Social Death

Author: Lisa Marie Cacho
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814725422
Format: PDF, Kindle
Download Now
Winner of the 2013 John Hope Franklin Book Prize presented by the American Studies Association Social Death tackles one of the core paradoxes of social justice struggles and scholarship—that the battle to end oppression shares the moral grammar that structures exploitation and sanctions state violence. Lisa Marie Cacho forcefully argues that the demands for personhood for those who, in the eyes of society, have little value, depend on capitalist and heteropatriarchal measures of worth. With poignant case studies, Cacho illustrates that our very understanding of personhood is premised upon the unchallenged devaluation of criminalized populations of color. Hence, the reliance of rights-based politics on notions of who is and is not a deserving member of society inadvertently replicates the logic that creates and normalizes states of social and literal death. Her understanding of inalienable rights and personhood provides us the much-needed comparative analytical and ethical tools to understand the racialized and nationalized tensions between racial groups. Driven by a radical, relentless critique, Social Death challenges us to imagine a heretofore “unthinkable” politics and ethics that do not rest on neoliberal arguments about worth, but rather emerge from the insurgent experiences of those negated persons who do not live by the norms that determine the productive, patriotic, law abiding, and family-oriented subject.

Race for Citizenship

Author: Helen Heran Jun
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814745016
Format: PDF, Mobi
Download Now
Helen Heran Jun explores how the history of U.S. citizenshiphas positioned Asian Americans and African Americans in interlocking socio-political relationships since the mid nineteenth century. Rejecting the conventional emphasis on ‘inter-racial prejudice,’ Jun demonstrates how a politics of inclusion has constituted a racial Other within Asian American and African American discourses of national identity. Race for Citizenship examines three salient moments when African American and Asian American citizenship become acutely visible as related crises: the ‘Negro Problem’ and the ‘Yellow Question’ in the mid- to late 19th century; World War II-era questions around race, loyalty, and national identity in the context of internment and Jim Crow segregation; and post-Civil Rights discourses of disenfranchisement and national belonging under globalization. Taking up a range of cultural texts—the 19th century black press, the writings of black feminist Anna Julia Cooper, Asian American novels, African American and Asian American commercial film and documentary—Jun does not seek to document signs of cross-racial identification, but instead demonstrates how the logic of citizenship compels racialized subjects to produce developmental narratives of inclusion in the effort to achieve political, economic, and social incorporation. Race for Citizenship provides a new model of comparative race studies by situating contemporary questions of differential racial formations within a long genealogy of anti-racist discourse constrained by liberal notions of inclusion.

Borderlands Saints

Author: Desirée A. Martín
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 081356235X
Format: PDF, Mobi
Download Now
In Borderlands Saints, Desirée A. Martín examines the rise and fall of popular saints and saint-like figures in the borderlands of the United States and Mexico. Focusing specifically on Teresa Urrea (La Santa de Cabora), Pancho Villa, César Chávez, Subcomandante Marcos, and Santa Muerte, she traces the intersections of these figures, their devotees, artistic representations, and dominant institutions with an eye for the ways in which such unofficial saints mirror traditional spiritual practices and serve specific cultural needs. Popular spirituality of this kind engages the use and exchange of relics, faith healing, pilgrimages, and spirit possession, exemplifying the contradictions between high and popular culture, human and divine, and secular and sacred. Martín focuses upon a wide range of Mexican and Chicano/a cultural works drawn from the nineteenth century to the present, covering such diverse genres as the novel, the communiqué, drama, the essay or crónica, film, and contemporary digital media. She argues that spiritual practice is often represented as narrative, while narrative—whether literary, historical, visual, or oral—may modify or even function as devotional practice.

