2018 - 2019 CRG Forum Series

2018 - 2019 CRG Forum Series

Bios reflect speakers' status at the time of their presentation at the Center for Race and Gender.


Flyer for April 18, 2019 CRG Forum

Diversity and Power In Global Christian Communities

04.18.2019 | 4:00 – 5:30 PM |  691 Barrows Hall

Candace Lukasik, PhD Candidate in Anthropology, UC Berkeley
Transnational Anxieties: Shaping a Minority Community between Egypt and the United States

Hannah Waits, PhD Candidate in History, UC Berkeley
Missionary, Go Home: Contesting the Global Activism of American Evangelicals in the Postcolonial Era

This panel explores how subaltern actors and communities have operated within the transnational hegemonic discourses, logics, and imaginaries of white American Protestantism to challenge forms of oppression and advocate for support. In the context of American Protestantism’s global influence and its ambitious worldwide activism, different groups of Christian actors across the Global South in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries have marshalled critiques of that hegemony while simultaneously trying to partner with US Protestants to secure protection, resources, or authority.

In “Transnational Anxieties,” Candace Lukasik examines the effects of Coptic Orthodox Christian emigration to the United States since the 2011 Egyptian revolution, focusing on the role of the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Egyptian state, and geopolitical conditions in reshaping transnational political subjectivities and religious practices. In the midst of this contemporary shift, Copts have engaged American Protestantism on a variety of fronts—to support political efforts at alleviating “persecution” of Christians in the Middle East, to engage new forms of ecumenicalism, but also to oppose their aesthetic and theological influence. For fieldwork, Lukasik focused on three main arenas between Egypt and the United States in which Copts have adapted to these geopolitical shifts: 1) the education of Coptic youth, 2) mission trips and clerical engagement between Egypt and the United States, and 3) Coptic political activism.

In “Missionary, Go Home,” Hannah Waits traces the 1970s and 1980s global clashes between American evangelical missionaries and missionized communities throughout the Global South that challenged missionaries’ presence, methods, and epistemologies. She outlines the ways that Christians from the Global South voiced their critiques using the language of US evangelicals’ logic of individual conversion—these critics insisted that if missionaries really wanted to evangelize every person on earth, then missionaries should transfer structural and epistemological power to local Christians across the world, who could convert their neighbors far more effectively than racially and culturally foreign missionaries could. Waits also tracks American missionaries’ responses to these criticisms, and shows that by agreeing to some external changes while avoiding core transformations, missionaries embraced racial and cultural diversity while also preserving institutional whiteness within spaces in which Western white dominance was declining.

Together, these presentations point to the ways that minoritized communities have grappled with and tried to exploit the discourses and logics of white US Protestantism in recent decades. By examining those dynamics within the Coptic Orthodox diaspora and US evangelical missionary networks, this panel expands our knowledge of how subaltern groups have harnessed dominant white epistemologies and structures for autonomous ends.


Candace Lukasik is a PhD Candidate in Anthropology at UC Berkeley. She specializes in secularism, migration, religious violence, and Middle Eastern Christians. Her dissertation project is entitled “Transnational Anxieties: Shaping a Minority Community between Egypt and the United States,” and explores the transnational negotiation of political subjectivities and religious practices through the lens of Coptic Orthodox Christian emigration from Egypt to the United States since 2011. For this work, she has received fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, the Louisville Institute for the Study of American Religion, the Institute of International Studies (UC Berkeley), and The Center for Middle Eastern Studies (UC Berkeley).

Hannah Waits is a PhD Candidate in History at UC Berkeley. She specializes in the history of religion, politics, and culture in the twentieth century US. Her dissertation, “Missionary Minded: American Evangelicals and Power in a Postcolonial World,” traces how changes to global missionary work shaped American evangelicals’ understandings of themselves and their growing national and international power in the mid and late twentieth century. For this work, she has received fellowships from the Louisville Institute for the Study of American Religion, the Religious Research Association, and the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, as well as grants from numerous research centers, including the Center for Race and Gender.

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Flyer for 4-11-2019 CRG Forum

Staging Justice

04.11.2019 | 4:00 – 5:30 PM |  691 Barrows Hall

Deniz GöktürkAssociate Professor, Department of German, UC Berkeley
Art as Counter Forensics: Reflections on Structural Racism Following the NSU-Trial

