Aída Hernández Castillo will present her new book, Multiple InJustices: Indigenous Women, Law, and Political Struggle in Latin America. The presentation will be followed by a discussion with two colleagues of Aída's and a Q&A with the audience.
R. Aída Hernández Castillo is a professor and senior researcher at the Center for Research and Advanced Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS) in Mexico City. Born in Ensenada, California, she began her professional life at age eighteen as a journalist in a Central American press agency. She is the author of twenty-two books and the recipient of the Martin Diskin Oxfam Award for activist research. Her most recent publication is titled “Multiple InJustices” in which she synthesizes twenty-four years of activism and research among indigenous women’s organizations in Latin America.
About the book:
The last two decades have witnessed two political transformations that have deeply affected the lives of the indigenous peoples of Latin America: First, a discourse on indigeneity has emerged that links local struggles across the continent with transnational movements whose core issues are racism and political and cultural rights. Second, recent constitutional reforms in several countries recognize the multicultural character of Latin American countries and the legal pluralism that necessarily follows.
Multiple InJustices synthesizes R. Aída Hernández Castillo’s twenty-four years of activism and research among indigenous women’s organizations in Latin America. As both feminist and critical anthropologist, Hernández Castillo analyzes the context of legal pluralism wherein the indigenous women of Mexico, Guatemala, and Colombia struggle for justice. Through ethnographical research in community, state, and international justice, she reflects on the possibilities and limitations of customary, national, and international law for indigenous women.
Colonialism, racism, and patriarchal violence have been fundamental elements for the reproduction of capitalism, Hernández Castillo asserts. Only a social policy that offers economic alternatives based on distribution of wealth and a real recognition of cultural and political rights of indigenous peoples can counter the damage of outside forces such as drug cartels on indigenous lands.
Hernández Castillo concludes that the theories of indigenous women on culture, tradition, and gender equity--as expressed in political documents, event reports, public discourse, and their intellectual writings--are key factors in the decolonization of Latin American feminisms and social justice for all.
Discussants for this presentation:
María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo is a Professor with the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis and the Center for for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at NYU. Her book, Indian Given: Racial Geographies across Mexico and the United States, compares racial formation in the two countries from the colonial period to the present through historical, discursive, and textual analysis (Duke UP 2016). Saldaña-Portillo co-edited Des/posesión: Género, territorio, y luchas por la autodeterminación with Marisa Belausteguigoitia Rius on indigenous women's leadership roles in the global struggle to defend their territories (UNAM 2015). In The Revolutionary Imagination in the Americas and the Age of Development, Saldaña-Portillo analyzes the discursive complicity between Mesoamerican revolutionary movements and economic development discourse to elucidate the failure of these movements to understand their constituencies (Duke 2003). She has published over twenty-five articles in U.S. and Latin America on revolutionary subjectivity, subaltern politics, indigenous peoples, racial formation, and Latin American and Latino cultural studies.
Pamela Calla, an anthropologist, is Clinical Associate Professor at the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University and director of the Observatory on Racism of the Universidad de la Cordillera in La Paz, Bolivia. Currently she also co-coordinates the "Network of Observatories on Racism in the Americas", an initiative launched by the Universidad de la Cordillera and the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, University of Texas. She is the author of works on race, racism, gender, sexism, ethnicity, interculturality and state formation in Bolivia and coeditor of Antropología del Estado: Dominación y prácticas contestatarias en America Latina. She was an Associate Researcher of the "The State of the State in Bolivia", a project ofthe Informe sobre Desarrollo Humano, 2007, United Nations Development Project and coeditor and author of Observando el Racismo: Racismo y Regionalismo en el Proceso Constituyente Boliviano, Agenda Defensorial No. 11 and 13, Defensor del Pueblo and Universidad de la Cordillera.
Melissa M. Forbis is a cultural anthropologist and an assistant professor with the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Sociology at Stony Brook University. She has published book chapters and articles on gender and indigenous rights in Latin America. Her most recent publications are “The Zapatistas at 20: Insurgent Indigeneity, Territorial Autonomy, and Decolonization” (Journal of Settler Colonial Studies 2016) and “Teoría y praxis de las mujeres indígenas: Descolonización y los límites de la ciudadanía,” with Patricia L. Richards in Mujeres y Pueblos Originarios: luchas y resistencias en la descolonización de las relaciones de género, ed. Andrea Álvarez Díaz and Millaray Painemal Morales (Santiago, Chile: Pehuén Editores 2016). Her book manuscript, In Zapatista Rebel Territory: The Politics of Autonomy, Gender, and Solidarity, is a collaborative ethnography spanning 20 years of the Zapatista movement focusing on the process of constructing territorial autonomy, gendered struggles, state violence, and relationships with non-Zapatista solidarity activists.
This event is free and open to the public. A valid ID is required to enter the building.