Monday, March 23, 2020
Ruth Wilson Gilmore, professor of earth & environmental sciences and director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the City University of New York Graduate Center and author of "Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California," explores how visions of abolition guide and connect organizing across a range of social justice struggles. Examples highlight environmental justice, public sector labor unions, farm workers, undocumented households, criminalized youth, and community based approaches to prevent and resolve gender and interpersonal violence. The vivid stories show that abolition is a practical program for urgent change based in the needs, talents, and dreams of vulnerable people.
Ruth Wilson Gilmore is professor of earth & environmental sSciences and director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the City University of New York Graduate Center. A co-founder of many grassroots organizations including California Prison Moratorium Project, Critical Resistance, and the Central California Environmental Justice Network, she works on racial capitalism, organized violence, organized abandonment, changing state structure, criminalization, labor and social movements, and abolition. Current projects include a second edition of the prize-winning "Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California." Recent publications include “Beyond Bratton” (Policing the Planet, Camp and Heatherton, eds.), and “Abolition Geography and the Problem of Innocence” (Futures of Black Radicalism, Lubin and Johnson, eds.), a foreword to a new collection of work by Cedric Robinson.
Gilmore has lectured in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. Honors include the American Studies Association Angela Y. Davis Award for Public Scholarship (2012); the Association of American Geographers Harold Rose Award for Anti-Racist Research and Practice (2014); the SUNY-Purchase College Eugene V. Grant Distinguished Scholar Prize for Social and Environmental Justice (2015-16); the American Studies Association Richard A Yarborough Mentorship Award (2017); and the Association of American Geographers Lifetime Achievement Award (2020). Novelist Rachel Kushner profiled Gilmore in a New York Times Magazine feature on abolition (April 2019).
Professor Gilmore's Athenaeum presentation is a part of the series highlighting the Justice Education Initiative at The Claremont Colleges.
Photo credit: Don Usner