Between 2000 and 2006 members of the rightwing extremist terror group National Socialist Underground (NSU) murdered nine small business owners – eight of Turkish and one of Greek descent – and one police woman in cities across Germany, all with the same handgun, a Ceska 83 Browning. The group also committed two bomb attacks and fifteen armed robberies. For many years, however, investigations of this series of violent attacks, targeted and scapegoated the families of the victims rather than revealing links to the terror organization. The NSU trial, which lasted over five years from 2013 to 2018, was one of the longest and most expensive of German history. The two main perpetrators had committed suicide, their female accomplice was sentenced to lifelong prison. What was really on trial was the credibility of the rule of law vs. bifurcations of institutional racism. For the families of the victims and, more broadly speaking, citizens and residents with “migration backgrounds,” the NSU murders and the subsequent flawed investigations have become a haunting trauma; the trial failed to restitute confidence in the justice system. Organizations of civil society have staged tribunals, commemorating the victims, fostering public conversation, and demanding further investigation. Theaters, art exhibitions, and moving image productions such as docudramas and videos have provided a stage for “counter forensics” (Eyal Weizman), reconstructing a field of vision, and an alternative quest for justice. In her presentation, Göktürk raises questions about the role of evidence and truth claims in the arts. What happens when theater becomes a tribunal of justice? And how does the theater’s focus on presence, acting, and public assembly converge with digital media of recording, storage, and circulation or with reenactment in cinema? In our era of “post-truth” and “alternative facts,” what is the role of art in creating and complicating common conceptions of reality? Göktürk argues that the efficacy of such interventions can only be assessed by attention to their media-specific configurations of imagination, address, and empathetic implication of spectators.

Deniz Göktürk is Professor and Chair in the Department of German at the University of California, Berkeley. Her publications include a book on literary and cinematic imaginations of America in early twentieth-century German culture as well as numerous articles on transnational migration, culture, and cinema. Her new book Framing Migration: Seven Takes on Borders and Mobility is forthcoming with De Gruyter Verlag in the series Interdisciplinary German Cultural Studies. She is co-editor of The German Cinema Book (BFI 2002, new expanded edition 2019); Germany in Transit: Nation and Migration 1955-2005 (Berkeley: University of California Press 2007); Transit Deutschland: Debatten zu Nation und Migration (2011); Orienting Istanbul: Cultural Capital of Europe? (Routledge 2010); Komik der Integration: Grenzpraktiken der Gemeinschaft (2019). She is coordinator of the Multicultural Germany Project and concept coordinator of the electronic journal TRANSIT.

Leti VolppRobert D. and Leslie Kay Raven Professor of Law in Access to Justice at the UC Berkeley School of Law, Director of Center for Race & Gender
Protecting the Nation from “Honor Killings”

Seven days after his presidency began, Donald Trump issued an executive order titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” Amidst the mass chaos this order produced at airports around the world, largely overlooked were provisions invoking “honor killings.” While the Trump administration withdrew that executive order and replaced it with a second, and then a third, a provision mandating data collection on “honor killings” still exists as a legal requirement. Why did “honor killings” appear in these executive orders? What role did they play in the text? And how has data about “honor killings” in the United States been manufactured and misinterpreted? This lecture will examine what work “honor killings” do, and how they have emerged as a problem for U.S. governance.

Leti Volpp 
is the Robert D. and Leslie Kay Raven Professor of Law at UC Berkeley and the Director for the Center for Race and Gender. Recent work includes the co-edited volume Looking for Law in All the Wrong Places (Fordham University Press, 2019) (with Marianne Constable and Bryan Wagner); “DACA, DAPA, and Discretionary Executive Power: Immigrants Outside the Law,” California Journal of Politics and Policy (2019);“Refugees Welcome?” La Raza Law Review (2018); “Passports in the Time of Trump,” Symploke (2018); and “Feminist, Sexual, and Queer Citizenship” in the Oxford Handbook of Citizenship (2017).

Co-sponsored by The Program in Critical Theory.


Flyer for 3-14-2019 CRG Forum

Celebrating Black Girls in Liberatory Spaces

03.14.2019| 4:00 – 5:30 PM |  691 Barrows Hall

This cross-disciplinary panel explores the spatial fissures and possibilities for Black girls. We engage questions of liberation, celebration, and violation that shape the lived experiences and perspectives of Black girls living in the 21st century. It is here where we depart from static categories of who girls are, where they live, and the type of access they may have at their disposal. Instead, we share and engage conversation to illustrate the distinct vulnerabilities Black girls face based on where they live, learn, and love to inform how they subvert, resist, and sabotage systemic violences and erasure.

Ree Botts, PhD Candidate in African American Studies

Kenly Brown, PhD Candidate in African American Studies

Derrika Hunt, PhD Candidate in School of Education, Graduate Student Wellness Project Director for the Graduate Assembly

Tiffani Johnson, PhD candidate of Education, Social & Cultural Studies

Shelby Mack, BA in American Studies


Flyer for 2-28-2019 CRG Forum

Border Surveillance and the Black Mediterranean: Alternative Imaginaries of Refugees, Race and Rights

02.28.2019| 4:00 – 5:30 PM |  691 Barrows Hall

Camilla HawthorneAssistant Professor of  Sociology, UC Santa Cruz“Citizenship and Diasporic Ethics in the Black Mediterranean”

This talk examines the possibilities and limitations of the “Black Mediterranean” (which emphasizes the power-laden relations of cultural exchange and racial violence linking Europe and Africa) as an analytical framework for understanding the historical and contemporary forms of racial criminalization and racialized citizenship in Italy. The emergent “Black Italian” movement in Italy has been increasingly confronted with the limits of national citizenship as a means for addressing racial inequality. In response, activists have begun to turn toward alternative political imaginaries and practices of community that extend far beyond the Italian nation-state. In this context, what can the Black Mediterranean open up in terms of new political praxes and transgressive alliance? Specifically, how might this framework help to bridge Black liberation politics in Italy with refugee rights mobilizations?