The Cultural Politics of U S Immigration

Author: Leah Perry
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 1479828777
Format: PDF, Mobi
Download Now
In the 1980s, amid increasing immigration from Latin America, the Caribbean, and Asia, the circle of who was considered American seemed to broaden, reflecting the democratic gains made by racial minorities and women. Although this expanded circle was increasingly visible in the daily lives of Americans through TV shows, films, and popular news media, these gains were circumscribed by the discourse that certain immigrants, for instance single and working mothers, were feared, censured, or welcomed exclusively as laborers. In The Cultural Politics of U.S. Immigration, Leah Perry argues that 1980s immigration discourse in law and popular media was a crucial ingredient in the cohesion of the neoliberal idea of democracy. Blending critical legal analysis with a feminist media studies methodology over a range of sources, including legal documents, congressional debates, and popular media, such as Golden Girls, Who’s the Boss?, Scarface, and Mi Vida Loca, Perry shows how even while “multicultural” immigrants were embraced, they were at the same time disciplined through gendered discourses of respectability. Examining the relationship between law and culture, this book weaves questions of legal status and gender into existing discussions about race and ethnicity to revise our understanding of both neoliberalism and immigration.

African American

Author: Marilyn Halter
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814760708
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
African & American tells the story of the much overlooked experience of first and second generation West African immigrants and refugees in the United States during the last forty years. Interrogating the complex role of post-colonialism in the recent history of black America, Marilyn Halter and Violet Showers Johnson highlight the intricate patterns of emigrant work and family adaptation, the evolving global ties with Africa and Europe, and the translocal connections among the West African enclaves in the United States. Drawing on a rich variety of sources, including original interviews, personal narratives, cultural and historical analysis, and documentary and demographic evidence, African & American explores issues of cultural identity formation and socioeconomic incorporation among this new West African diaspora. Bringing the experiences of those of recent African ancestry from the periphery to the center of current debates in the fields of immigration, ethnic, and African American studies, Halter and Johnson examine the impact this community has had on the changing meaning of “African Americanness” and address the provocative question of whether West African immigrants are, indeed, becoming the newest African Americans.

Citizens Without Shelter

Author: Leonard C. Feldman
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801472909
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
One of the most troubling aspects of the politics of homelessness, Leonard C. Feldman contends, is the reduction of the homeless to what Hannah Arendt calls "the abstract nakedness of humanity" and what Giorgio Agamben terms "bare life." Feldman argues that the politics of alleged compassion and the politics of those interested in ridding public spaces of the homeless are linked fundamentally in their assumption that homeless people are something less than citizens. Feldman's book brings political theories together (including theories of sovereign power, justice, and pluralism) with discussions of real-world struggles and close analyses of legal cases concerning the rights of the homeless.In Feldman's view, the "bare life predicament" is a product not simply of poverty or inequality but of an inability to commit to democratic pluralism. Challenging this reduction of the homeless, Citizens without Shelter examines opportunities for contesting such a fundamental political exclusion, in the service of homeless citizenship and a more robust form of democratic pluralism. Feldman has in mind a truly democratic pluralism that would include a pluralization of the category of "home" to enable multiple forms of dwelling; a recognition of the common dwelling activities of homeless and non-homeless persons; and a resistance to laws that punish or confine the homeless.

Recovering History Constructing Race

Author: Martha Menchaca
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 0292778481
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
The history of Mexican Americans is a history of the intermingling of races—Indian, White, and Black. This racial history underlies a legacy of racial discrimination against Mexican Americans and their Mexican ancestors that stretches from the Spanish conquest to current battles over ending affirmative action and other assistance programs for ethnic minorities. Asserting the centrality of race in Mexican American history, Martha Menchaca here offers the first interpretive racial history of Mexican Americans, focusing on racial foundations and race relations from prehispanic times to the present. Menchaca uses the concept of racialization to describe the process through which Spanish, Mexican, and U.S. authorities constructed racial status hierarchies that marginalized Mexicans of color and restricted their rights of land ownership. She traces this process from the Spanish colonial period and the introduction of slavery through racial laws affecting Mexican Americans into the late twentieth-century. This re-viewing of familiar history through the lens of race recovers Blacks as important historical actors, links Indians and the mission system in the Southwest to the Mexican American present, and reveals the legal and illegal means by which Mexican Americans lost their land grants.

