Geographies of Activism: Cartographic Memory and Community Practices of Care

Colloquium | March 7 | 3:30-5 p.m. | 575 McCone Hall

 Juan Herrera, University of California Los Angeles

 Department of Geography

Social movements mobilize to make changes in actually existing geographies. But far more than space being just a surface upon which social movements evolve, this presentation posits that social movements take part in the production of space. Drawing from oral histories of 1960s activists from Oakland’s Fruitvale district, I argue that the work of remembering activism is a cartographic process that draws attention to the social movement production of space. My 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. I show how 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.

Juan Herrera is Assistant Professor of Geography at UCLA. He earned his PhD in 2013 from UC Berkeley in Comparative Ethnic Studies. From 2013-2015 he served as a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the department of Chicana/o Studies at UCLA. He specializes in the fields of Latino migration, comparative race/ethnicity, and urban studies. Herrera is currently working on a book manuscript entitled ‘‘Care Is Political: Social Movement Activism and the Production of Space.” His work can be found in Du Bois Review, Latino Studies, and Social Justice., 510-642-3903