Please join us at the Jan Monk Distinguished Lecture: Irreconcilable Differences? A feminist postcolonial reading of gender, development and Human Rights in Latin America at the AAG Annual Meeting.
Date and Time: Thursday, 3/31/2016, from 10:00 AM – 11:40 AM
Location: Golden Gate 2, Hilton Hotel, Lobby Level; San Francisco, CA
Sponsorship: Geographic Perspectives on Women Specialty Group
Peter E. Hopkins – Newcastle University
Sharlene L. Mollett – University of Toronto
Session Description: Over the last year, the United Nations set in motion two mandates: The International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (2016-2030). While these mandates seemingly align, particularly regarding gender equity and human rights, the invocation of equality and universal prescriptions, in fact, collide against the reality of a persistent emplacement of Afro-descendant communities as less-than-human. In this discussion, I draw insight from postcolonial feminist political ecology to unveil fundamental tensions underpinning these UN mandates and the concomitant development ideologies they embrace and exemplify. With a focus on Afro-descendant women’s land struggles in Latin America, I present a historicized, discursive and ethnographically informed reading of development thinking, shaped predominately from the histories, voices and writings of Afro-descendant and indigenous women scholars and activists. In turn, I employ an array of UN agency reports and agreements, key land and territorial policies, news media and secondary resources to trace a genealogy of gendered logics that, I maintain, dehumanize Afro-descendant peoples and places in the name of development. Notwithstanding and contemporaneously, from these struggles emerge a rich array of spatially grounded knowledges that center the embodied meanings of intersectionality, the mutual constitution of indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples’ space, and the gendering of collective struggles over natural resources. Thus, in Latin America, I argue that Afro-descendant women lead a material and symbolic process of place-making that prioritizes life through struggles over gendered dispossession and the right to be human.