Author Christina Heatherton, Robyn C. Spencer-Antoine, and Sónia Vaz Borges discuss Heatherton’s book: Arise! Global Radicalism in the Era of the Mexican Revolution. (University of California Press, 2022)
The Mexican Revolution was a global event that catalyzed international radicals in unexpected sites and struggles. Following figures like Black American artist Elizabeth Catlett, Indian anti-colonial activist M.N. Roy, Mexican revolutionary leader Ricardo Flores Magón, Okinawan migrant organizer Paul Shinsei Kōchi, and Soviet feminist Alexandra Kollontai, Arise! reveals how activists found inspiration and solidarity in revolutionary Mexico. From art collectives and farm worker strikes to prison “universities,” Arise! considers how disparate revolutionary traditions merged in unanticipated alliances. Drawing on prison records, surveillance data, oral histories, visual art, and a rich trove of untapped sources, Christina Heatherton charts how radicals in the era forged an anti-racist internationalism from below.
About the speakers:
Christina Heatherton is the Elting Associate Professor of American Studies and Human Rights at Trinity College. She is the author of Arise! Global Radicalism in the Era of the Mexican Revolution (University of California Press, 2022). For two decades she has been working with social movements to produce collaborative works of political and popular education, including Policing the Planet: Why the Policing Crisis Led to Black Lives Matter (Verso, 2016), co-edited with Jordan T. Camp. She currently co-directs the Trinity Social Justice Initiative.
Robyn C. Spencer-Antoine is a historian that focuses on Black social protest after World War II, urban and working-class radicalism, and gender. Her book The Revolution Has Come: Black Power, Gender, and the Black Panther Party in Oakland was published in 2016. She is co-founder of the Intersectional Black Panther Party History Project and has written widely on gender and Black Power. Her writings have appeared in the Journal of Women’s History and Souls as well as The Washington Post, Vibe Magazine, Colorlines, and Truthout. She has received awards for her work from the Mellon foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies and the Association of Black Women Historians. Her latest work focuses on the intersections between the movement for Black liberation and the movement against the US war in Vietnam. In addition, she is working on biographies of both Angela Davis and Patricia Murphy Robinson. She created @PATarchives on Instagram to spotlight the ways that the items in Black left theorist Patricia Murphy Robinson’s unprocessed home archives reframe the Black Radical Tradition. www.robyncspencer.com
Sónia Vaz Borges is an interdisciplinary militant historian and social-political organizer. Her book Militant Education, Liberation Struggle, Consciousness: The PAIGC education program in Guinea Bissau 1963-1978 (Peter Lang, 2019). As part of this research, Vaz Borges co-authored two short films Navigating the Pilot School (2016) and Mangrove School (2022). She is currently teaching at Drexel University in Philadelphia and developing a new project focused on her concept of the walking archive and the processes of memory and imagination.
This event was organized and sponsored by the Center for Place, Culture and Politics and the Mexican Studies Group at the CUNY Graduate Center.