My scholarship shares how past or present creative energy sparks efforts by grassroots groups, unions, faith communities, movements, and states to configure liberation. My work’s purpose is to uplift the historical geography of the future – where people materialize consciousness and forge solidarity by organizing and extending green, red, and internationalist place-making.
Ruth Wilson Gilmore is Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences and Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the City University of New York Graduate Center. In 2021 Gilmore was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
A co-founder of many grassroots organizations including California Prison Moratorium Project, Critical Resistance, and the Central California Environmental Justice Network, Gilmore works on racial capitalism; organized violence; organized abandonment; and abolition as a green, red, and internationalist project of liberation. She is author of Abolition Geography: Essays Towards Liberation (2022); and Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California (2007). With Paul Gilroy she co-edited Stuart Hall: Selected Writings on Race and Difference (2021). One forthcoming project is Change Everything: Racial Capitalism and the Case for Abolition.
Racial, gender, and environmental justice. Class war. Militarism. Interpersonal violence. Old age security. This is not the vocabulary many use to critique the prison-industrial complex.
Abolition Geography offers a geographical grasp of how contemporary racial capitalism operates through an “anti-state state” that answers crises with the organized abandonment of people and environments deemed surplus to requirement.
In an informed and impassioned account, Ruth Wilson Gilmore examines this issue through statewide, rural, and urban perspectives to explain how the expansion developed from surpluses of finance capital, labor, land, and state capacity.
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