Indonesia, and Guatemala. Others spotlight ongoing struggles to define the state’s role in preventing gendered violence, from domestic abuse policies in the Russian Federation to anti-trafficking laws in the United States. 
Bringing together cutting-edge research from political science, history, gender studies, anthropology, and legal studies, this collection offers a comparative analysis of how the state facilitates, legitimates, and perpetuates gender violence worldwide. The contributors also offer vital insights into how states might adequately protect women’s rights in peacetime, as well as how to intervene when a state declares war on its female citizens.  

front cover of Gendered Resistance
Gendered Resistance
Women, Slavery, and the Legacy of Margaret Garner
Edited by Mary E. Frederickson and Delores M. Walters
University of Illinois Press, 2013
Inspired by the searing story of Margaret Garner, the escaped slave who in 1856 slit her daughter's throat rather than have her forced back into slavery, the essays in this collection focus on historical and contemporary examples of slavery and women's resistance to oppression from the nineteenth century to the twenty-first. Each chapter uses Garner's example--the real-life narrative behind Toni Morrison's Beloved andthe opera Margaret Garner--as a thematic foundation for an interdisciplinary conversation about gendered resistance in locations including Brazil, Yemen, India, and the United States. 
Contributors are Nailah Randall Bellinger, Olivia Cousins, Mary E. Frederickson, Cheryl Janifer LaRoche, Carolyn Mazloomi, Cathy McDaniels-Wilson, Catherine Roma, Huda Seif, S. Pearl Sharp, Raquel Luciana de Souza, Jolene Smith, Veta Tucker, Delores M. Walters, Diana Williams, and Kristine Yohe.


front cover of Genre, Race, and the Production of Subjectivity in German Romanticism
Genre, Race, and the Production of Subjectivity in German Romanticism
Stephanie Galasso
Northwestern University Press, 2024
Exposes German Romanticism’s entanglements of aesthetic philosophy with racialized models of humanity

Late Enlightenment philosophers and writers like Herder, Goethe, and Schiller broke with conventions of form and genre to prioritize an idealized, and racially coded, universality. Newly translated literatures from colonial contexts served as the basis for their evaluations of how to contribute to a distinctly “German” national literary tradition, one that valorized modernity and freedom and thus fortified crucial determinants of modern concepts of whiteness. Through close readings of both canonical and less-studied Romantic texts, Stephanie Galasso examines the intimately entwined histories of racialized subjectivity and aesthetic theory and shows how literary genre is both symptomatic and generative of the cultural violence that underpinned the colonial project.

Poetic expression and its generic conventions continue to exert pressure on the framing and reception of the stories that can be told about interpersonal and structural experiences of oppression. Genre, Race, and the Production of Subjectivity in German Romanticism explores how white subjectivity is guarded by symbolic and material forms of violence. 

front cover of Girl of New Zealand
Girl of New Zealand
Colonial Optics in Aotearoa
Michelle Erai
University of Arizona Press, 2020
Girl of New Zealand presents a nuanced insight into the way violence and colonial attitudes shaped the representation of Māori women and girls. Michelle Erai examines more than thirty images of Māori women alongside the records of early missionaries and settlers in Aotearoa, as well as comments by archivists and librarians, to shed light on how race, gender, and sexuality have been ascribed to particular bodies.

Viewed through Māori, feminist, queer, and film theories, Erai shows how images such as Girl of New Zealand (1793) and later images, cartoons, and travel advertising created and deployed a colonial optic. Girl of New Zealand reveals how the phantasm of the Māori woman has shown up in historical images, how such images shape our imagination, and how impossible it has become to maintain the delusion of the “innocent eye.” Erai argues that the process of ascribing race, gender, sexuality, and class to imagined bodies can itself be a kind of violence.

In the wake of the Me Too movement and other feminist projects, Erai’s timely analysis speaks to the historical foundations of negative attitudes toward Indigenous Māori women in the eyes of colonial “others”—outsiders from elsewhere who reflected their own desires and fears in their representations of the Indigenous inhabitants of Aotearoa, New Zealand. Erai resurrects Māori women from objectification and locates them firmly within Māori whānau and communities.

front cover of Hear #MeToo in India
Hear #MeToo in India
News, Social Media, and Anti-Rape and Sexual Harassment Activism
Pallavi Guha
Rutgers University Press, 2021
This book examines the role media platforms play in anti-rape and sexual harassment activism in India. Including 75 interviews with feminist activists and journalists working across India, it proposes a framework of agenda-building and establishes a theoretical framework to examine media coverage of issues in the digitally emerging Global South.

front cover of The Hirschfeld Archives
The Hirschfeld Archives
Violence, Death, and Modern Queer Culture
Heike Bauer
Temple University Press, 2017

Influential sexologist and activist Magnus Hirschfeld founded Berlin’s Institute of Sexual Sciences in 1919 as a home and workplace to study homosexual rights activism and support transgender people. It was destroyed by the Nazis in 1933. This episode in history prompted Heike Bauer to ask, Is violence an intrinsic part of modern queer culture? The Hirschfeld Archives answers this critical question by examining the violence that shaped queer existence in the first part of the twentieth century. 

Hirschfeld himself escaped the Nazis, and many of his papers and publications survived. Bauer examines his accounts of same-sex life from published and unpublished writings, as well as books, articles, diaries, films, photographs and other visual materials, to scrutinize how violence—including persecution, death and suicide—shaped the development of homosexual rights and political activism. 

The Hirschfeld Archives brings these fragments of queer experience together to reveal many unknown and interesting accounts of LGBTQ life in the early twentieth century, but also to illuminate the fact that homosexual rights politics were haunted from the beginning by racism, colonial brutality, and gender violence.


front cover of Holocaust Mothers and Daughters
Holocaust Mothers and Daughters
Family, History, and Trauma
Federica K. Clementi
Brandeis University Press, 2013
In this brave and original work, Federica Clementi focuses on the mother-daughter bond as depicted in six works by women who experienced the Holocaust, sometimes with their mothers, sometimes not. The daughters’ memoirs, which record the “all-too-human” qualities of those who were persecuted and murdered by the Nazis, show that the Holocaust cannot be used to neatly segregate lives into the categories of before and after. Clementi’s discussions of differences in social status, along with the persistence of antisemitism and patriarchal structures, support this point strongly, demonstrating the tenacity of trauma—individual, familial, and collective—among Jews in twentieth-century Europe.

front cover of Home Safe Home
Home Safe Home
Housing Solutions for Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence
Botein, Hilary
Rutgers University Press, 2016
Housing matters for everyone, as it provides shelter, security, privacy, and stability. For survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV), housing takes on an additional meaning; it is the key to establishing a new life, free from abuse. IPV survivors often face such inadequate housing options, however, that they must make excruciating choices between cycling through temporary shelters, becoming homeless, or returning to their abusers. 
Home Safe Home offers a multifaceted analysis that accounts for both IPV survivors’ needs and the practical challenges involved in providing them with adequate permanent housing. Incorporating the varied perspectives of the numerous housing providers, activists, policymakers, and researchers who have a stake in these issues, the book also lets IPV survivors have their say, expressing their views on what housing and services can best meet their short and long-term goals. Researchers Hilary Botein and Andrea Hetling not only examine the federal and state policies and funding programs determining housing for IPV survivors, but also provide detailed case studies that put a human face on these policy issues. 
As it traces how housing options and support mechanisms for IPV survivors have evolved over time, Home Safe Home also offers innovative suggestions for how policymakers and advocates might work together to better meet the needs of this vulnerable population. 

front cover of Honor and the Political Economy of Marriage
Honor and the Political Economy of Marriage
Violence against Women in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq
Joanne Payton
Rutgers University Press, 2020
'Honor' is used as a justification for violence perpetrated against women and girls considered to have violated social taboos related to sexual behavior. Several ‘honor’-based murders of Kurdish women, such as Fadime Sahindal, Banaz Mahmod and Du’a Khalil Aswad, and campaigns against 'honor'-based violence by Kurdish feminists have drawn international attention to this phenomenon within Kurdish communities.

Honor and the Political Economy of Marriage provides a description of ‘honor’-based violence that focuses upon the structure of the family rather than the perpetrator’s culture. The author, Joanne Payton, argues that within societies primarily organized by familial and marital connections, women’s ‘honor’ is a form of symbolic capital within a ‘political economy’ in which marriage organizes intergroup connections.
Drawing on statistical analysis of original data contextualized with historical and anthropological readings, Payton explores forms of marriage and their relationship to ‘honor’, sketching changing norms around the familial control of women from agrarian/pastoral roots to the contemporary era.

front cover of How to Lose the Hounds
How to Lose the Hounds
Maroon Geographies and a World beyond Policing
Celeste Winston
Duke University Press, 2023
In How to Lose the Hounds Celeste Winston explores marronage—the practice of flight from and placemaking beyond slavery—as a guide to police abolition. She examines historically Black maroon communities in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC, that have been subjected to violent excesses of police power from slavery until the present day. Tracing the long and ongoing historical geography of Black freedom struggles in the face of anti-Black police violence in these communities, Winston shows how marronage provides critical lessons for reimagining public safety and community well-being. These freedom struggles take place in what Winston calls maroon geographies—sites of flight from slavery and the spaces of freedom produced in multigenerational Black communities. Maroon geographies constitute part of a Black placemaking tradition that asserts life-affirming forms of community. Winston contends that maroon geographies operate as a central method of Black flight, holding ground, and constructing places of freedom in ways that imagine and plan a world beyond policing.

front cover of Human Rights along the U.S.–Mexico Border
Human Rights along the U.S.–Mexico Border
Gendered Violence and Insecurity
Edited by Kathleen Staudt, Tony Payan, and Z. Anthony Kruszewski
University of Arizona Press, 2009
Much political oratory has been devoted to safeguarding America’s boundary with Mexico, but policies that militarize the border and criminalize immigrants have overshadowed the region’s widespread violence against women, the increase in crossing deaths, and the lingering poverty that spurs people to set out on dangerous northward treks. This book addresses those concerns by focusing on gender-based violence, security, and human rights from the perspective of women who live with both violence and poverty.