Debarati Sanyal, French, Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory, the Institute of European Studies, and the Center for Race & Gender, UC Berkeley
“Expropriated Bodies and Risky Personhoods: A View of Melilla’s Border Through Surveillance Footage and Film”

New technologies of border control differentially target moving bodies in relation to their “risk” factor, scanning them according to the tropes of colonial racism, as swarms requiring identification, detention or expulsion. But under humanitarian governance, this battle becomes an operation in which the illegalized body is both a security threat and a life to be secured. The port city of Melilla, a Spanish enclave on the other side of Morocco is, with Ceuta, the European Union’s only land border with Africa. Fences topped by barbed wire separate these two worlds while redrawing the boundaries of the human species itself. The border’s surveillance is ensured by fixed and infrared cameras, motion detectors, and patrols designed to canalisar el flujo migratorio, in the words of a Guardia Civil. Those Who Jump (2016)a film by Abou Bakar Sidibé, Moritz Siebert and Esteban Wager, documents forms of persistence and emergence among the migrants and refugees at Melilla’s border. These forms compel a reconsideration of the human, embodiment and rights.

Camilla Hawthorne is Assistant Professor of Sociology at UC Santa Cruz.  She is a principal faculty member in the Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Program, and a faculty affiliate of the Science & Justice Research Center at UCSC. Camilla received her PhD in Geography with a designated emphasis in Science and Technology Studies from UC Berkeley in 2018. She also holds an MPA from Brown University. Camilla’s work addresses the politics of migration and citizenship, racism and inequality, and social movements. Her book manuscript, Citizenship and Diasporic Ethics: Youth Politics in the Black Mediterranean, explores the politics of race and citizenship in contemporary Italy. Camilla also serves as faculty member and project manager of the Summer School on Black Europe in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Debarati Sanyal is Professor of French and affiliated with the Designated Emphasis in Critical Theory, the Institute of European Studies, and the Center for Race and Gender. Her teaching and research interests span 19th-21st century French and Francophone literature, with a focus on memory studies; the politics of aesthetic form; nineteenth-century poetics of revolution; the Occupation and Holocaust studies, and more recently, critical human rights and refugee studies.  She is a recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award (2012), UC Berkeley’s highest recognition for teaching. Publications include Memory and Complicity: Migrations of Holocaust Remembrance (Fordham, 2015) forthcoming in French translation as Mémoire et Complicité: Héritages de la Shoah (PUV, 2018); The Violence of Modernity: Baudelaire, Irony and the Politics of Form (Johns Hopkins, 2006), and as co-editor, Noeuds de mémoire: Multidirectional Memory in Postwar French and Francophone Culture (Yale French Studies 118/119, 2010). Recent articles include “Calais’s ‘Jungle’: Refugees, Biopolitics, and the Arts of Resistance”, “Modiano’s Memoryscapes” and “Baudelaire and the Poetics of Terror”.  Her current book project addresses the contemporary refugee experience in French-speaking testimony, fiction and film.

Co-sponsored by The Program in Critical Theory and the Institute of European Studies. 

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Flyer for 1-31-2019 CRG Forum

Get Home Safe: Cross­-Genre Routes Through Everyday Racism

01.31.2019 | 4:00 – 5:30 PM |  691 Barrows Hall

Beth Piatote, Associate Professor, Native American Studies
The Indigenous Everyday

In this peripatetic meditation, I describe the ordinary routes of everyday life that are both symbol and structure of indigenous loss. To be indigenous in America is to think about death every day. But it is also to make jokes and songs and inspired gestures of protest, to recover words and histories and languages that return us to life.

Leigh Raiford, Associate Professor, African American Studies
Nia in Two Acts

This paper revisits the murder of Nia Wilson, stabbed to death last summer. Drawing on Saidiya Hartman’s 2008 essay on history and methodology, “Venus in Two Acts,” this work of creative critical non­fiction, weaving together the personal, the political, the art historical, the geographic, the digital, I ask how do we write the stories of black girls in danger in our contemporary moment?


Beth Piatote is Associate Professor of Native American Studies at UC Berkeley and specializes in Native American/Aboriginal literature and law in the U.S. and Canada; Nez Perce language and literature; and creative writing. She is currently the Chair of the Designated Emphasis in Indigenous Language Revitalization. She is author of Domestic Subjects: Gender, Citizenship, and Law in Native American Literature (Yale 2013); and the mixed­genre collection, The Beadworkers: Stories (Counterpoint Press, forthcoming 2019), as well as numerous essays and stories in journals and anthologies.