Poverty in Common

Author: Alyosha Goldstein
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822351811
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
In post-World War II America, the idea that local community action was indispensable for the alleviation of poverty was broadly embraced by policymakers, social scientists, international development specialists, and grassroots activists. Governmental efforts to mobilize community action in the name of democracy served as a volatile condition of possibility through which poor people and dispossessed groups negotiated the tension between calls for self-help and demands for self-determination in the context of the Cold War and global decolonization. Poverty in Common suggests new ways to think about the relationship between liberalism, government, and inequality with implications for popular debates over the "end of welfare" and neo-liberalism in the United States. Drawing on oral histories, program records, community newspapers, policy documents, and records of public hearings, Alyosha Goldstein analyzes a compelling but often overlooked series of historical episodes: Progressive era reform as a precursor to community development during the Cold War; how the language of "underdevelopment" articulated ideas about poverty and foreignness; the use of poverty as a crucible of interest group politics; and how radical groups critically reframed the question of community action in anti-colonial terms. He shows how approaches to poverty were linked to the racialised and gendered negotiation of boundaries--between foreign and domestic, empire and nation, violence and order, dependency and autonomy--in the mid-twentieth-century United States.

Returns of War

Author: Long T. Bui
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 1479871958
Format: PDF, Mobi
Download Now
The legacy and memory of wartime South Vietnam through the eyes of Vietnamese refugees In 1975, South Vietnam fell to communism, marking a stunning conclusion to the Vietnam War. Although this former ally of the United States has vanished from the world map, Long T. Bui maintains that its memory endures for refugees with a strong attachment to this ghost country. Blending ethnography with oral history, archival research, and cultural analysis, Returns of War considers how the historical legacy of a nation that only existed for twenty years is being kept alive by its dispersed stateless exiles. Returns of War argues that Vietnamization--as Richard Nixon termed it in 1969--and the end of South Vietnam signals more than an example of flawed American military strategy, but a larger allegory of power, providing cover for U.S. imperial losses while denoting the inability of the (South) Vietnamese and other colonized nations to become independent, modern liberal subjects. Bui argues that the collapse of South Vietnam under Vietnamization complicates the already difficult memory of the Vietnam War, pushing for a critical understanding of South Vietnamese agency beyond their status as the war’s ultimate “losers.” Examining the lasting impact of Cold War military policy and culture upon the “Vietnamized” afterlife of war, this book weaves questions of national identity, sovereignty, and self-determination to consider the generative possibilities of theorizing South Vietnam as an incomplete, ongoing search for political and personal freedom.

Captivity Beyond Prisons

Author: Martha D. Escobar
Publisher: University of Texas Press
ISBN: 147730830X
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
Today the United States leads the world in incarceration rates. The country increasingly relies on the prison system as a "fix" for the regulation of societal issues. Captivity Beyond Prisons is the first full-length book to explicitly link prisons and incarceration to the criminalization of Latina (im)migrants. Starting in the 1990s, the United States saw tremendous expansion in the number of imprisoned (im)migrants, specifically Latinas/os. Consequently, there was also an increase in the number of deportations. In addition to regulating society, prisons also serve as a reproductive control strategy, both in preventing female inmates from having children and by separating them from their families. With an eye to racialized and gendered technologies of power, Escobar argues that incarcerated Latinas are especially depicted as socially irrecuperable because they are not considered useful within the neoliberal labor market. This perception impacts how they are criminalized, which is not limited to incarceration but also extends to and affects Latina (im)migrants' everyday lives. Escobar also explores the relationship between the immigrant rights movement and the prison abolition movement, scrutinizing a variety of social institutions working on solutions to social problems that lead to imprisonment. Accessible to both academics and those in the justice and social service sectors, Escobar's book pushes readers to consider how, even in radical spaces, unequal power relations can be reproduced by the very entities that attempt to undo them.