From the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico, scholars from both sides of the 2,000-mile border reflect expertise in disciplines ranging from international relations to criminal justice, conveying a more complex picture of the region than that presented in other studies.

Initial chapters offer an overview of routine sexual assaults on women migrants, the harassment of Central American immigrants at the hands of authorities and residents, corruption and counterfeiting along the border, and near-death experiences of border crossers. Subsequent chapters then connect analysis with solutions in the form of institutional change, social movement activism, policy reform, and the spread of international norms that respect human rights as well as good governance.

These chapters show how all facets of the border situation—globalization, NAFTA, economic inequality, organized crime, political corruption, rampant patriarchy—promote gendered violence and other expressions of hyper-masculinity. They also show that U.S. immigration policy exacerbates the problems of border violence—in marked contrast to the border policies of European countries.

By focusing on women’s everyday experiences in order to understand human security issues, these contributions offer broad-based alternative approaches and solutions that address everyday violence and inattention to public safety, inequalities, poverty, and human rights. And by presenting a social and democratic international feminist framework to address these issues, they offer the opportunity to transform today’s security debate in constructive ways.

front cover of Human Rights and Gender Violence
Human Rights and Gender Violence
Translating International Law into Local Justice
Sally Engle Merry
University of Chicago Press, 2005
Human rights law and the legal protection of women from violence are still fairly new concepts. As a result, substantial discrepancies exist between what is decided in the halls of the United Nations and what women experience on a daily basis in their communities. Human Rights and Gender Violence is an ambitious study that investigates the tensions between global law and local justice.

As an observer of UN diplomatic negotiations as well as the workings of grassroots feminist organizations in several countries, Sally Engle Merry offers an insider's perspective on how human rights law holds authorities accountable for the protection of citizens even while reinforcing and expanding state power. Providing legal and anthropological perspectives, Merry contends that human rights law must be framed in local terms to be accepted and effective in altering existing social hierarchies. Gender violence in particular, she argues, is rooted in deep cultural and religious beliefs, so change is often vehemently resisted by the communities perpetrating the acts of aggression.

A much-needed exploration of how local cultures appropriate and enact international human rights law, this book will be of enormous value to students of gender studies and anthropology alike.

front cover of Humane Insight
Humane Insight
Looking at Images of African American Suffering and Death
Courtney Baker
University of Illinois Press, 2017
In the history of black America, the image of the mortal, wounded, and dead black body has long been looked at by others from a safe distance. Courtney Baker questions the relationship between the spectator and victim and urges viewers to move beyond the safety of the "gaze" to cultivate a capacity for humane insight toward representations of human suffering. Utilizing the visual studies concept termed the "look," Baker interrogates how the notion of humanity was articulated and recognized in oft-referenced moments within the African American experience: the graphic brutality of the 1834 Lalaurie affair; the photographic exhibition of lynching, Without Sanctuary ; Emmett Till's murder and funeral; and the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. Contemplating these and other episodes, Baker traces how proponents of black freedom and dignity used the visual display of violence against the black body to galvanize action against racial injustice. An innovative cultural study that connects visual theory to African American history, Humane Insight asserts the importance of ethics in our analysis of race and visual culture, and reveals how representations of pain can become the currency of black liberation from injustice.

front cover of Indigenous Women and Violence
Indigenous Women and Violence
Feminist Activist Research in Heightened States of Injustice
Edited by Lynn Stephen and Shannon Speed
University of Arizona Press, 2021
Indigenous Women and Violence offers an intimate view of how settler colonialism and other structural forms of power and inequality created accumulated violences in the lives of Indigenous women. This volume uncovers how these Indigenous women resist violence in Mexico, Central America, and the United States, centering on the topics of femicide, immigration, human rights violations, the criminal justice system, and Indigenous justice. Taking on the issues of our times, Indigenous Women and Violence calls for the deepening of collaborative ethnographies through community engagement and performing research as an embodied experience. This book brings together settler colonialism, feminist ethnography, collaborative and activist ethnography, emotional communities, and standpoint research to look at the links between structural, extreme, and everyday violences across time and space.

Indigenous Women and Violence is built on engaging case studies that highlight the individual and collective struggles that Indigenous women face from the racial and gendered oppression that structures their lives. Gendered violence has always been a part of the genocidal and assimilationist projects of settler colonialism, and it remains so today. These structures—and the forms of violence inherent to them—are driving criminalization and victimization of Indigenous men and women, leading to escalating levels of assassination, incarceration, or transnational displacement of Indigenous people, and especially Indigenous women.

This volume brings together the potent ethnographic research of eight scholars who have dedicated their careers to illuminating the ways in which Indigenous women have challenged communities, states, legal systems, and social movements to promote gender justice. The chapters in this book are engaged, feminist, collaborative, and activism focused, conveying powerful messages about the resilience and resistance of Indigenous women in the face of violence and systemic oppression.

Contributors: R. Aída Hernández-Castillo, Morna Macleod, Mariana Mora, María Teresa Sierra, Shannon Speed, Lynn Stephen, Margo Tamez, Irma Alicia Velásquez Nimatuj


front cover of The Injustice Never Leaves You
The Injustice Never Leaves You
Anti-Mexican Violence in Texas
Monica Muñoz Martinez
Harvard University Press, 2020

Winner of the Caughey Western History Prize
Winner of the Robert G. Athearn Award
Winner of the Lawrence W. Levine Award
Winner of the TCU Texas Book Award
Winner of the NACCS Tejas Foco Nonfiction Book Award
Winner of the María Elena Martínez Prize
Frederick Jackson Turner Award Finalist

“A page-turner…Haunting…Bravely and convincingly urges us to think differently about Texas’s past.”
Texas Monthly

Between 1910 and 1920, self-appointed protectors of the Texas–Mexico border—including members of the famed Texas Rangers—murdered hundreds of ethnic Mexicans living in Texas, many of whom were American citizens. Operating in remote rural areas, officers and vigilantes knew they could hang, shoot, burn, and beat victims to death without scrutiny. A culture of impunity prevailed. The abuses were so pervasive that in 1919 the Texas legislature investigated the charges and uncovered a clear pattern of state crime. Records of the proceedings were soon filed away as the Ranger myth flourished.

A groundbreaking work of historical reconstruction, The Injustice Never Leaves You has upended Texas’s sense of its own history. A timely reminder of the dark side of American justice, it is a riveting story of race, power, and prejudice on the border.

“It’s an apt moment for this book’s hard lessons…to go mainstream.”
Texas Observer

“A reminder that government brutality on the border is nothing new.”
Los Angeles Review of Books


front cover of Intermittences
Memory, Justice, and the Poetics of the Visible in Uruguay
Ana Forcinito
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018
The construction of memory entails a battle not only between memory and forgetting but also between different memories. There are multiple constructions of memory, and in the dispute between them, some become hegemonic, while others remain in the margins. Ana Forcinito explores the intermittences of transitional justice and memory in post-dictatorship Uruguay. The processes of building memory and transitional justice are repetitive but inconstant. They are contested by both internal and external forces and shaped by tensions between oblivion and silence. Forcinito explores models of reconciliation to present an alternative narrative of the past and to expose the blind spots of memory.

front cover of The Joy of Consent
The Joy of Consent
A Philosophy of Good Sex
Manon Garcia
Harvard University Press, 2023

“From the bedroom to the classroom to the courtroom, ‘consent’ is a key term in our contemporary sexual ethics. In this timely reexamination, Manon Garcia deftly reveals the hidden complexities of consent and proposes how to reconceptualize it as a tool of liberation.”
—Amia Srinivasan, author of The Right to Sex

A feminist philosopher argues that consent is not only a highly imperfect legal threshold but also an underappreciated complement of good sex.

In the age of #MeToo, consent has become the ultimate answer to problems of sexual harassment and violence: as long as all parties agree to sex, the act is legitimate. Critics argue that consent, and the awkwardness of confirming it, rob sex of its sexiness. But that objection is answered with the charge that opposing the consent regime means defending a masculine erotics of silence and mystery, a pillar of patriarchy.

In The Joy of Consent, French philosopher Manon Garcia upends the assumptions that underlie this very American debate, reframing consent as an ally of pleasure rather than a legalistic killjoy. In doing so, she rejects conventional wisdom on all sides. As a legal norm, consent can prove rickety: consent alone doesn’t make sex licit—adults engaged in BDSM are morally and legally suspect even when they consent. And nonconsensual sex is not, as many activists insist, always rape. People often agree to sex because it is easier than the alternative, Garcia argues, challenging the simplistic equation between consent and noncoercion.

Drawing on sources rarely considered together—from Kantian ethics to kink practices—Garcia offers an alternative framework grounded in commitments to autonomy and dignity. While consent, she argues, should not be a definitive legal test, it is essential to realizing intimate desire, free from patriarchal domination. Cultivating consent makes sex sexy. By appreciating consent as the way toward an ethical sexual flourishing rather than a legal litmus test, Garcia adds a fresh voice to the struggle for freedom, equality, and security from sexist violence.


front cover of Knowing What We Know
Knowing What We Know
African American Women's Experiences of Violence and Violation
Garfield, Gail
Rutgers University Press, 2005

In recent years there has been an attempt by activists, service providers, and feminists to think about violence against women in more inclusive ways. In Knowing What We Know, activist and sociologist Gail Garfield argues that this effort has not gone far enough and that in order to understand violence, we must take the lived experiences of African American women seriously.  Doing so, she cautions, goes far beyond simply adding voices of black women to existing academic and activist discourses, but rather, requires a radical shift in our knowledge of these women’s lives and the rhetoric used to describe them.