Leigh Raiford is Associate Professor of African American Studies at UC Berkeley, where she also serves as affiliate faculty in Gender and Women’s Studies and the Program in American Studies. Raiford is the author of Imprisoned in a Luminous Glare: Photography and the African American Freedom Struggle (UNC Press, 2011). She is co­editor with Renee Romano of The Civil Rights Movement in American Memory (UGA Press, 2006) & with Heike Raphael ­Hernandez of Migrating the Black Body: The African Diaspora and Visual Culture (UW Press, 2017). She teaches, researches and writes about the intersections of race, gender, visuality and justice.


Flyer for 11-1-2018 CRG Forum

Counter-Memory and Justice In Armed Conflicts

11.01.2018| 4:00 – 5:30 PM |  691 Barrows Hall 

Angana P. Chatterji, Political Conflict, Gender and People’s Rights Project and Visiting Research Anthropologist, Center for Race & Gender

Mariane C. Ferme, Professor of Anthropology and African Studies, Curator of African Ethnology at the Hearst Museum of Anthropology

Angana P. ChatterjiAfflicted by long-drawn-out political and foundational violence, including gendered and sexualized violence, contemporary South Asia is surfeited with myriad disputes, nationalist assertions and divisive politics. Here, structural inequalities, majoritarian states, and the glorification of militarism abound. The present is witness to complex histories, residual conflicts and decolonial movements. Pervasive violence delimits the scope of people’s rights. States in South Asia frequently do not adhere to international standards in addressing conflict and often decline to become a party to international processes or to sign and ratify, and honor and enforce, international conventions and norms. If they do, it is often merely symbolic with uneven intent and capacity to comply. For victimized-Others and decolonial movements, there is an urgent need to address conflict and shape justice mechanisms. This presentation analyzes relations between gendered violence, counter-memory, people’s processes for justice, and the right to a remedy in a conflict zone in South Asia. Political control over remembrance, and the enforcement and institutionalization of statist memory sanctions the normalization and sanitization of violence, the violation of human rights and the continuance of militarization. Civil society efforts to preserve counter-memory bind communities to a shared social world amid which questions of acknowledgement and justice may be approached.

Mariane C. FermeThe Sierra Leone civil war of 1991-2002 became an opportunity to set up one of the first of a new generation of “hybrid” war crimes tribunals, set up after the turn of the millennium in the same countries where the crimes were committed (as opposed to the earlier generation, Yugoslavia and Rwanda, where it was important to put some distance between witnesses and victims testifying about war crimes and crimes against humanity and the society that had enabled atrocities committed in those conflicts). At the same time as the Special Court for Sierra Leone was beginning its investigations preliminary to holding trials, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission was also established to hear testimonies in exchange for possible immunity from prosecution at the Court. This created widespread confusion. On the one hand, the TRC was asking potential witnesses to tell their stories in public (and in some cases in private), in exchange for understanding and sympathy, and perhaps an apology from a perpetrator, and in the interest of creating a historical archive of the war. On the other hand, a relatively well endowed Special Court was asking witnesses to also provide testimony in support of trials and of the compilation of the war’s historical archive, in exchange for high per diems by local standards (established on UN scales in US dollars), as well as a whole slate of ancillary services, such as clothing and food allowances, free medical care and school fees for dependent children, very comfortable housing by local standards, protection by security details, and even guaranteed anonymity if necessary, and relocation to other parts of the country or abroad, if a witness was determined to be in danger for his or her testimony. This was especially the case for witnesses at the trial of Charles Taylor, since as a former head of the Liberian state he had the means to threaten potential witnesses, regardless of where they lived. The TRC’s work was undermined by the Special Court’s concurrent search for witnesses, as people preferred to “save” their stories for the latter arena, where they could benefit materially from their witnessing. It also was hampered by an “anti-memory” sentiment among the population, where the continuous narration of traumatic wartime memories  was felt to hamper the process of moving beyond the war and rebuilding lives in its aftermath.

Angana P. Chatterji
 is the founding Co-chair, Political Conflict, Gender and People’s Rights Project and Visiting Research Anthropologist at the Center for Race and Gender at University of California, Berkeley (and Founding Co-chair of the precursor, Armed Conflict Resolution and People’s Rights Project at the Center for Social Sector Leadership, Haas School of Business, 2012-2015). A cultural anthropologist, she focuses her scholarly work on issues of political conflict, gendered violence, majoritarian nationalism, religion in the public sphere, and reparatory justice and cultural survival. Her scholarship bears witness to contemporary issues in political conflict and (post)colonial, decolonial conditions of grief, dispossession and agency. In Kashmir, Chatterji co-founded the People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice (2008). In Odisha, Chatterji founded the People’s Tribunal on Religious Freedom (2005). She co-led a commission on displacement and mega dams in the Narmada Valley (2004). Previously, Chatterji was Professor, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, where she co-created a graduate curriculum in postcolonial anthropology and taught from 1997-2011. In 2017, she was appointed a Research Fellow at the WSD Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice, Stanford University. In 2015-2016, Chatterji was a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights, Columbia University. Chatterji’s publications include: Violent Gods: Hindu Nationalism in India’s Present; Narratives from Orissa; lead editor: Conflicted Democracies and Gendered Violence: The Right to Heal; co-edited volume: Contesting Nation: Gendered Violence in South Asia; co-contributed anthology: Kashmir; and reports, lead author: BURIED EVIDENCE: Unknown, Unmarked, and Mass Graves in Kashmir (2009), Communalism in Orissa (2006), and Without Land or Livelihood (2004).

