Tuesday, June 21, 2022

From The Bookshelves: Open Hand, Closed Fist by Kathryn Abrams


Kathryn ("Kathy") Abrams is the Herma Hill Kay Distinguished Professor of Law at Berkeley Law. She is most well known for her work on feminist jurisprudence. But, come August 2022, that will change somewhat with the release of Abrams' forthcoming book, Open Hand, Closed Fist: Practices of Undocumented Organizing in a Hostile State. Here's the pitch:

How does a group that lacks legal status organize its members to become effective political activists? In the early 2000s, Arizona's campaign of "attrition through enforcement" aimed to make life so miserable for undocumented immigrants that they would "self-deport." Undocumented activists resisted hostile legislation, registered thousands of new Latino voters, and joined a national movement to advance justice for immigrants. Drawing on five years of observation and interviews with activists in Phoenix, Arizona, Kathryn Abrams explains how the practices of storytelling, emotion cultures, and performative citizenship fueled this grassroots movement. Together these practices produced both the "open hand" (the affective bonds among participants) and the "closed fist" (the pragmatic strategies of resistance) that have allowed the movement to mobilize and sustain itself over time.

The book is available for pre-order now.



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