Scales of Resistance: Indigenous Women's Transborder Activism

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    Maylei Blackwell

    Publisher: Duke University Press

    Year: 2022

    Format: Paperback

    Size: 368 pages

    ISBN: 9781478017967

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In Scales of Resistance Maylei Blackwell narrates how Indigenous women’s activism in Mexico and its diaspora weaves in and between local, national, continental, and transborder scales. Drawing on more than seventy testimonials and twenty years of fieldwork spent accompanying Indigenous women activists, Blackwell focuses on how these activists navigate the blockages to their participation and transform exclusionary spaces into scales of resistance. Blackwell shows how activists in Mexico and those in the migrant stream that runs from Oaxaca into California redefined women’s roles in community decision-making. They did so by scaling down Indigenous autonomy to their own bodies, homes, and communities; grounding their political claims within Indigenous epistemologies and the gendered nature of social organization; and scaling up to regional, national, and continental contexts. This allowed them to place themselves at the heart of Indigenous resistance and autonomy, decolonizing gender hierarchies and creating new scales of participation. Blackwell reveals the importance of moving across different types of scale and contrasting colonial divisions of scale itself with Indigenous conceptions of scale, space, solidarity, and connection.
What People Are Saying

"In Scales of Resistance, Blackwell rethinks scale beyond solely its colonial and masculinist forms by centering Indigenous women’s organizing and geographies. By highlighting the work that Indigenous women (sometimes migrants) do at varying scales, as well as the creation of new scales based on their readings of power in different places and their own cosmovisions, Blackwell’s book is an important corrective to scalar analyses that invisibilize marginalized actors." Rebekah Kartal, Antipode

“The importance of Maylei Blackwell’s theoretical intervention and her ethnographic material cannot be overstated. Providing a new understanding of Indigenous migration and transnational organizing, Scales of Resistance will make an invaluable contribution to feminist studies, Native American and Indigenous studies, hemispheric American studies, Latinx studies, and critical ethnic studies.” María Josefina Saldaña-Portillo, author of Indian Given: Racial Geographies across Mexico and the United States

“Maylei Blackwell’s Scales of Resistance is essential reading for those of us interested in how Indigenous feminisms transform settler colonial histories across geographies, borders, families, and bodies. Her collection of eyewitness accounts, ethnographic interviews, and her analysis of interstitial and multiscalar political activisms in Mexico, from Oaxaca to California, testifies to how Indigenous women have organized throughout the Americas to transform scales of power into resistance.” Jodi A. Byrd, author of The Transit of Empire: Indigenous Critiques of Colonialism

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