Bringing together a series of life-history interviews with nine women, this unique study urges a departure from established approaches that position women as victims of exclusively male violence. Instead, Garfield explores what happens when women’s ability to make decisions and act upon those choices comes into conflict with cultural and social constraints. Chapters explore how women experience racialized or class-based violence, how these forms of violence are related to gendered violence, and what these violations mean to a woman’s sense of identity. By showing how women maintain, sustain, and in some instances regain their sense of human worth as a result of their experiences of violation, Garfield complicates the existing dialogue on violence against women in new and important ways.


front cover of Legacies Of Lynching
Legacies Of Lynching
Racial Violence And Memory
Jonathan Markovitz
University of Minnesota Press, 2004

Traces the changing meanings of lynching and examines the political power of lynching as metaphor

Between 1880 and 1930, thousands of African Americans were lynched in the United States. Beyond the horrific violence inflicted on these individuals, lynching terrorized whole communities and became a defining characteristic of Southern race relations in the Jim Crow era. As spectacle, lynching was intended to serve as a symbol of white supremacy. Yet, Jonathan Markovitz notes, the act's symbolic power has endured long after the practice of lynching has largely faded away.

Legacies of Lynching examines the evolution of lynching as a symbol of racial hatred and a metaphor for race relations in popular culture, art, literature, and political speech. Markovitz credits the efforts of the antilynching movement with helping to ensure that lynching would be understood not as a method of punishment for black rapists but as a terrorist practice that provided stark evidence of the brutality of Southern racism and as America’s most vivid symbol of racial oppression. Cinematic representations of lynching, from Birth of a Nation to Do the Right Thing, he contends, further transform the ways that American audiences remember and understand lynching, as have disturbing recent cases in which alleged or actual acts of racial violence reconfigured stereotypes of black criminality. Markovitz further reveals how lynching imagery has been politicized in contemporary society with the example of Clarence Thomas, who condemned the Senate's investigation into allegations of sexual harassment during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings as a “high-tech lynching.”Even today, as revealed by the 1998 dragging death of James Byrd in Jasper, Texas, and the national soul-searching it precipitated, lynching continues to pervade America's collective memory. Markovitz concludes with an analysis of debates about a recent exhibition of photographs of lynchings, suggesting again how lynching as metaphor remains always in the background of our national discussions of race and racial relations.

front cover of Lynching and Leisure
Lynching and Leisure
Race and the Transformation of Mob Violence in Texas
Terry Anne Scott
University of Arkansas Press, 2022

Winner, 2022 Ottis Lock Endowment “Best Book” Award from the East Texas Historical Association

In Lynching and Leisure, Terry Anne Scott examines how white Texans transformed lynching from a largely clandestine strategy of extralegal punishment into a form of racialized recreation in which crowd involvement was integral to the mode and methods of the violence. Scott powerfully documents how lynchings came to function not only as tools for debasing the status of Black people but also as highly anticipated occasions for entertainment, making memories with friends and neighbors, and reifying whiteness. In focusing on the sense of pleasure and normality that prevailed among the white spectatorship, this comprehensive study of Texas lynchings sheds new light on the practice understood as one of the chief strategies of racial domination in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century South.


front cover of Maya after War
Maya after War
Conflict, Power, and Politics in Guatemala
By Jennifer L. Burrell
University of Texas Press, 2013

Guatemala’s thirty-six-year civil war culminated in peace accords in 1996, but the postwar transition has been marked by continued violence, including lynchings and the rise of gangs, as well as massive wage-labor exodus to the United States. For the Mam Maya municipality of Todos Santos Cuchumatán, inhabited by a predominantly indigenous peasant population, the aftermath of war and genocide resonates with a long-standing tension between state techniques of governance and ancient community-level power structures that incorporated concepts of kinship, gender, and generation. Showing the ways in which these complex histories are interlinked with wartime and enduring family/class conflicts, Maya after War provides a nuanced account of a unique transitional postwar situation, including the complex influence of neoliberal intervention.

Drawing on ethnographic field research over a twenty-year period, Jennifer L. Burrell explores the after-war period in a locale where community struggles span culture, identity, and history. Investigating a range of tensions from the local to the international, Burrell employs unique methodologies, including mapmaking, history workshops, and an informal translation of a historic ethnography, to analyze the role of conflict in animating what matters to Todosanteros in their everyday lives and how the residents negotiate power. Examining the community-based divisions alongside national postwar contexts, Maya after War considers the aura of hope that surrounded the signing of the peace accords, and the subsequent doubt and waiting that have fueled unrest, encompassing generational conflicts. This study is a rich analysis of the multifaceted forces at work in the quest for peace, in Guatemala and beyond.


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Maya Ethnolinguistic Identity
Violence, Cultural Rights, and Modernity in Highland Guatemala
Brigittine M. French
University of Arizona Press, 2010
In this valuable book, ethnographer and anthropologist Brigittine French mobilizes new critical-theoretical perspectives in linguistic anthropology, applying them to the politically charged context of contemporary Guatemala. Beginning with an examination of the “nationalist project” that has been ongoing since the end of the colonial period, French interrogates the “Guatemalan/indigenous binary.” In Guatemala, “Ladino” refers to the Spanish-speaking minority of the population, who are of mixed European, usually Spanish, and indigenous ancestry; “Indian” is understood to mean the majority of Guatemala’s population, who speak one of the twenty-one languages in the Maya linguistic groups of the country, although levels of bilingualism are very high among most Maya communities. As French shows, the Guatemalan state has actively promoted a racialized, essentialized notion of “Indians” as an undifferentiated, inherently inferior group that has stood stubbornly in the way of national progress, unity, and development—which are, implicitly, the goals of “true Guatemalans” (that is, Ladinos).

French shows, with useful examples, how constructions of language and collective identity are in fact strategies undertaken to serve the goals of institutions (including the government, the military, the educational system, and the church) and social actors (including linguists, scholars, and activists). But by incorporating in-depth fieldwork with groups that speak Kaqchikel and K’iche’ along with analyses of Spanish-language discourses, Maya Ethnolinguistic Identity also shows how some individuals in urban, bilingual Indian communities have disrupted the essentializing projects of multiculturalism. And by focusing on ideologies of language, the author is able to explicitly link linguistic forms and functions with larger issues of consciousness, gender politics, social positions, and the forging of hegemonic power relations.

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Murder in Their Hearts
The Fall Creek Massacre
David Thomas Murphy
Indiana Historical Society Press, 2010
In March 1824 a group of angry and intoxicated settlers brutally murdered nine Indians camped along a tributary of Fall Creek. The carnage was recounted in lurid detail in the contemporary press, and the events that followed sparked a national sensation. Murder in Their Hearts: The Fall Creek Massacre tells that, although violence between settlers and Native Americans was not unusual during the early nineteenth century, in this particular incident the white men responsible for the murders were singled out and hunted down, brought to trial, convicted by a jury of their neighbors, and, for the first time under American law, sentenced to death and executed for the murder of Native Americans.

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Muslim Comics and Warscape Witnessing
Esra Mirze Santesso
The Ohio State University Press, 2023
Recent decades have seen an unprecedented number of comics by and about Muslim people enter the global market. Now, Muslim Comics and Warscape Witnessing offers the first major study of these works. Esra Mirze Santesso assesses Muslim comics to illustrate the multifaceted nature of seeing and representing daily lives within and outside of the homeland. Focusing on contemporary graphic narratives that are primarily but not exclusively from the Middle East—from blockbusters like Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis to more local efforts such as Leila Abdelrazaq’s Baddawi—Santesso explores why the graphic form has become a popular and useful medium for articulating Muslim subjectivities. Further, she shows how Muslim comics “bear witness” to a range of faith-based positions that complicate discussions of global ummah or community, contest monolithic depictions of Muslims, and question the Islamist valorization of the shaheed, the “martyr” figure regarded as the ideal religious witness. By presenting varied depictions of everyday lives of Muslims navigating violence and militarization, this book reveals the connections between religious rituals and existence in warscapes and invites us to more deeply consider the nature of witnessing itself. 

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Narrating Love and Violence
Women Contesting Caste, Tribe, and State in Lahaul, India
Bhattacharya, Himika
Rutgers University Press, 2017
Narrating Love and Violence is an ethnographic exploration of women’s stories from the Himalayan valley of Lahaul, in the region of Himachal Pradesh, India, focusing on how both, love and violence emerge (or function) at the intersection of gender, tribe, caste, and the state in India. Himika Bhattacharya privileges the everyday lives of women marginalized by caste and tribe to show how state and community discourses about gendered violence serve as proxy for caste in India, thus not only upholding these social hierarchies, but also enabling violence.
The women in this book tell their stories through love, articulated as rejection, redefinition and reproduction of notions of violence and solidarity. Himika Bhattacharya centers the women’s narratives as a site of knowledge—beyond love and beyond violence. This book shows how women on the margins of tribe and caste know both, love and violence, as agents wishing to re-shape discourses of caste, tribe and community.

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Not One More! Feminicidio on the Border
Nina Maria Lozano
The Ohio State University Press, 2019
Since 1993, more than 2,000 feminicidios have occurred in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico—once called “the feminicidio capital of the world.” Who is killing the women of Juárez? Why is this happening? In Not One More! Feminicidio on the Border, Nina Maria Lozano seeks to answer these questions, turning a critical eye to the state structures and legal systems that allow and participate in the violence, rape, and murder propagated against thousands of women in the border town of Juárez.
Finding theories of new materialism inadequate to explain the feminicidios, Lozano critiques and extends this approach—advancing instead a new theoretical framework, border materialism, to argue that capitalist systems of neoliberalism and free trade are directly correlated to the killing of women on the US–Mexico border. Through the author’s fifteen-plus years of on-the-ground fieldwork, readers are presented with firsthand accounts, testimonies, and new social movement strategies from family members and activists attempting to stop these gendered crimes.
By offering concrete case studies—including analysis of maquiladoras/factories and free trade zones, public monuments and murals memorializing the victims, rastreos/searches by family members for victims’ DNA remains, and testimony from Mothers, family members, and activists—Not One More! lays bare the socioeconomic and geopolitical forces at work in the killing of women in Juárez.

