Black Feminism, The Carceral State, and Abolition

Thursday, May 19, 2016
4:00 - 6:00pm
Royce Hall 314

Presented by: Sarah Haley, UCLA, Gender Studies

with Discussant: Mariame Kaba, Founder and Director of Project NIA

                           Dayo Gore, UCSD, Ethnic Studies



About the Talk:

Drawing upon black feminist criticism and a diverse array of archival materials, Sarah Haley’s No Mercy Here: Gender, Punishment, and the Making of Jim Crow Modernity illuminates black women’s experiences of imprisonment in the South to uncover how gendered regimes of incarceration were crucial to the making of Jim Crow modernity. No Mercy Here examines the brutalization of imprisoned women in local, county, and state convict labor systems, while also situating them within the black radical tradition by illuminating practices of resistance, refusal, and sabotage that challenged ideologies of racial capitalism and patriarchy, offering alternative conceptions of social and political life and envisioning a world beyond prisons.



About the Speaker:


Sarah received her PhD in African American Studies and American Studies from Yale University in 2010 and was a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University's Center for African American Studies from 2010-2011. Over the past several years she has also worked in the labor movement, organizing in the academic and hospitality sectors. Sarah began her position as Assistant Professor of Gender Studies and Ralph J. Bunche Center Faculty Associate in Fall 2011. Sarah is currently writing a book entitled Engendering Captivity: Black Women and Punishment in Georgia After the Civil War, which examines the lives of imprisoned women in the U.S. South in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This study examines regimes of gendered racial terror, the construction and development of racialized gender categories, and individual and collective resistance practices. This manuscript expands the research and analysis of her dissertation, which was awarded the 2010 Lerner-Scott Dissertation Prize in U.S. Women's History from the Organization of American Historians. Sarah's research interests include black feminist theory, African American and Women's history, labor and working-class studies, and critical carceral studies. This year, she will teach courses on black women's history and the United States carceral system.


Mariame Kaba is the founding director of Project NIA. From 2004 to 2009, she was a program officer at the Steans Family Foundation where her work focused on education, youth development and evaluation.


Mariame has been active in the anti-violence against women and girls movement since 1989. Her experience includes coordinating emergency shelter services at Sanctuary for Families in New York City, serving as the co-chair of the Women of Color Committee at the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women's Network, working as the prevention and education manager at Friends of Battered Women and their Children (now called Between Friends), serving on the founding advisory board of the Women and Girls Collective Action Network (WGCAN) and being a member of Incite! Women of Color against Violence. Mariame was also a member of the editorial board of the journal Violence against Women from January 2003-December 2008. She is the co-editor [along with Michelle VanNatta] of a special issue of the journal about teen girls' experiences of and resistance to violence published in December 2007.


Mariame was the primary adult ally and co-founder of the Rogers Park Young Women's Action Team. She has served on several boards and is proud to be a founding member and founding board chair of the Chicago Freedom School. Mariame considers herself above all to be a social justice educator. She has taught high school and college students in New York City and in Chicago. She has developed and taught courses about the history of black education, youth violence, urban education, and contemporary social issues at Northeastern Illinois University and at Northwestern University.


Mariame has written and published several articles and essays about urban education, youth leadership, and the significance of hair in the black community. She co-authored the Status of Girls in Illinois report along with Melissa Spatz and Michelle Vannatta. Most recently, Mariame has published a series of neighborhood-specific juvenile justice data snapshots and co-authored a report about juvenile arrests in Chicago titled "Arresting Justice" (with Caitlin Patterson).




Dayo F. Gore is an Associate Professor in the Ethnic Studies Department and Critical Gender Studies at the University of California, San Diego. She received her Ph.D. in History from New York University and has previously taught at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Professor Gore’s research interests include Black Women’s Intellectual History; U.S. Political and Cultural Activism; African Diasporic Politics; and Women, Gender and Sexuality studies. She is the author of Radicalism at the Crossroads: African American Women Activists in the Cold War (which is just out in paperback) and editor of Want to Start of Revolution: Radical Women in the Black Freedom Struggle. Professor Gore’s work has been supported by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University, and the Tamiment Library’s Center for the United States and the Cold War. Her current research projects include a study of African American women’s transnational travels and activism in the long Twentieth Century.


Dr. Gore’s research interests include African American Women's history; U.S. Political and Cultural Activism; African American and the African Diaspora politics; and Gender and Sexuality studies. Her monograph Radicalism at the Crossroads: African American Women Activists in the Cold War (2011) traces the political activism of a community of black women radicals operating within the U.S. left from the 1930s through the early Cold War and the social movement of the 1960s.



This event is presented by the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor & Employment and cosponsored by the Center for the Study of Women, Department of Gender Studies, Department of African American Studies, Institute of American Cultures, and the Bunche Center for African American Studies