Mariane C. Ferme is Professor of Anthropology and African Studies at UC-Berkeley and Curator of African Ethnology at the Hearst Museum of Anthropology. She also has held teaching positions at the University of Cambridge (UK), the École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (Paris), as well as honorary fellowships and visiting positions at Harvard University, University College, London, the Université Libre de Bruxelles, the Université Catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium), and the Fondation de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (Paris). Her research focuses on three main areas: 1) materiality and everyday life in rural Sierra Leone (publications include the 2001 book, The Underneath of Things: Violence, History and the Everyday in Sierra Leone, and a co-authored 2014 article in the Journal of Material Culture); 2) violence and the political imagination (Out of War: Violence, Trauma, and the Political Imagination in Sierra Leone, her 2018 book, focuses on the ways in which the 1991-2002 civil war in Sierra Leone opened spaces for reimagining figures and sites of the political, and articles on the topic have appeared in Cahiers d’Études Africaines, Politique Africaine, Anthropological Quarterly, and in several edited volumes; and 3) critical approaches to humanitarian institutions and practices, particularly in Sierra Leone, ranging from the prosecution of war crimes at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, to responses to the Ebola epidemic (publications have appeared in journals and online open source publications from 2013 to the present, eg, HumanityCultural Anthropology “Hotspots,” and PLOS-Neglected Tropical Diseases). Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, Fulbright-Hays, and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio center.


Flyer for 10-11-2018 CRG Forum

What’s New About New Materialism?: Black and Indigenous Scholars On Science, Technology and Materiality

10.11.2018 | 4:00 – 5:30 PM |  691 Barrows Hall

Genetic Sensibilisation: Reconfiguring the Materiality of Genetic Ancestry in Cameroon
Victoria M. Massie, Anthropology

In Xochitl, In Cuicatl: Flowers, Songs and the Poetry of Photosynthesis
Marcelo Garzo Montalvo, Ethnic Studies

Ice as Materiality: Racialization in Alaska and Arctic Landscapes
Jen Rose Smith, Ethnic Studies

As the “New Materialisms” discourse continues to gain traction across multiple fields of inquiry, we come together as scholars of Xicanx/Latinx Studies, Native American/Indigenous Studies and postcolonial African Studies to open up a space of dialogue on the subject. Bringing into question the newness of “New Materialisms” invites us to critique some of the larger problems we encounter in this emerging literature; namely Eurocentrism, colonialism, universalism, and related erasures of race, class, gender, sexuality and other dynamics of power. As both an engagement and a departure from “new materialist” conversations, this panel will unpack questions of materiality, history, epistemology and power as they emerge in our projects regarding Indigenous sciences, the co-production of land and race in Alaska, and the politics of diasporic return through genetic ancestry testing.

Jen Rose Smith (Eyak, Alaska Native) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Ethnic Studies. Her dissertation “Indeterminate Natures: Making Land, Race, and Indigeneity in Alaska,” traces historical and modern articulations of land, race, and indigeneity as the terms have been co-constituted under colonial conditions. She analyzes how these terms have been made, and the means by which they have been reproduced materially and discursively in culture, science, and law. In historicizing colonial frameworks of land, race, and indigeneity, Jen attends to how indigenous peoples in Alaska and the Arctic have strategized and mobilized their ongoing claims and relations to land, water, air, and ice. Jen completed her undergraduate degree in English with an emphasis in Literature and the Environment at the University of Alaska Southeast, and received her master’s degree in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley. She is a recipient of the UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Fellowship, the Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, the Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, and was a Graduate Fellow with the Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues.

Victoria M. Massie is a writer and Ph.D. Candidate in Sociocultural Anthropology with a designated emphasis in Science and Technology Studies at UC Berkeley. Her dissertation, “Assembling Genetic Ancestry: Race, Return, and the Materiality of Home examines how the contemporary ideas around race and the politics of belonging through genetic ancestry shift as this biotechnology is mobilized to forge diasporic ties in Cameroon. Her work has been supported through the Wenner-Gren Foundation, Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Award and National Science Foundation, as well as awards from the UC Center for New Racial Studies, UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Fellowship, and the UC Berkeley Center for African Studies. She was also awarded lifetime membership to the West African Research Association in 2015. Additionally, Massie is an essayist and editor whose work has been featured on The InterceptVoxComplex Magazine, and Catapult.