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Oil Cities
The Making of North Louisiana’s Boomtowns, 1901-1930
Henry Alexander Wiencek
University of Texas Press, 2024

How international oil companies navigated the local, segregated landscape of north Louisiana in the first decades of the twentieth century.

In 1904, prospectors discovered oil in the rural parishes of North Louisiana just outside Shreveport. As rural cotton fields gave way to dense, industrial centers of energy extraction, migrants from across the US—and the world—rushed to take a share of the boom. The resulting boomtowns, most notoriously Oil City, quickly gained a reputation for violence, drinking, and rough living. Meanwhile, North Louisiana’s large Black population endured virulent white supremacy in the oil fields and the courtrooms to earn a piece of the boom, including one Black woman who stood to become the wealthiest oil heiress in America.

In Oil Cities, Henry Wiencek uncovers what life was like amidst the tent cities, saloons, and oil derricks of North Louisiana’s oil boomtowns, tracing the local experiences of migrants, farmers, sex workers, and politicians as they navigated dizzying changes to their communities. This first historical monograph on the region’s dramatic oil boom reveals a contested history, in which the oil industry had to adapt its labor, tools, and investments to meet North Louisiana’s unique economic, social, political, and environmental dynamics.


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Pedagogy of Democracy
Feminism and the Cold War in the U.S. Occupation of Japan
Mire Koikari
Temple University Press, 2009

Pedagogy of Democracy re-interprets the U.S. occupation of Japan from 1945 to 1952 as a problematic instance of Cold War feminist mobilization rather than a successful democratization of Japanese women as previously argued. By combining three fields of research—occupation, Cold War, and postcolonial feminist studies—and examining occupation records and other archival sources, Koikari argues that postwar gender reform was one of the Cold War containment strategies that undermined rather than promoted women’s political and economic rights.


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The Prism of Human Rights
Seeking Justice amid Gender Violence in Rural Ecuador
Karin Friederic
Rutgers University Press, 2023
Gender violence has been at the forefront of women’s human rights struggles for decades, shaping political movements and NGO and government programs related to women’s empowerment, community development, and public health. Drawing on over twenty years of research and activism in rural Ecuador, Karin Friederic provides a remarkably intimate view of what these rights-based programs actually achieve over the long term. The Prism of Human Rights brings us into the lives of women, men, and children who find themselves entangled in intimate partner violence, structural violence, political economic change, and a global cultural project in which “rights” are associated with modernity, development, and democratic states. She details the multiple forms of violence that rural women experience; shows the diverse ways they make sense of, endure, and combat this violence; and helps us understand how people are grappling with new ideas of gender, rights, and even of violence itself. Ultimately, Friederic demonstrates that rights-based interventions provide important openings for women seeking a life free of violence, but they also unwittingly expose “liberated” women to more extreme dynamics of structural violence. Thus, these interventions often reduce women’s room to maneuver and encourage communities to hide violence in order to appear “modern” and “developed.” This analysis of human rights in practice is essential for anyone seeking to promote justice in a culturally responsible manner, and for anyone who hopes to understand how the globalization of rights, legal institutions, and moral visions is transforming distant locales and often perpetuating violence in the process.

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Protest, Policy, and the Problem of Violence against Women
A Cross-National Comparison
S. Laurel Weldon
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2002

Violence against women is one of the most insidious social ills facing the world today. Yet governmental response is inconsistent, ranging from dismissal to aggressive implementation of policies and programs to combat the problem. In her comparative study of thirty-six democratic governments, Laurel Weldon examines the root causes and consequences of the differences in public policy from Northern Europe to Latin America.

She reveals that factors that often influence the development of social policies do not determine policies on violence against women. Neither economic level, religion, region, nor the number of women in government determine governmental responsiveness to this problem. Weldon demonstrates, for example, that Nordic governments take no more action to combat violence against women than Latin American governments, even though the Swedish welfare state is often considered a leader in social policy, particularly with regard to women’s issues.

Instead, the presence of independently organized, active women’s movements plays a greater role in placing violence against women on the public agenda. The breadth and scope of governmental response is greatly enhanced by the presence of an office dedicated to promoting women’s status.

Weldon closes with practical lessons and insights to improve government action on violence against women and other important issues of social justice and democracy.


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Race, Labor, and Violence in the Delta
Essays to Mark the Centennial of the Elaine Massacre
Michael Pierce
University of Arkansas Press, 2022
Race, Labor, and Violence in the Delta examines the history of labor relations and racial conflict in the Mississippi Valley from the Civil War into the late twentieth century. This essay collection grew out of a conference marking the hundredth anniversary of one of the nation’s deadliest labor conflicts—the 1919 Elaine Massacre, during which white mobs ruthlessly slaughtered over two hundred African Americans across Phillips County, Arkansas, in response to a meeting of unionized Black sharecroppers. The essays here demonstrate that the brutality that unfolded in Phillips County was characteristic of the culture of race- and labor-based violence that prevailed in the century after the Civil War. They detail how Delta landowners began seeking cheap labor as soon as the slave system ended—securing a workforce by inflicting racial terror, eroding the Reconstruction Amendments in the courts, and obstructing federal financial-relief efforts. The result was a system of peonage that continued to exploit Blacks and poor whites for their labor, sometimes fatally. In response, laborers devised their own methods for sustaining themselves and their communities: forming unions, calling strikes, relocating, and occasionally operating outside the law. By shedding light on the broader context of the Elaine Massacre, Race, Labor, and Violence in the Delta reveals that the fight against white supremacy in the Delta was necessarily a fight for better working conditions, fair labor practices, and economic justice.

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Remembering Victoria
A Tragic Nahuat Love Story
By James M. Taggart
University of Texas Press, 2007

On October 15, 1983, a young mother of six was murdered while walking across her village of Huitzilan de Serdán, Mexico, with her infant son and one of her daughters. This woman, Victoria Bonilla, was among more than one hundred villagers who perished in violence that broke out soon after the Mexican army chopped down a cornfield that had been planted on an unused cattle pasture by forty Nahuat villagers.

In this anthropological account, based on years of fieldwork in Huitzilan, James M. Taggart turns to Victoria's husband, Nacho Angel Hernández, to try to understand how a community based on respect and cooperation descended into horrific violence and fratricide. When the army chopped down the cornfield at Talcuaco, the war that broke out resulted in the complete breakdown of the social and moral order of the community.

At its heart, this is a tragic love story, chronicling Nacho's feelings for Victoria spanning their courtship, marriage, family life, and her death. Nacho delivered his testimonio to the author in Nahuat, making it one of the few autobiographical love stories told in an Amerindian language, and a very rare account of love among the indigenous people of Mesoamerica. There is almost nothing in the literature on how a man develops and changes his feelings for his wife over his lifetime. This study contributes to the anthropology of emotion by focusing on how the Nahuat attempt to express love through language and ritual.


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Research as More Than Extraction
Knowledge Production and Gender-Based Violence in African Societies
Annie Bunting, Allen Kiconco, Joel Quirk
Ohio University Press, 2023
This volume offers practical, detailed guidance and case studies on how to avoid exacerbating inequalities while researching gender-based violence and other related issues in Africa. Wartime violence and its aftermath present numerous practical, ethical, and political challenges that are especially acute for researchers working on gender-based and sexual violence. Drawing upon applied examples from across the African continent, this volume features unique contributions from researchers and practitioners with decades of experience developing research partnerships, designing and undertaking fieldwork, asking sensitive questions, negotiating access, collecting and evaluating information, and validating results. These are all endeavors that also raise pressing ethical questions, especially in relation to retraumatization, social stigma, and even payment of participants. Ethical and methodological questions cannot be separated from political and institutional considerations. Systems of privilege and marginalization cannot be wished away, so they need to be both interrogated and contested. This is where precedents and power relations established under colonialism and imperialism take center stage. Europeans have been extracting valuable resources from the African continent for centuries. Research into gender-based violence risks being yet another extractive industry. There are times when committed individuals can make valuable contributions to a more equitable future, but funding streams, knowledge hierarchies, and institutional positions continue to have powerful effects. Accordingly, the contributors to this volume also concentrate upon the layered effects of power and position, relationships between researchers, organizations, and communities, and the political economy of knowledge production; this brings into focus questions about how and why information gets generated, for which kinds of audiences, and for whose benefit.

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Resistance and Abolition in the Borderlands
Confronting Trump's Reign of Terror
Edited by Arturo J. Aldama and Jessica Ordaz; Foreword by Leo R. Chavez; Afterword by Karma R. Chávez
University of Arizona Press, 2024
While there is a long history of state violence toward immigrants in the United States, the essayists in this interdisciplinary collection tackle head-on the impacts of the Trump administration.

This volume provides a well-argued look at the Trump era. Insightful contributions delve into the impact of Donald Trump’s rhetoric and policies on migrants detained and returned, immigrant children separated from their parents and placed in detention centers, and migrant women subjected to sexual and reproductive abuses, among other timely topics. The chapter authors document a long list in what the book calls “Trump’s Reign of Terror.”

Organized thematically, the book has four sections: The first gathers histories about the Trump years’ roots in a longer history of anti-migration; the second includes essays on artistic and activist responses on the border during the Trump years; the third critiques the normalization of Trump’s rhetoric and actions in popular media and culture; and the fourth envisions the future.

Resistance and Abolition in the Borderlands is an essential reader for those wishing to understand the extent of the damage caused by the Trump era and its impact on Latinx people.

