Media @ McGill

Lena Palacios | Indigenous and Race-Radical Feminist Movements Confronting Necropower in Carceral States

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Objectives: My dissertation analyzes how race-radical women of color and Indigenous feminists identify and theorize state violence and the carceral violence of legal elimination, “media necropower” (Osuri 2009), and criminalization in Canada and the United States.  Specifically, I examine how Chela Sandoval’s theorization of race-radical women of color feminist’s differential form of consciousness (Sandoval 2000) combined with intersectional analyses of violence furthered by critical race feminist scholar-activists (Crenshaw 1991) are taught, engaged with, disseminated. Specifically, I am interested in how these counter-discourses travel/transform within and between academic, activist, mainstream and social media and other informal educational and movement spaces.  Secondly, the dissertation explores how race-radical women of color and indigenous feminists organize around media justice, prison abolition, and transformative justice.  Through my analysis of race-radical feminist critiques of state-based violence and their activist strategies that respond to them, I aim to theorize their work beyond the primarily liberal politics of ‘recognition’ in order to propose a model of mutual responsibility and accountability not based in calls for recognition from the State as the perpetrator of violence.  Andrea Smith and Glen Coulthard describe this as a model of “unthinkable politics” because of the ways it challenges the politics of visibility and recognition on which so many settler-identified and State-centered political models depend (see Coulthard 2007; A. Smith 2009).