Geographies of Activism: Cartographic Memory and Community Practices of Care
Colloquium | March 15 | 4-5:30 p.m. | 2538 Channing (Inst. for the Study of Societal Issues), Wildavsky Conference Room
Juan Herrera, Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies, School of Language, Culture, and Society, Oregon State University
Chris Zepeda-Millán, Assistant Professor, Chair of the Center for Research on Social Change (CRSC), Comparative Ethnic Studies, Chicano/Latino Studies, UC Berkeley
Less visible than 1960s Chicano Movement protest politics of sit-ins, marches, and boycotts are the Mexican American activists who created community-based organizations by enlisting residents in neighborhood improvement projects. Drawing from oral histories of 1960s activists from Oaklands Fruitvale district, Professor Herrera shows how they consolidated a robust politics of placeestablishing institutions that transformed the urban landscape and fashioned lasting commitments to social justice. He argues that the work of remembering 1960s activism is a cartographic process that draws attention to the social movement production of space. His concept of cartographic memory is a practice deployed by activists and an analytic to interpret how and why they defined their activities though the invocation and graphing of space. Activists cartographic recollections were fundamentally political claims to power that operated through space. Their memories served as a central device to bring into focus the transformative and experimental aspects of the Chicano movement, and its enduring impacts.