Arturo J. Aldama
Rebecca Avalos
Cynthia Bejarano
Tria Blu Wakpa
Renata Carvalho Barreto
Karma R. Chávez
Leo R. Chavez
Jennifer Cullison
Jasmin Lilian Diab
Allison Glover
Jamila Hammami
Alexandria Herrera
Diana J. Lopez
Sergio A. Macías
Cinthya Martinez
Alexis N. Meza
Roberto A. Mónico
José Enrique Navarro
Jessica Ordaz
Eliseo Ortiz
Kiara Padilla
Leslie Quintanilla
J-M Rivera
Heidy Sarabia
Tina Shull
Nishant Upadhyay
Maria Vargas
Antonio Vásquez

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Reverberations of Racial Violence
Critical Reflections on the History of the Border
Edited by Sonia Hernández and John Morán González
University of Texas Press, 2021

Between 1910 and 1920, thousands of Mexican Americans and Mexican nationals were killed along the Texas border. The killers included strangers and neighbors, vigilantes and law enforcement officers—in particular, Texas Rangers. Despite a 1919 investigation of the state-sanctioned violence, no one in authority was ever held responsible.

Reverberations of Racial Violence gathers fourteen essays on this dark chapter in American history. Contributors explore the impact of civil rights advocates, such as José Tomás Canales, the sole Mexican-American representative in the Texas State Legislature between 1905 and 1921. The investigation he spearheaded emerges as a historical touchstone, one in which witnesses testified in detail to the extrajudicial killings carried out by state agents. Other chapters situate anti-Mexican racism in the context of the era's rampant and more fully documented violence against African Americans. Contributors also address the roles of women in responding to the violence, as well as the many ways in which the killings have continued to weigh on communities of color in Texas. Taken together, the essays provide an opportunity to move beyond the more standard Black-white paradigm in reflecting on the broad history of American nation-making, the nation’s rampant racial violence, and civil rights activism.


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Rebecca Lehmann
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019
Winner, 2018 Donald Hall Prize for Poetry
Finalist, 2020 Housatonic Book Awards

Ringer approaches womanhood from two directions: an examination of ways that women’s identities are tied to domestic spaces, like homes, cars, grocery stores, and daycare centers; and a consideration of physical, sexual, and political violence against women, both historically and in the present day. Lehmann’s poems look outward, and go beyond cataloguing trespasses against women by biting back against patriarchal systems of oppression, and against perpetrators of violence against women. Many poems in Ringer are ecopoetical, functioning in a “junk” or “sad” pastoral mode, inhabiting abandoned, forgotten, and sometimes impoverished landscapes of rural America.

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The Seductions of Quantification
Measuring Human Rights, Gender Violence, and Sex Trafficking
Sally Engle Merry
University of Chicago Press, 2016
We live in a world where seemingly everything can be measured. We rely on indicators to translate social phenomena into simple, quantified terms, which in turn can be used to guide individuals, organizations, and governments in establishing policy. Yet counting things requires finding a way to make them comparable. And in the process of translating the confusion of social life into neat categories, we inevitably strip it of context and meaning—and risk hiding or distorting as much as we reveal.

With The Seductions of Quantification, leading legal anthropologist Sally Engle Merry investigates the techniques by which information is gathered and analyzed in the production of global indicators on human rights, gender violence, and sex trafficking. Although such numbers convey an aura of objective truth and scientific validity, Merry argues persuasively that measurement systems constitute a form of power by incorporating theories about social change in their design but rarely explicitly acknowledging them. For instance, the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report, which ranks countries in terms of their compliance with antitrafficking activities, assumes that prosecuting traffickers as criminals is an effective corrective strategy—overlooking cultures where women and children are frequently sold by their own families. As Merry shows, indicators are indeed seductive in their promise of providing concrete knowledge about how the world works, but they are implemented most successfully when paired with context-rich qualitative accounts grounded in local knowledge.

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Sexual Violence against Jewish Women during the Holocaust
Edited by Sonja M. Hedgepeth and Rochelle G. Saidel
Brandeis University Press, 2010
Using testimonies, Nazi documents, memoirs, and artistic representations, this volume broadens and deepens comprehension of Jewish women’s experiences of rape and other forms of sexual violence during the Holocaust. The book goes beyond previous studies, and challenges claims that Jewish women were not sexually violated during the Holocaust. This anthology by an interdisciplinary and international group of scholars addresses topics such as rape, forced prostitution, assaults on childbearing, artistic representations of sexual violence, and psychological insights into survivor trauma. These subjects have been relegated to the edges or completely left out of Holocaust history, and this book aims to shift perceptions and promote new discourse.

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Sexual Violence and American Manhood
T. Walter Herbert
Harvard University Press, 2002

Taking up topics as diverse and timely as the work of FBI profilers, the pornography debates, feminist analyses of male supremacy as sexual abuse, the ritual meanings of fraternity gang rape, and the interplay of racial and sexual injustice, T. Walter Herbert illuminates the chronic masculine anxieties that seek compensation in fantasies of sexual coercion and in sexual offenses against women. His work offers an unusually clear view of this prevailing convention of insecure and destructive masculinity, which Herbert connects with contemporary analyses of male identity formation, sexuality, and violence and with cultural, political, and ideological developments reaching back to the nation's democratic beginnings.

Reading iconic nineteenth-century texts by Whitman, Hawthorne, and Stowe, and pursuing the articulation of their gender logic in Richard Wright's Native Son, Herbert traces a gender ideology of dominance and submission, its persistence in masculine subcultures like the military and big-time football, and its debilitating effects on imaginations and lives in our own day. In materials as diverse as Hannah Foster's post-Revolutionary War novel The Coquette and the Coen brothers' 1996 movie Fargo, this book taps into popular culture and high art alike to outline the logic of American manhood's violent streak--and its dire consequences for a culture with truly democratic and egalitarian ambitions.


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A Single Star and Bloody Knuckles
A History of Politics and Race in Texas
By Bill Minutaglio
University of Texas Press, 2021
Finalist, 2021 Writers’ League of Texas Book Award

For John Nance “Cactus Jack” Garner, there was one simple rule in politics: “You’ve got to bloody your knuckles.” It’s a maxim that applies in so many ways to the state of Texas, where the struggle for power has often unfolded through underhanded politicking, backroom dealings, and, quite literally, bloodshed. The contentious history of Texas politics has been shaped by dangerous and often violent events, and been formed not just in the halls of power but by marginalized voices omitted from the official narratives.

A Single Star and Bloody Knuckles traces the state’s conflicted and dramatic evolution over the past 150 years through its pivotal political players, including oft-neglected women and people of color. Beginning in 1870 with the birth of Texas’s modern political framework, Bill Minutaglio chronicles Texas political life against the backdrop of industry, the economy, and race relations, recasting the narrative of influential Texans. With journalistic verve and candor, Minutaglio delivers a contemporary history of the determined men and women who fought for their particular visions of Texas and helped define the state as a potent force in national affairs.


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Slavery at Sea
Terror, Sex, and Sickness in the Middle Passage
Sowande M Mustakeem
University of Illinois Press, 2016
Most times left solely within the confine of plantation narratives, slavery was far from a land-based phenomenon. This book reveals for the first time how it took critical shape at sea. Expanding the gaze even more deeply, the book centers how the oceanic transport of human cargoes--infamously known as the Middle Passage--comprised a violently regulated process foundational to the institution of bondage.

Sowande' Mustakeem's groundbreaking study goes inside the Atlantic slave trade to explore the social conditions and human costs embedded in the world of maritime slavery. Mining ship logs, records and personal documents, Mustakeem teases out the social histories produced between those on traveling ships: slaves, captains, sailors, and surgeons. As she shows, crewmen manufactured captives through enforced dependency, relentless cycles of physical, psychological terror, and pain that led to the the making--and unmaking--of enslaved Africans held and transported onboard slave ships. Mustakeem relates how this process, and related power struggles, played out not just for adult men, but also for women, children, teens, infants, nursing mothers, the elderly, diseased, ailing, and dying. Mustakeem offers provocative new insights into how gender, health, age, illness, and medical treatment intersected with trauma and violence transformed human beings into the world's most commercially sought commodity for over four centuries.


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Southern Horrors
Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching
Crystal N. Feimster
Harvard University Press, 2011

Between 1880 and 1930, close to 200 women were murdered by lynch mobs in the American South. Many more were tarred and feathered, burned, whipped, or raped. In this brutal world of white supremacist politics and patriarchy, a world violently divided by race, gender, and class, black and white women defended themselves and challenged the male power brokers. Crystal Feimster breaks new ground in her story of the racial politics of the postbellum South by focusing on the volatile issue of sexual violence.

Pairing the lives of two Southern women—Ida B. Wells, who fearlessly branded lynching a white tool of political terror against southern blacks, and Rebecca Latimer Felton, who urged white men to prove their manhood by lynching black men accused of raping white women—Feimster makes visible the ways in which black and white women sought protection and political power in the New South. While Wells was black and Felton was white, both were journalists, temperance women, suffragists, and anti-rape activists. By placing their concerns at the center of southern politics, Feimster illuminates a critical and novel aspect of southern racial and sexual dynamics. Despite being on opposite sides of the lynching question, both Wells and Felton sought protection from sexual violence and political empowerment for women.

Southern Horrors provides a startling view into the Jim Crow South where the precarious and subordinate position of women linked black and white anti-rape activists together in fragile political alliances. It is a story that reveals how the complex drama of political power, race, and sex played out in the lives of Southern women.


front cover of The Specter and the Speculative
The Specter and the Speculative
Afterlives and Archives in the African Diaspora
Mae G. Henderson
Rutgers University Press, 2024
The Specter and the Speculative: Afterlives and Archives in the African Diaspora engages in a critical conversation about how historical subjects and historical texts within the African Diaspora are re-fashioned, re-animated, and re-articulated, as well as parodied, nostalgized, and defamiliarized, to establish an “afterlife” for African Atlantic identities and narratives. These essays focus on transnational, transdisciplinary, and transhistorical sites of memory and haunting—textual, visual, and embodied performances—in order to examine how these “living” archives circulate and imagine anew the meanings of prior narratives liberated from their original context. Individual essays examine how historical and literary performances—in addition to film, drama, music, dance, and material culture—thus revitalized, transcend and speak across temporal and spatial boundaries not only to reinstate traditional meanings, but also to motivate fresh commentary and critique. Emergent and established scholars representing diverse disciplines and fields of interest specifically engage under explored themes related to afterlives, archives, and haunting.

