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- ItemBetween Success and Failure: Dwelling with Social Movements in the Hiatus(2013) Khasnabish, Alex; Haiven, MaxThis article explores the ways social movement “successes” and “failures” are conceived of and measured, particularly in relation to research that strives to act in solidarity with such movements . Reviewing some of the best examples of politically - engaged research , we contend that even these assume normative categories of “success” and “failure” with respect to both move ment and research outcomes. Drawing on o ur work in the Radical Imagination Project, a politically - e ngaged social movement research project in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, we argue that social movements typically dwell not at the poles of the success/failure binary but in the “hiatus” between “not - success” and “not - failure.” We contend that a more dynamic mapping of social movement success an d failure produces a richer and more robust und erstanding of social movements, the significance of their activity, and social change. This reconceptualization and remapping of success and failure also has important implications for the way researchers seek ing to work in solidarity with social movements can productively reimagine their own measures of succes s and failure .
- ItemConvoking the Radical Imagination: Social Movement Research, Dialogic Methodologies and Scholarly Vocations(2012) Khasnabish, Alex; Haiven, MaxThis article reflects critically on “The Radial Imagination: A Research Project About Movements, Social Change, and the Future,” an engaged social movement research project conducted with self-identified “radical” activists in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. In so doing, the authors explore a research strategy that seeks not merely to observe the radical imagination—the ability to envision and work toward better futures—but to convoke it: to mobilize the singular location of academic inquiry to create a research environment within which the radical imagination can be better understood. Through a critical examination of the project’s theoretical architecture and methodological framework the authors investigate the promises, possibilities, and difficulties implicated in critical social movement research carried out through a strategy of convocation, contrasting it with more conventional approaches to social movement research.
- ItemAn Echo That Reechoes: Transnational Activism and the Resonance of Zapatismo(2006) Khasnabish, AlexIn this paper I examine the resonance of Zapatismo amongst political activists in Canada and the United States. Specifically, I look at how and why activists in Canada and the US have been galvanized by the Zapatista struggle and how it shapes their own political practices and struggles within contexts far removed from Chiapas, Mexico. Rather than signaling the birth of a new internationalism, I argue that the intersection of Zapatismo with diverse communities of North American activists has yielded unanticipated and even powerful results, many of which are predicated on a new kind of political imagination. Often explicitly, these political projects aim at articulating various forms of “autonomy” and interconnectedness in relation to the new neoliberal world order by melding novel political, aesthetic, and cultural approaches to activism, a melding which speaks to the deep and complex impact of Zapatismo upon the search for new political spaces and practices.
- ItemMoments of Coincidence Exploring the Intersection of Zapatismo and Independent Labour in Mexico(Critique of Anthropology, 2004-09) Khasnabish, AlexThis article is an examination of what I have termed the ‘moment of coincidence’ between the Zapatista movement and elements of the independent labour movement in Mexico. While the indigenous guerrillas of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation have remained militarily confined to isolated areas of the Mexican state of Chiapas since their uprising in January of 1994, Zapatismo has extended far beyond the boundaries of the state. In this article, I consider the nature, extent and limits of the linkages which have emerged between the Zapatista movement and sectors of the independent labour movement. This work is a preliminary attempt to illuminate the capacity of diverse social movements, each with their own tactics, agendas and goals, to ‘coincide’ or intersect with one another without sacrificing their individual autonomy, and what such a moment might signify with respect to the search for alternative political formations and forms of struggle.
- ItemSubterranean Currents: Research and the Racial Imagination in the Age of Austerity(2014) Khasnabish, Alex
- Item“They Are Our Brothers and Sisters”: Why Zapatismo Matters to Independent Labour in Mexico.(2005) Khasnabish, AlexIn this paper I seek to illuminate the bases upon which the Mexican independent labour movement and the indigenous Zapatista movement have been able to engage in a politics of accompaniment, a politics based on mutual respect and support without sacrificing autonomy or difference. I examine how this intersection emerged, the grounds that make it possible, and the significance of such an intersection for the Zapatistas and independent labour. This analysis is also an attempt to explore political relationships and possibilities that transgress traditionally understood boundaries and to begin to imagine new relationships and ways of envisioning and practicing politics.
- Item"Zones of Conflict": Exploring the Ethics of Anthropology in Dangerous Spaces(2004) Khasnabish, AlexIn recent years, anthropologists have become increasingly involved in work surrounding issues of human rights democracy, social justice, and conflict. In doing so, ethical questions concerning the authority, obligations, and, most broadly, the role of anthropologists working in areas and with populations experiencing circumstances of violence, suffering, and oppression have come to the fore. The central theme of this paper is to engage the ethics of not only doing fieldwork in such places and with people experiencing these social realities, but to also consider whether it might be considered an "ethical imperative" on the part of anthropologists to conduct such work. Ultimately, I intend to address the conflicted ethics of anthropology conducted in dangerous spaces and to confront the concept of an "anthropology of liberation" and what it signifies for the discipline and its practitioners both as an academic endeavour and as a field of practice which is profoundly and intimately enmeshed in the often harsh realities of human existence.