Marcelo Garzo Montalvo (Mapuche, Chilenx) is an award-winning scholar-activist, classically-trained experimental musician, Aztec ceremonial dancer and Ph.D. Candidate in Comparative Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley. He is the recipient of the Chancellor’s Fellowship for Diversity and Inclusion and the Institute of Noetic Sciences Consciousness in Action Award. His academic work has been supported by the Tinker Foundation, the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, the Center for American Cultures and Engaged Scholarship and the Center for Latin American Studies. He is an active member of multiple on-campus working groups, including Performance in the Americas, the Color of New Media, and Peripheral Futures. As a scholar and educator, he regularly teaches and guest lectures in university and K-12 classrooms, presents at academic and activist conferences, and facilitates popular education workshops with community-based organizations. He has worked on staff and served on the board of directors for multiple Bay Area-based community food justice organizations including the People’s Grocery, Planting Justice and Pie Ranch. He has also been active as a healing justice organizer, co-founding the BadAss Visionary Healers and serving on the organizing committee for the Men’s Healing Clinic Collective. As an artist and musician, Marcelo is an alumnus of the Emerging Artists Professionals Fellowship and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Labor and Ecology Think Tank. His art, research and activism focuses on decolonization and inter-generational, inter-cultural healing.

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Flyer for 10-4-2018 CRG Forum

Archives Of Justice and Abolition

10.04.2018| 4:00 – 5:30 PM |  691 Barrows Hall

In the (After) Life: Black Lesbian Spatialities under the Emergence of Homonationalism
by Kerby Lynch

This dissertation explores the artifacts of a Black lesbian literary archive at the height of intersectional liberation movements (Black, Gay and Feminist). I attempt to spatialize the social dynamics of a post-Black Power era and map narratives of when Black lesbian poets contest the social devaluation of black women’s sexuality in Gay/Feminist movements to assert a poetic of survival (Gumbs 2015). The production of silence around Black women’s sexualities after liberation has allowed for capitalist narratives of progress to take precedence over narratives of racial, sexual and homophobic regimes of violence. Black lesbian poets leave traces, notes and warnings that provide an alternative meaning to black life that has been undertheorized. I seek to extend Puar’s analysis of homonationalism to assert that it is an institution that refuses to endorse the survivability of the black lesbian, and explore its foundational spatial context in which it is conceptualized.
This project aims to tell an alternative historical geography to Bay Area gentrification via Barbara Smith’s “Black lesbian reading” of space as a reclamation of the despised black body. Queer studies has normalized anti-blackness as a fact of the identity’s ontology, but needs to invest more in empirical study of the ways in which notions of anti-blackness disciplines the subject, limits inquiry, and ultimately is complicit in the materiality of Black social death. I strategically study the poetry and literary archive of Black lesbians to interrupt the reproduction of a black queer subjectivity that has not resolved its regimes of black women’s disposability.

Memory, Belonging, and Archive Justice: Towards a Liberatory Archival Praxis

by Sine Hwang Jensen

Archives are sites to which people return seeking memory, belonging, and connection to the past. But the history of traditional archives and their practices have always been inextricably intertwined with that of empire, cisheteropatriarchy, and white supremacy. The urge toward and ideology of taxonomy and classification provides the foundation for “difference” and undergirds the work of naturalists, anthropologists, and that of librarians and archivists as well. Classification systems such as the Dewey Decimal and Library of Congress systems are rooted in worldviews which marginalize the lives and experiences of oppressed peoples. Therefore, for Black, indigenous, and people of color, LGBTQ, and other historically oppressed communities, traditional archives are often a site of erasure and violence.

Drawing from experience at the UC Berkeley Ethnic Studies Library and from feminist, anti-racist, indigenous, and queer interventions into archival theory and practice, this talk aims to both demystify traditional archival practices and the work that librarians and archivists do as well as offer concrete examples of liberatory archival practices.

Kerby Lynch is a current PhD student in the Department of Geography at UC Berkeley. Their research interest are in archival theory, literary cartographies and black lesbian subjectivities.

Sine Hwang Jensen is the Asian American and Comparative Ethnic Studies Librarian at the UC Berkeley Ethnic Studies Library. They are passionate about working at the intersections of libraries, archives, and social justice.

LISTEN - Click to hear "Archives Of Justice and Abolition"

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Flyer for 9-27-2019 CRG Forum

The Place of Paris In Vietnamese Diasporic Fiction

09.27.2018| 4:00 – 5:30 PM |  691 Barrows Hall

Aimee Phan is one of a group of Vietnamese American writers whose recent work has grappled with the complex legacy of Paris as a site crucial to the Vietnamese diaspora and its imaginary.  In his presentation, Karl Ashoka Britto will discuss Phan’s The Reeducation of Cherry Truong, a novel that tells the story of a Vietnamese refugee family split between the United States and France.  He will consider in particular the ways in which Paris functions within Phan’s work both as a material presence—as the city in which the Truong branch of the title character’s family attempts to take root in exile—and as a floating signifier within the diasporic imagination. Whether in the title of the Paris by Night videos watched by the young Cherry and her cousins in California, or in the letters of Grandfather Truong—written from Paris but still filled with longing for the city of which he dreamt as a student in colonial Vietnam—Paris emerges in Phan’s novel as a central point of reference for the articulation of Vietnamese diasporic identity.  Britto will be joined by Aimee Phan, who will read from her novel and discuss the sources of inspiration that led to its writing.