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speculation, n.
Shayla Lawz
Autumn House Press, 2021
Poems that imagine a world beyond the prevailing public speculation on Black death.
Shayla Lawz’s debut collection, speculation, n., brings together poetry, sound, and performance to challenge our spectatorship and the reproduction of the Black body. It revolves around a central question: what does it mean—in the digital age, amidst an inundation of media—to be a witness? Calling attention to the images we see in the news and beyond, these poems explore what it means to be alive and Black when the world regularly speculates on your death. The speaker, a queer Black woman, considers how often her body is coupled with images of death and violence, resulting in difficultly moving toward life. Lawz becomes the speculator by imagining what might exist beyond these harmful structures, seeking ways to reclaim the Black psyche through music, typography, and other pronunciations of the body, where expressions of sexuality and the freedom to actively reimagine is made possible. speculation, n. contends with the real—a refracted past and present—through grief, love, and loss, and it speculates on what could be real if we open ourselves to expanded possibilities.
speculation, n. won the 2020 Autumn House Poetry Prize, selected by Ilya Kaminsky.

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Still the Arena of Civil War
Violence and Turmoil in Reconstruction Texas, 1865-1874
Kenneth W. Howell
University of North Texas Press, 2012

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Surviving Mexico
Resistance and Resilience among Journalists in the Twenty-first Century
By Celeste González de Bustamante and Jeannine E. Relly
University of Texas Press, 2021

Mott KTA Journalism and Mass Communication Research Award, Kappa Tau Alpha
Tankard Book Award, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC)
Knudson Latin America Prize, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC)

Since 2000, more than 150 journalists have been killed in Mexico. Today the country is one of the most dangerous in the world in which to be a reporter. In Surviving Mexico, Celeste González de Bustamante and Jeannine E. Relly examine the networks of political power, business interests, and organized crime that threaten and attack Mexican journalists, who forge ahead despite the risks.

Amid the crackdown on drug cartels, overall violence in Mexico has increased, and journalists covering the conflict have grown more vulnerable. But it is not just criminal groups that want reporters out of the way. Government forces also attack journalists in order to shield corrupt authorities and the very criminals they are supposed to be fighting. Meanwhile some news organizations, enriched by their ties to corrupt government officials and criminal groups, fail to support their employees. In some cases, journalists must wait for a “green light” to publish not from their editors but from organized crime groups. Despite seemingly insurmountable constraints, journalists have turned to one another and to their communities to resist pressures and create their own networks of resilience. Drawing on a decade of rigorous research in Mexico, González de Bustamante and Relly explain how journalists have become their own activists and how they hold those in power accountable.


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Terrorizing Women
Feminicide in the Americas
Rosa-Linda Fregoso and Cynthia L. Bejarano, eds.
Duke University Press, 2010
More than 600 women and girls have been murdered and more than 1,000 have disappeared in the Mexican state of Chihuahua since 1993. Violence against women has increased throughout Mexico and in other countries, including Argentina, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Peru. Law enforcement officials have often failed or refused to undertake investigations and prosecutions, creating a climate of impunity for perpetrators and denying truth and justice to survivors of violence and victims’ relatives. Terrorizing Women is an impassioned yet rigorously analytical response to the escalation in violence against women in Latin America during the past two decades. It is part of a feminist effort to categorize violence rooted in gendered power structures as a violation of human rights. The analytical framework of feminicide is crucial to that effort, as the editors explain in their introduction. They define feminicide as gender-based violence that implicates both the state (directly or indirectly) and individual perpetrators. It is structural violence rooted in social, political, economic, and cultural inequalities.

Terrorizing Women brings together essays by feminist and human rights activists, attorneys, and scholars from Latin America and the United States, as well as testimonios by relatives of women who were disappeared or murdered. In addition to investigating egregious violations of women’s human rights, the contributors consider feminicide in relation to neoliberal economic policies, the violent legacies of military regimes, and the sexual fetishization of women’s bodies. They suggest strategies for confronting feminicide; propose legal, political, and social routes for redressing injustices; and track alternative remedies generated by the communities affected by gender-based violence. In a photo essay portraying the justice movement in Chihuahua, relatives of disappeared and murdered women bear witness to feminicide and demand accountability.

Contributors: Pascha Bueno-Hansen, Adriana Carmona López, Ana Carcedo Cabañas, Jennifer Casey, Lucha Castro Rodríguez , Angélica Cházaro, Rebecca Coplan, Héctor Domínguez-Ruvalcaba, Marta Fontenla, Alma Gomez Caballero, Christina Iturralde, Marcela Lagarde y de los Ríos, Julia Estela Monárrez Fragoso, Hilda Morales Trujillo, Mercedes Olivera, Patricia Ravelo Blancas, Katherine Ruhl, Montserrat Sagot, Rita Laura Segato, Alicia Schmidt Camacho, William Paul Simmons, Deborah M. Weissman, Melissa W. Wright


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This Far and No Further
Photographs Inspired by the Voting Rights Movement
By William Abranowicz; foreword by Nikole Hannah-Jones
University of Texas Press, 2021

Standing on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, in 2017, photographer William Abranowicz was struck by the weight of historical memory at this hallowed site of one of the civil rights movement's defining episodes: 1965's “Bloody Sunday,” when Alabama police officers attacked peaceful marchers. To Abranowicz’s eye, Selma seemed relatively unchanged from its apperance in the photographs Walker Evans made there in the 1930s. That, coupled with an awareness of renewed voter suppression efforts at state and federal levels, inspired Abranowicz to explore the living legacy of the civil and voting rights movement through photographing locations, landscapes, and individuals associated with the struggle, from Rosa Parks and Harry Belafonte to the barn where Emmett Till was murdered.

The result is This Far and No Further, a collection of photographs from Abranowicz's journey through the American South. Through symbolism, metaphor, and history, he unearths extraordinary stories of brutality, heroism, sacrifice, and redemption hidden within ordinary American landscapes, underscoring the crucial necessity of defending—and exercising—our right to vote at this tenuous moment for American democracy.


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This Is Not Dixie
Racist Violence in Kansas, 1861-1927
Brent M.S. Campney
University of Illinois Press, 2018
Often defined as a mostly southern phenomenon, racist violence existed everywhere. Brent M. S. Campney explodes the notion of the Midwest as a so-called land of freedom with an in-depth study of assaults both active and threatened faced by African Americans in post–Civil War Kansas. Campney's capacious definition of white-on-black violence encompasses not only sensational demonstrations of white power like lynchings and race riots, but acts of threatened violence and the varied forms of pervasive routine violence--property damage, rape, forcible ejection from towns--used to intimidate African Americans. As he shows, such methods were a cornerstone of efforts to impose and maintain white supremacy. Yet Campney's broad consideration of racist violence also lends new insights into the ways people resisted threats. African Americans spontaneously hid fugitives and defused lynch mobs while also using newspapers and civil rights groups to lay the groundwork for forms of institutionalized opposition that could fight racist violence through the courts and via public opinion. Ambitious and provocative, This Is Not Dixie rewrites fundamental narratives on mob action, race relations, African American resistance, and racism's grim past in the heartland.

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The Torture Letters
Reckoning with Police Violence
Laurence Ralph
University of Chicago Press, 2020
Torture is an open secret in Chicago. Nobody in power wants to acknowledge this grim reality, but everyone knows it happens—and that the torturers are the police. Three to five new claims are submitted to the Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission of Illinois each week. Four hundred cases are currently pending investigation. Between 1972 and 1991, at least 125 black suspects were tortured by Chicago police officers working under former Police Commander Jon Burge. As the more recent revelations from the Homan Square “black site” show, that brutal period is far from a historical anomaly. For more than fifty years, police officers who took an oath to protect and serve have instead beaten, electrocuted, suffocated, and raped hundreds—perhaps thousands—of Chicago residents.
In The Torture Letters, Laurence Ralph chronicles the history of torture in Chicago, the burgeoning activist movement against police violence, and the American public’s complicity in perpetuating torture at home and abroad. Engaging with a long tradition of epistolary meditations on racism in the United States, from James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time to Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me, Ralph offers in this book a collection of open letters written to protesters, victims, students, and others. Through these moving, questing, enraged letters, Ralph bears witness to police violence that began in Burge’s Area Two and follows the city’s networks of torture to the global War on Terror. From Vietnam to Geneva to Guantanamo Bay—Ralph’s story extends as far as the legacy of American imperialism. Combining insights from fourteen years of research on torture with testimonies of victims of police violence, retired officers, lawyers, and protesters, this is a powerful indictment of police violence and a fierce challenge to all Americans to demand an end to the systems that support it.
With compassion and careful skill, Ralph uncovers the tangled connections among law enforcement, the political machine, and the courts in Chicago, amplifying the voices of torture victims who are still with us—and lending a voice to those long deceased.

