CCIS Lab/ WGSS Speaker Series, "Feminicidio, Narcoviolence, Profit and the Feminist Fight on Mexico’s Border"

A talk by Prof. Melissa Wright, Penn State University
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
6-8 PM

The fight against impunity continues along Mexico’s border, especially in the industrial hub of Ciudad Juarez. In the 1990s, feminists brought this fight to international attention as they launched a transnational justice movement against feminicidio, the killing of women with impunity. In this presentation, I create a feminist and Marxist frame to show that there is much to be learned from the fight against feminicidio for the ongoing struggles in a border city that is now also infamous for juvenicidio, the killing of youth with impunity, and that is occurring in relation to the Mexican government’s declaration of war against organized crime. By situating these justice struggles within a context of North American securitization and neoliberal gentrification along the Mexico-US border, I argue that the feminist fight against impunity exposes the synergy of symbolic and material processes within the drug war. And I argue that this synergy seeks to generate value through the extermination of whole populations, especially of working poor women and their families, in this border city today.   

About the Speaker:

Melissa W. Wright is a professor of Geography and of Women’s Studies at The Pennsylvania State University. Her research investigates the formation of political subjects at the nexus of capitalist exploitation, the making of social movements and the experience of state-sanctioned violence along the Mexico-US border. Her publications include, “Necropolitics, Narcopolitics, and Femicide: Gendered Violence on the  Mexico-U.S. Border,” in Signs (2011) and  Disposable Women and Other Myths of Global Capitalism (2006, Routledge), in addition to a number of articles in geography, cultural studies and feminist journals.  Her current collaborative research investigates how daily experience of violence and militarization affect la vida fronteriza (“the border life”) along both sides of the Mexico-US border.


This talk is offered as part of the Consortium for Critical Interdisciplinary Studies (CCIS) Critical Inquiry Lab, "Gender and Empire,"  a new inter and cross-disciplinary teaching model that uses linked courses to expand the category-disturbing rubrics investigated in the Minor/Concentration in Race and Ethnic Studies (ICORE/MORE) and to initiate deeper and broader scholarly conversations about core ideas/topics/themes that require interdisciplinary investigation. This year's Lab links Prof. Neferti Tadiar's (Barnard Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies) course, WMST W4303 Gender, Globalization and Empire, with Prof. Anupama Rao's (Barnard History) History course, HIST BC3803 Gender and Empire. The talk is co-sponsored by the Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies as part of its Speaker Series, Spring 2013.


Sponsored by:
Consortium for Critical Interdisciplinary Studies (CCIS)
Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies (WGSS)

Feb. 1, 2013 - 6:00 PM