Karl Ashoka Britto is Associate Professor of French and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Disorientation: France, Vietnam, and the Ambivalence of Interculturality, and is currently working on a project that considers the ways in which certain bodies, including those of the colonized soldier and the métis, trouble colonial systems of signification. Among other topics, he has published on memory in Vietnamese American literature and on colonial anxieties in early zombie movies. As a contributor to the online journal Public Books, he has written essays on a number of francophone and anglophone writers of the Vietnamese diaspora, including Aimee Phan, Kim Thúy, and Viet Thanh Nguyen.

Aimee Phan grew up in Orange County, California, and now teaches in the MFA Writing Program and Writing and Literature Program at California College of the Arts. A 2010 National Endowment of the Arts Creative Writing Fellow, Aimee received her MFA from the University of Iowa, where she won a Maytag Fellowship. Her first book, We Should Never Meet, was named a Notable Book by the Kiryama Prize in fiction and a finalist for the 2005 Asian American Literary Awards. She has received fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, MacDowell Arts Colony and Hedgebrook. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, USA Today, and Guernica, among others.

Hosted by CRG's Native/Immigrant/Refugee: Crossings Research Initiative, which is supported by Critical Refugee Studies, the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, the Institute of International Studies, Social Science Matrix and the Peder Sather Grant Program.

LISTEN - Click to hear "The Place of Paris In Vietnamese Diasporic Fiction"

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Flyer for 9-20-2018 CRG Forum

Navigating Borders and Violence: Indigenous Maya Families and Central American Children In Migration

09.27.2018| 4:00 – 5:30 PM |  820 Barrows Hall, Social Science Matrix

“It is a crime to be young here”: Violence against Minors in Central America, Mexico, and the United States
Leisy J. Abrego, Department of Chicana/o Studies, UCLA

US government officials have labeled Central American young people arriving in recent years as everything from representatives of a “humanitarian crisis” to a “threat to national security.” Under the current administration, the president has gone as far as to refer to them as “animals,” encouraging police to be “rough” when handling them, and separating them from their parents. Without geo-political and historical contextualization, this type of labeling and rhetoric presumes that Central Americans are inherently violent and crisis-ridden. Most importantly, it has consequences for how Central American youth are perceived and treated. In this presentation, I will explore the systematic practices of nation-states that fail to protect the human rights of migrant Central American children. With high crime rates and widespread impunity, home countries in northern Central America lack strong education and labor opportunities to keep young people occupied and healthy. Moreover, youth are criminalized and often put on pathways to gang involvement. Although the Mexican state has strong and protective laws on the books, in practice, authorities there fail to protect migrant Central American children while they are in transit. Since 2015, Mexico has been detaining and deporting more Central American children than the United States. Migrant youth who make it to the United States may find themselves in immigrant detention and then quickly deported or living through lengthy and uncertain asylum application processes. These multiple forms and locations of violence play key roles in determining the well-being and experiences of Central Americans.

Pedagogies of Migration/Reframing What It Means to Teach and Learn -- Indigenous Maya Families from Yucatán in California
Patricia Baquedano-López, Graduate School of Education, UC Berkeley

The growing presence of indigenous Maya students from Yucatan, Mexico, in K12 schools in California constitutes a recent demographic change of the last 10 years. Forced out of their lands as a result of Spanish colonial rule in the 15th Century, indigenous families in Yucatan continue to live within the structure of a colonial formation based on settler land appropriation now expanded into foreign corporation supports and the biopolitics of tourism. These forms of power have produced circuits of indigenous migration to global cities in the north as strategies of resistance and survival against continued processes of erasure and displacement. In this talk I draw from my linguistic and educational anthropological study at a K5 elementary school in northern California with a student body representing regions across Mexico and Central America and where roughly 25% of the student population is from Yucatan to discuss the ways that families manage school bureaucracies of the public education system and influence meanings and practices of education at the school. The families at the school resist homogenizing processes of “Latinization” and establish panethnic solidarity with other immigrant groups to enact, negotiate, and support pedagogies of migration — lessons that parents consider beneficial for their children to witness and learn and which highlight histories of migration, resistance, violence, and of inequalities at the hemispheric scale. At a time when the United States confronts head on its interventions of settler colonial complicity in Central America and Mexico, a closer look at how displaced indigenous families in migration seek a better education for their children can help amplify social and educational opportunities for these students in schools.