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The Torture Letters
Reckoning with Police Violence
Laurence Ralph
University of Chicago Press, 2019
Torture is an open secret in Chicago. Nobody in power wants to acknowledge this grim reality, but everyone knows it happens—and that the torturers are the police. Three to five new claims are submitted to the Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission of Illinois each week. Four hundred cases are currently pending investigation. Between 1972 and 1991, at least 125 black suspects were tortured by Chicago police officers working under former Police Commander Jon Burge. As the more recent revelations from the Homan Square “black site” show, that brutal period is far from a historical anomaly. For more than fifty years, police officers who took an oath to protect and serve have instead beaten, electrocuted, suffocated, and raped hundreds—perhaps thousands—of Chicago residents.
In The Torture Letters, Laurence Ralph chronicles the history of torture in Chicago, the burgeoning activist movement against police violence, and the American public’s complicity in perpetuating torture at home and abroad. Engaging with a long tradition of epistolary meditations on racism in the United States, from James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time to Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me, Ralph offers in this book a collection of open letters written to protesters, victims, students, and others. Through these moving, questing, enraged letters, Ralph bears witness to police violence that began in Burge’s Area Two and follows the city’s networks of torture to the global War on Terror. From Vietnam to Geneva to Guantanamo Bay—Ralph’s story extends as far as the legacy of American imperialism. Combining insights from fourteen years of research on torture with testimonies of victims of police violence, retired officers, lawyers, and protesters, this is a powerful indictment of police violence and a fierce challenge to all Americans to demand an end to the systems that support it.
With compassion and careful skill, Ralph uncovers the tangled connections among law enforcement, the political machine, and the courts in Chicago, amplifying the voices of torture victims who are still with us—and lending a voice to those long deceased.

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Traffic in Asian Women
Laura Hyan Yi Kang
Duke University Press, 2020
In Traffic in Asian Women Laura Hyun Yi Kang demonstrates that the figure of "Asian women" functions as an analytic with which to understand the emergence, decline, and permutation of U.S. power/knowledge at the nexus of capitalism, state power, global governance, and knowledge production throughout the twentieth century. Kang analyzes the establishment, suppression, forgetting, and illegibility of the Japanese military "comfort system" (1932–1945) within that broader geohistorical arc. Although many have upheld the "comfort women" case as exemplary of both the past violation and the contemporary empowerment of Asian women, Kang argues that it has profoundly destabilized the imaginary unity and conceptual demarcation of the category. Kang traces how "Asian women" have been alternately distinguished and effaced as subjects of the traffic in women, sexual slavery, and violence against women. She also explores how specific modes of redress and justice were determined by several overlapping geopolitical and economic changes ranging from U.S.-guided movements of capital across Asia and the end of the Cold War to the emergence of new media technologies that facilitated the global circulation of "comfort women" stories.

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Troubled Ground
A Tale of Murder, Lynching, and Reckoning in the New South
Claude A. Clegg III
University of Illinois Press, 2010
In Troubled Ground, Claude A. Clegg III revisits a violent episode in his hometown's history that made national headlines in the early twentieth century but disappeared from public consciousness over the decades. Moving swiftly between memory and history, between the personal and the political, Clegg offers insights into southern history, mob violence, and the formation of American race ideology while coming to terms on a personal level with the violence of the past. Three black men were killed in front of a crowd of thousands in Salisbury, North Carolina, in 1906, following the ax murder of a local white family for whom the men had worked. One of the lynchers was prosecuted for his role in the execution, the first conviction of its kind in North Carolina and one of the earliest in the country. Yet Clegg, an academic historian who grew up in Salisbury, had never heard of the case until 2002 and could not find anyone else familiar with the case. In this book, Clegg mines newspaper accounts and government records and links the victims of the 1906 case to a double-lynching in 1902, suggesting a complex history of lynching in the area while revealing the determination of the city to rid its history of a shameful and shocking chapter. The result is a multi-layered, deeply personal exploration of lynching and lynching prosecutions in the United States.

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Violence against Queer People
Race, Class, Gender, and the Persistence of Anti-LGBT Discrimination
Meyer, Doug
Rutgers University Press, 2015
Received a 2016 Stonewall Book Award – Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award Honor Book from the American Library Association

Selected as one of “The Best of the Best from the University Presses: Books You Should Know About” at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference

Violence against lesbians and gay men has increasingly captured media and scholarly attention. But these reports tend to focus on one segment of the LGBT community—white, middle class men—and largely ignore that part of the community that arguably suffers a larger share of the violence—racial minorities, the poor, and women. In Violence against Queer People, sociologist Doug Meyer offers the first investigation of anti-queer violence that focuses on the role played by race, class, and gender.
Drawing on interviews with forty-seven victims of violence, Meyer shows that LGBT people encounter significantly different forms of violence—and perceive that violence quite differently—based on their race, class, and gender.  His research highlights the extent to which other forms of discrimination—including racism and sexism—shape LGBT people’s experience of abuse. He reports, for instance, that lesbian and transgender women often described violent incidents in which a sexual or a misogynistic component was introduced, and that LGBT people of color sometimes weren’t sure if anti-queer violence was based solely on their sexuality or whether racism or sexism had also played a role. Meyer observes that given the many differences in how anti-queer violence is experienced, the present media focus on white, middle-class victims greatly oversimplifies and distorts the nature of anti-queer violence. In fact, attempts to reduce anti-queer violence that ignore race, class, and gender run the risk of helping only the most privileged gay subjects.

Many feel that the struggle for gay rights has largely been accomplished and the tide of history has swung in favor of LGBT equality. Violence against Queer People, on the contrary, argues that the lives of many LGBT people—particularly the most vulnerable—have improved very little, if at all, over the past thirty years.

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Violence and Indigenous Communities
Confronting the Past and Engaging the Present
Edited by Susan Sleeper-Smith, Jeffrey Ostler, and Joshua L. Reid
Northwestern University Press, 2021

In contrast to past studies that focus narrowly on war and massacre, treat Native peoples as victims, and consign violence safely to the past, this interdisciplinary collection of essays opens up important new perspectives. While recognizing the long history of genocidal violence against Indigenous peoples, the contributors emphasize the agency of individuals and communities in genocide’s aftermath and provide historical and contemporary examples of activism, resistance, identity formation, historical memory, resilience, and healing. The collection also expands the scope of violence by examining the eyewitness testimony of women and children who survived violence, the role of Indigenous self-determination and governance in inciting violence against women, and settler colonialism’s promotion of cultural erasure and environmental destruction.

By including contributions on Indigenous peoples in the United States, Canada, the Pacific, Greenland, Sápmi, and Latin America, the volume breaks down nation-state and European imperial boundaries to show the value of global Indigenous frameworks. Connecting the past to the present, this book confronts violence as an ongoing problem and identifies projects that mitigate and push back against it.


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Violent Intimacies
The Trans Everyday and the Making of an Urban World
Asli Zengin
Duke University Press, 2024
In Violent Intimacies, Aslı Zengin traces how trans people in Turkey creatively negotiate and resist everyday cisheteronormative violence. Drawing on the history and ethnography of the trans communal life in Istanbul, Zengin develops an understanding of cisheteronormative violence that expands beyond sex, gender and sexuality. She shows how cisheteronormativity forms a connective tissue among neoliberal governmentality, biopolitical and necropolitical regimes, nationalist religiosity and authoritarian management of social difference. As much as trans people are shaped by these processes, they also transform them in intimate ways. Transness in Turkey provides an insightful site for developing new perspectives on statecraft, securitization and surveillance, family and kin-making, urban geography, and political life. Zengin offers the concept of violent intimacies to theorize this entangled world of the trans everyday where violence and intimacy are co-constitutive. Violent intimacies emerge from trans people’s everyday interactions with the police, religious and medical institutions, street life, family and kinship, and trans femicides and funerals. The dynamic of violent intimacies prompts new understandings of violence and intimacy and the world-making struggles of trans people in a Middle Eastern context.

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Violent Utopia
Dispossession and Black Restoration in Tulsa
Jovan Scott Lewis
Duke University Press, 2022
In Violent Utopia Jovan Scott Lewis retells the history and afterlife of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre, from the post-Reconstruction migration of Black people to Oklahoma Indian Territory to contemporary efforts to rebuild Black prosperity. He focuses on how the massacre in Tulsa’s Greenwood neighborhood—colloquially known as Black Wall Street—curtailed the freedom built there. Rather than framing the massacre as a one-off event, Lewis places it in a larger historical and social context of widespread patterns of anti-Black racism, segregation, and dispossession in Tulsa and beyond. He shows how the processes that led to the massacre, subsequent urban renewal, and intergenerational poverty shored up by nonprofits constitute a form of continuous slow violence. Now, in their attempts to redevelop resources for self-determination, Black Tulsans must reconcile a double inheritance: the massacre’s violence and the historical freedom and prosperity that Greenwood represented. Their future is tied to their geography, which is the foundation from which they will repair and fulfill Greenwood’s promise.

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Visible Borders, Invisible Economies
Living Death in Latinx Narratives
Kristy L. Ulibarri
University of Texas Press, 2022

2023 Outstanding Book Award, National Association for Ethnic Studies

A thorough examination of the political and economic exploitation of Latinx subjects, migrants, and workers through the lens of Latinx literature, photography, and film.

Globalization in the United States can seem paradoxical: free trade coincides with fortification of the southern border, while immigration is reimagined as a national-security threat. US politics turn aggressively against Latinx migrants and subjects even as post-NAFTA markets become thoroughly reliant on migrant and racialized workers. But in fact, there is no incongruity here. Rather, anti-immigrant politics reflect a strategy whereby capital uses specialized forms of violence to create a reserve army of the living, laboring dead.

Visible Borders, Invisible Economies turns to Latinx literature, photography, and films that render this unseen scheme shockingly vivid. Works such as Valeria Luiselli’s Tell Me How It Ends and Alex Rivera’s Sleep Dealer crystallize the experience of Latinx subjects and migrants subjugated to social death, their political existence erased by disenfranchisement and racist violence while their bodies still toil in behalf of corporate profits. In Kristy L. Ulibarri’s telling, art clarifies what power obscures: the national-security state performs anti-immigrant and xenophobic politics that substitute cathartic nationalism for protections from the free market while ensuring maximal corporate profits through the manufacture of disposable migrant labor.


