SOAN Spring 2019 Colloquium, Part I
Date: 1:50pm PST February 25 Location: JRH 121
SOAN Department Colloquium, Part I
Underground Publishing Networks and Autonomous Politics in Latin America
Presented by Magalí Rabasa
Over the past two decades, Latin America has seen an explosion of autonomous social movements, as people across the continent express their refusal to be absorbed by the logic and order of neoliberalism. The autonomous movements of the twenty-first century are marked by an unprecedented degree of interconnection, through their use of digital tools and their insistence on the importance of producing knowledge about their practices through strategies of self-representation and grassroots theorization. Alongside the new movements there has been a massive growth in underground book publishing projects that work to help the movements circulate their ideas and create a dialogue with their counterparts in other places. The result of several years of participatory ethnographic research with activists, writers, and presses in Mexico, Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile, the forthcoming monograph The Book in Movement: Autonomous Politics and the Lettered City Underground (Univ of Pittsburgh Press, 2019) is an ethnography of the print book in these networks of radical social movements. In it, Rabasa argues that the books the movements and the underground presses create are “organic books,” because their materiality and their processes of production and circulation are indeed organic to the political ideas and practices that the texts themselves describe. This particular chapter explores the ways that the “organic books” produced by and for social movements travel widely through decentralized networks of presses and alternative approaches to intellectual property.
* Magalí Rabasa is Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies in the Department of World Languages & Literatures at Lewis & Clark College. She joined the faculty at LC, where she also teaches in Ethnic Studies, Latin American Studies, and Gender Studies, in 2016. She received her PhD in Cultural Studies with an emphasis in Feminist Theory & Research from the University of California, Davis in 2014. Over the last decade, she has worked extensively with alternative media and popular education projects across the Americas.