Abolitionist Intimacies

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Jones, Eluned
abolition , prison studies , decolonial studies , anti-Blackness , Black feminism , Black resistance , Arts-based scholarship
Abolitionist Intimacies is a work in three parts that addresses scholarly, creative, and community dimensions of abolitionist thought, organizing, and resistance. The first section explores abolitionist theorizing and praxis in Canada through a theoretical lens of prison studies, autoethnography, decolonial studies, Black feminism, and Indigenous knowledges. As both subject and method of the dissertation, I engage ideas of intimacy and their practices through their relationship to state violence at carceral sites including prisons, policing, borders, as well as through purported care institutions such as hospitals and social work. I contrast state policing of intimacy through mechanisms such as the prison visit, strip search, and managing community contact with incarcerated people to the building of intimacy through relationships and organizing with people inside. The history of the prison in Canada and its ongoing relationship to settler-colonialism, anti-Blackness, classism, ableism, homophobia and transphobia, and transmisogyny and sexism are theorized in relationship to the ongoing struggles of prisoners for justice and liberation. The second section of the work, Canada is so Polite, is a poetic, creative non-fiction and journalistic exploration of state violence in Canada; activist resistance to criminalization, policing, and deportation; as well as a personal exploration of family histories of colonialism and my own relationship to and location within the settler state that is Canada. In four movements, the book explores sites of advocacy and organizing against confinement and deportation; my personal histories and perspectives as a Black woman and daughter; sites of encounter with settler-colonialism such as statues, military conferences, and social cultures; and activist and abolitionist futures. In the final section, I explore the personal and communal commitments that work towards building an abolitionist ethic based in collective principle and care.
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