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Wartime Sexual Violence
From Silence to Condemnation of a Weapon of War
Kerry F. Crawford
Georgetown University Press, 2017

Reports of sexual violence in armed conflict frequently appear in political discussions and news media, presenting a stark contrast to a long history of silence and nonrecognition. Conflict-related sexual violence has transitioned rapidly from a neglected human rights issue to an unambiguous security concern on the agendas of powerful states and the United Nations Security Council. Through interviews and primary-source evidence, Kerry F. Crawford investigates the reasons for this dramatic change and the implications of the securitization of sexual violence. 

Views about wartime sexual violence began changing in the 1990s as a result of the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda and then accelerated in the 2000s. Three case studies—the United States' response to sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1820 in 2008, and the development of the United Kingdom’s Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative—illustrate that use of the weapon of war frame does not represent pure co-optation by the security sector. Rather, well-placed advocates have used this frame to advance the antisexual violence agenda while simultaneously working to move beyond the frame’s constraints. This book is a groundbreaking account of the transformation of international efforts to end wartime sexual violence.


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The Wendys
Allison Benis White
Four Way Books, 2020
“Because it is easier to miss a stranger / with your mother’s name,” Allison Benis White instead writes about five women named Wendy as a way into the complex grief that still lingers after the death of a sixth Wendy, the author’s long-absent mother. A series of epistolary poems addressed to Wendy O. Williams becomes an occasion for the speaker to eulogize as well as reflect on the singer’s life and eventual suicide: “What kind of love is death, I’m asking?” In the section devoted to Wendy Torrance, the fictional wife from The Shining who was bludgeoned by her husband, the speaker muses on the inadequacy of language to resolve or even contain grief in the wake of trauma: “A book is a coffin. Hoarsely. A white sheet draped over the cage of being.” Ultimately, The Wendys is a book of silences and space in which tenderness and violence exist in exquisite tension. “If to speak is to die,” White writes in “Ignis Fatuus,” “I will whisper.”

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When I Look into the Mirror and See You
Women, Terror, and Resistance
Margaret Randall
Rutgers University Press, 2002

In the early 1980s, in the midst of Central America’s decades of dirty wars, Nora Miselem of Honduras and Maria Suárez Toro of Costa Rica were kidnapped and subjected to rape and other tortures. Of the nearly two hundred disappeared persons in Honduras in those years, they are, remarkably, two of only five survivors. Fourteen years after their ordeal, Suárez and Miselem’s chance meeting at a conference on human rights was witnessed by and is now retold in Margaret Randall’s When I Look into the Mirror andSee You.

Through direct testimony, vivid prose, and evocative photographs, Randall recounts the terror, resistance, and survival of Suárez and Miselem. The book details the abuses suffered by them, the ruses they used to foil their captors, the support that they gave each other while imprisoned, the means they used to escape, and their attempts to reconstruct their lives. For the first time, Suárez and Miselem explore the pain and trauma of their past and Randall has done the service of adding these remarkable voices to the global campaign to bring the world’s attention to women’s human rights.


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When Police Kill
Franklin E. Zimring
Harvard University Press, 2017

“A remarkable book.”—Malcolm Gladwell, San Francisco Chronicle

Deaths of civilians at the hands of on-duty police are in the national spotlight as never before. How many killings by police occur annually? What circumstances provoke police to shoot to kill? Who dies? The lack of answers to these basic questions points to a crisis in American government that urgently requires the attention of policy experts. When Police Kill is a groundbreaking analysis of the use of lethal force by police in the United States and how its death toll can be reduced.

Franklin Zimring compiles data from federal records, crowdsourced research, and investigative journalism to provide a comprehensive, fact-based picture of how, when, where, and why police resort to deadly force. Of the 1,100 killings by police in the United States in 2015, he shows, 85 percent were fatal shootings and 95 percent of victims were male. The death rates for African Americans and Native Americans are twice their share of the population.

Civilian deaths from shootings and other police actions are vastly higher in the United States than in other developed nations, but American police also confront an unusually high risk of fatal assault. Zimring offers policy prescriptions for how federal, state, and local governments can reduce killings by police without risking the lives of officers. Criminal prosecution of police officers involved in killings is rare and only necessary in extreme cases. But clear administrative rules could save hundreds of lives without endangering police officers.

“Roughly 1,000 Americans die each year at the hands of the police…The civilian body count does not seem to be declining, even though violent crime generally and the on-duty deaths of police officers are down sharply…Zimring’s most explosive assertion—which leaps out…—is that police leaders don’t care…To paraphrase the French philosopher Joseph de Maistre, every country gets the police it deserves.”
—Bill Keller, New York Times

“If you think for one second that the issue of cop killings doesn’t go to the heart of the debate about gun violence, think again. Because what Zimring shows is that not only are most fatalities which occur at the hands of police the result of cops using guns, but the number of such deaths each year is undercounted by more than half!…[A] valuable and important book…It needs to be read.”
—Mike Weisser, Huffington Post


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White Man's Heaven
The Lynching and Expulsion of Blacks in the Southern Ozarks, 1894-1909
Kimberly Harper
University of Arkansas Press, 2010
Drawing on court records, newspaper accounts, penitentiary records, letters, and diaries, White Man’s Heaven is a thorough investigation into the lynching and expulsion of African Americans in the Missouri and Arkansas Ozarks in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Kimberly Harper explores events in the towns of Monett, Pierce City, Joplin, and Springfield, Missouri, and Harrison, Arkansas, to show how post–Civil War vigilantism, an established tradition of extralegal violence, and the rapid political, economic, and social change of the New South era happened independently but were also part of a larger, interconnected regional experience. Even though some whites, especially in Joplin and Springfield, tried to stop the violence and bring the lynchers to justice, many African Americans fled the Ozarks, leaving only a resilient few behind and forever changing the racial composition of the region.

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The Wolf at the End of the Block
A Play
Ike Holter
Northwestern University Press, 2020
Taut and fast-paced, The Wolf at the End of the Block tells the story of Abe, a resident of the Rightlynd neighborhood of Chicago, who seeks justice after a mysterious, late-night interatction at a boarded-up bar. The intrigue envelops Abe, his sister, his boss, and a morally complicated reporter in pursuit of the truth. But as the clock ticks down, the play discloses the hidden motives of each character, leading to a finale of unpredictable twists, turns, and reveals.
A modern-day neo-noir, The Wolf at the End of the Block remixes several different genres to present a new kind of thriller that is socially conscious, relentlessy suspenseful, and bitingly funny. Praised for its power and grace, the play is one of Holter’s most unforgettable.
The Wolf at the End of the Block is one of seven plays in Holter’s Rightlynd Saga, set in Chicago’s fictional fifty-first ward. The other plays in the cycle are Rightlynd, Exit Strategy, Sender, Prowess, Red Rex, and Lottery Day.

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Women, War, and the Making of Bangladesh
Remembering 1971
Yasmin Saikia
Duke University Press, 2011
Fought between India and what was then East and West Pakistan, the war of 1971 led to the creation of Bangladesh, where it is remembered as the War of Liberation. For India, the war represents a triumphant settling of scores with Pakistan. If the war is acknowledged in Pakistan, it is cast as an act of betrayal by the Bengalis. None of these nationalist histories convey the human cost of the war. Pakistani and Indian soldiers and Bengali militiamen raped and tortured women on a mass scale. In Women, War, and the Making of Bangladesh, survivors tell their stories, revealing the power of speaking that deemed unspeakable. They talk of victimization—of rape, loss of status and citizenship, and the “war babies” born after 1971. The women also speak as agents of change, as social workers, caregivers, and wartime fighters. In the conclusion, men who terrorized women during the war recollect their wartime brutality and their postwar efforts to achieve a sense of humanity. Women, War, and the Making of Bangladesh sheds new light on the relationship among nation, history, and gender in postcolonial South Asia.

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Women’s Perspectives on Human Security
Violence, Environment, and Sustainability
Richard Matthew; Patricia A. Weitsman; Gunhild Hoogensen Gjørv; Nora Davis; Tera Dornfeld
Ohio University Press, 2020

Violent conflict, climate change, and poverty present distinct threats to women worldwide. Importantly, women are leading the way creating and sharing sustainable solutions.

Women’s security is a valuable analytical tool as well as a political agenda insofar as it addresses the specific problems affecting women’s ability to live dignified, free, and secure lives. First, this collection focuses on how conflict impacts women’s lives and well-being, including rape and gendered constructions of ethnicity, race, and religion. The book’s second section looks beyond the scope of large-scale violence to examine human security in terms of environmental policy, food, water, health, and economics.

Multidisciplinary in scope, these essays from new and established contributors draw from gender studies, international relations, criminology, political science, economics, sociology, biological and ecological sciences, and planning.


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The Work of Rape
Rana M. Jaleel
Duke University Press, 2021
In The Work of Rape Rana M. Jaleel argues that the redefinition of sexual violence within international law as a war crime, crime against humanity, and genocide owes a disturbing and unacknowledged debt to power and knowledge achieved from racial, imperial, and settler colonial domination. Prioritizing critiques of racial capitalism from women of color, Indigenous, queer, trans, and Global South perspectives, Jaleel reorients how violence is socially defined and distributed through legal definitions of rape. From Cold War conflicts in Latin America, the 1990s ethnic wars in Rwanda and Yugoslavia, and the War on Terror to ongoing debates about sexual assault on college campuses, Jaleel considers how legal and social iterations of rape and the terms that define it—consent, force, coercion—are unstable indexes and abstractions of social difference that mediate racial and colonial positionalities. Jaleel traces how post-Cold War orders of global security and governance simultaneously transform the meaning of sexualized violence, extend US empire, and disavow legacies of enslavement, Indigenous dispossession, and racialized violence within the United States.

Duke University Press Scholars of Color First Book Award recipient

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