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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Troubling Violence, Troubling Girlhood: Public Lecture: 22 May, Concordia University, H-429

Subject: Re: Public Lecture: 22 May, H-429

Lena Palacios' talk will be at 12:30pm, on Wednesday, 22 May, in Hall- 429,
Concordia University.

22 May, H-429

Public Lecture: Lena Palacios
"Troubling Violence, Troubling Girlhood: What does it mean to be a "girl"
in a "girl-led collective" organizing against sexual and state violence?"

In conjunction with the course "Feminism, Girls and Girlhoods"

Concordia University, H- 429 (Hall building)

22 May 2013

Abstract: This presentation highlights how the organizing of racialized,
disabled, queer, and gender non-conforming girls who represent the
communities most impacted by interlocking forms of interpersonal (namely
sexual violence) and state violence are at the forefront of developing
transformative justice models.
Negotiating criminal punishment systems, schools, media, activist
formations, neighborhoods, groups of friends, and families, girl-led
organizations build models for dealing with harm that do not rely on
exile, expulsion, or caging, but instead examine the root causes of harm
and seek to transform both victim and perpetuator. Beyond highlighting
these youth-driven collectives' transformative justice models, I focus on
how girls are trained—via a potent mixture of informal education, action
research, and media justice—to become "radical bridge builders"
who engage in intersectionality and intermovement praxis. After
identifying how racist, classist, patriarchal, and ableist frameworks
undergird institutions, many young women "learn in social action" how to
strategically maneuver between a multiplicity of social movements in order
to organize against sexual and state violence.

By centering these case studies of anti-violence and abolitionist activism
that contests colonial state control and surveillance undertaken by girls
and young women, I am ultimately working to problematize the very notion
of "girl" and "girlhood" as a colonial legacy privileging white,
upper-/middle-class, heterosexual, able girl bodies via Eurowestern
theories of normative child development that were and continue to be
violently imposed onto racialized, Indigenous and other minoritized girls.
I am to discuss resistance to the girl and girl-child category alongside
claims to girlhood for political projects (both girl-led and academic-led
initiatives). When do girls and young women resist "girlhood" and why?
When is it claimed and why? I ultimately argue that consideration of these
questions has everything to do with race, class, ability, sexuality, and
settler society standpoints.

Lastly, I will end this presentation with a short video essay about my own
"girlhood" entitled "Shadow Boxing: A Chicana's Journey from Vigilante
Violence to Transformative Justice". In it, I chart my journey from
wanting revenge against an individual—starting when I was a little girl—to
organizing collectively against interlocking forms of institutional
violence—starting as a young woman recently released from juvenile lock-up
in 1990s California. I speak from multiple intersections as a queer mixed
race Chicana from an urban, working-class background who is a survivor of
sexual violence, an anti-violence activist, and a prison abolitionist.

Lena Palacios is a Joint PhD Candidate in Educational Studies and
Communication Studies (Graduate Option in Gender and Women's Studies),
Department of Integrated Studies in Education & Art History Communication
Studies, McGill University, Montreal, QC.

Bio: I am a queer Chicana originally from San Francisco who is currently a
PhD candidate in Education and Communication Studies at McGill University.
I am the co-founder and project coordinator of the Life After Life
collective dedicated to the decriminalization of formerly incarcerated
girls, women, queer and trans youth.

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