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Coloniality of the US/Mexico Border

Power, Violence, and the Decolonial Imperative



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Coloniality of the US/Mexico Border by Roberto D. Hernandez

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National borders are often taken for granted as normal and necessary for a peaceful and orderly global civil society. Roberto D. Hernandez here advances a provocative argument that borders-and border violence-are geospatial manifestations of long histories of racialized and gendered colonial violence. In Coloniality of the U-S/Mexico Border, Hernandez offers an exemplary case and lens for understanding what he terms the ""epistemic and cartographic prison of modernity/coloniality."" He adopts ""coloniality of power"" as a central analytical category and framework to consider multiple forms of real and symbolic violence (territorial, corporeal, cultural, and epistemic) and analyzes the varied responses by diverse actors, including local residents, government officials, and cultural producers. Based on more than twenty years of border activism in San Diego-Tijuana and El Paso-Ciudad Juarez, this book is an interdisciplinary examination that considers the 1984 McDonald's massacre, Minutemen vigilantism, border urbanism, the ongoing murder of women in Ciudad Juarez, and anti-border music. Hernandez's approach is at once historical, ethnographic, and theoretically driven, yet grounded in analyses and debates that cut across political theory, border studies, and cultural studies. The volume concludes with a theoretical discussion of the future of violence at-and because of-national territorial borders, offering a call for epistemic and cartographic disobedience.

Author Biography

Roberto D. Hernandez is an associate professor in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at San Diego State University, where he teaches comparative border studies and decolonial theory. He co-edited Decolonizing the Westernized University: Interventions in Philosophy of Education from Within and Without.
Release date NZ
October 30th, 2018
Country of Publication
United States
16 Black & white illustrations, 3 maps
University of Arizona Press
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