Leisy J. Abrego is Associate Professor in the Department of Chicana/o Studies at UCLA. Her research and teaching interests are in Central American migration, Latina/o families, inequalities created by gender, and the production of “illegality” through U.S. immigration laws. Her first book, Sacrificing Families: Navigating Laws, Labor, and Love Across Borders (Stanford University Press, 2014), examines the well-being of Salvadoran immigrants and their families—both in the United States and in El Salvador—as these are shaped by immigration policies and gendered expectations. Her second book, Immigrant Families (Polity Press, 2016), is co-authored with Cecilia Menjívar and Leah Schmalzbauer and delves deeply into the structural conditions contextualizing the diverse experiences of contemporary immigrant families in the United States. Her scholarship analyzing legal consciousness, illegality, and legal violence explores how different subsectors of Latino immigrants internalize and react to immigration policies in search of justice in the United States.

Patricia Baquedano-López is Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Education at UC Berkeley. Her work examines the intersection of language, race, and immigration in education. She currently co-directs a project examining processes of return migration experienced by transnational families in Yucatan and California. She is a core faculty member of the new Designated Emphasis in Indigenous Language Revitalization. She is co-editor of U.S. Latinos and Education Policy: ResearchBased Directions for Change and her work has appeared in several journals including the Review of Research in EducationBilingual Research JournalAnthropology and Education QuarterlyLinguistics and Education, the Annual Review of Anthropology, and in a variety of edited volumes.

Hosted by CRG's Native/Immigrant/Refugee: Crossings Research Initiative, which is supported by Critical Refugee Studies, the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, the Institute of International Studies, Social Science Matrix and the Peder Sather Grant Program.  Co-sponsored by the Latinx Research Center/Center for Latino Policy Research, Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies, Native American Studies, Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative, and Social Science Matrix. 

LISTEN - Click to hear "Navigating Borders and Violence: Indigenous Maya Families and Central American Children In Migration"

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Flyer for 9-13-2018 CRG Forum

Histories Of Empire and Transcolonial Circuits Of Freedom

09.13.2018| 4:00 – 5:30 PM |  691 Barrows Hall 

In 1768 a refugee man, woman, and her two children arrived on the shores of southern Cuba. Like dozens of people before them, they had escaped by boat from the horrors of sugar plantation slavery in British Jamaica, more than one hundred miles to the south. At the time, Spain had a policy offering religious asylum and manumission to escapees from slavery in the colonies of its Protestant imperial rivals. What did it mean to be a family of African descent, fleeing one slavery regime for another?  How did they and others like them fare? This study of the borders between British and Spanish empires and between slavery and freedom complicates traditional categories of immigrant and refugee. In doing so, it argues for the need to rethink our imagined geographies of African diaspora and the role of individuals in shaping them.

Conjuring Conspiracy: Racial Paranoia and Radical Sympathy
Poulomi Saha, Department of English

When, in 1925, members of the Jugantar, a secret revolutionary association in colonial India, who had previously been jailed for anticolonial activity were freed under the Bengal Criminal Law Amendment Act and began to conceive of what they believed to be a more effective strategy of anticolonial revolt than that of nonviolence promoted at the time by the mainstream Congress Party in Chittagong, they chose for themselves a new name: the Indian Republican Army (IRA). In so doing, they explicitly constructed a revolutionary genealogy from which their future actions were to draw inspiration, a direct link between the anticolonial revolt in East Bengal and the 1916 Easter Uprising in Ireland. The 1930 attack on the Chittagong Armoury, the first in a series of revolutionary actions taken on by the IRA, marked too the anniversary of the Irish rebellion. The very language of Irish revolt seeped into the practices of the Indian organization, as they smuggled illegal copies of the writings of Dan Breen and Eamon deValera, and began each meeting with a reading of the Proclamation of the Irish Provisional Government.

I want to suggest a relationship between these two anticolonial communities and another former holding of the British empire, the United States, in which an ideological and textual kinship illuminate transcolonial circuits by which a curiously shared revolutionary project, at once deeply local and insistently global. Rather than simply offer a historical account of those interconnections, I want to press upon the language of resurrection offered by the Easter date of these two uprisings to theorize a practice of reading revolutionary violence as perpetual, repetitive haunting, a politics of the undead. To argue for a historiographic live burial by which the violences of the past reappear in surprising, fleeting, and sometimes incongruous forms, disrupting the imperial promise of futurity and continuity. To argue for forms of radical sympathy that emerge, flourish, and stutter in an era of ethnonationalist constriction.

Elena Schneider is a historian of Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Atlantic World. She is an assistant professor in the Department of History, and her book The Occupation of Havana: War, Trade, and Slavery in the Atlantic World will be published this fall by the Omohundro Institute / University of North Carolina Press.

Poulomi Saha is Assistant Professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley. She is affiliated faculty in the Program in Critical Theory and teaches courses in postcolonial studies, gender and sexuality theory, and ethnic American literature. Her first book, An Empire of Touch: Feminine Political Labor & The Fabrication of East Bengal, 1905-2015, which was awarded the Helen Tartar First Book Subvention Prize by the American Comparative Literature Association in 2017, is forthcoming from Columbia University Press.

Hosted by CRG's Native/Immigrant/Refugee: Crossings Research Initiative, which is supported by Critical Refugee Studies, the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, the Institute of International Studies, Social Science Matrix and the Peder Sather Grant Program.