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  1. Asylum, Credible Fear Tests, and Colonial Violence.Elena Ruíz & Ezgi Sertler - manuscript
    A credible fear test is an in-depth interview process given to undocumented people of any age arriving at a U.S. port of entry to determine qualification for asylum-seeking. Credible fear tests as a typical immigration procedure demonstrate not only what structural epistemic violence looks like but also how this violence lives in and through the design of asylum policy. Key terms of credible fear tests such as “significant possibility,” “evidence,” “consistency,” and “credibility” can never be neutral in the context of (...)
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  2. Structural Trauma.Elena Ruíz - forthcoming - Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism 20 (2).
    This paper addresses the phenomenological experience of precarity and vulnerability in racialized gender-based violence from a structural perspective. Informed by Indigenous social theory and anti-colonial approaches to intergenerational trauma that link settler colonial violence to the modalities of stress-inducing social, institutional, and cultural violences in marginalized women’s lives, I argue that philosophical failures to understand trauma as a functional, organizational tool of settler colonial violence amplify the impact of traumatic experience on specific populations. It is trauma by design. I explore (...)
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  3. Women of Color Structural Feminisms.Elena Ruíz - forthcoming - In Shirley-Anne Tate (ed.), The Palgrave Handbook on Critical Race And Gender.
    One way to track the many critical impacts of women of color feminisms is through the powerful structural analyses of gendered and racialized oppression they offer. This article discusses diverse lineages of women of color feminisms in the global South that tackle systemic structures of power and domination from their situated perspectives. It offers an introduction to structuralist theories in the humanities and differentiates them from women of color feminist theorizing, which begins analyses of structures from embodied and phenomenological st¬¬andpoints--with (...)
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  4. Postcolonial and Decolonial Feminisms.Elena Ruíz - forthcoming - In The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Philosophy.
    In recent years postcolonial and decolonial feminisms have become increasingly salient in philosophy, yet they are often deployed as conceptual stand-ins for generalized feminist critiques of eurocentrism (without reference to the material contexts anti-colonial feminisms emanate from), or as a platform to re-center internal debates between dominant European theories/ists under the guise of being conceptually ‘decolonized’. By contrast, this article focuses on the specific contexts, issues and lifeworld concerns that ground anti-colonial feminisms and provides a brief survey of the literature. (...)
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  5. Epistemic Oppression, Resistance, and Resurgence.Nora Berenstain, Kristie Dotson, Julieta Paredes, Elena Ruíz & Noenoe K. Silva - 2021 - Contemporary Political Theory:1-32.
    Epistemologies have power. They have the power not only to transform worlds, but to create them. And the worlds that they create can be better or worse. For many people, the worlds they create are predictably and reliably deadly. Epistemologies can turn sacred land into ‘resources’ to be bought, sold, exploited, and exhausted. They can turn people into ‘labor’ in much the same way. They can not only disappear acts of violence but render them unnamable and unrecognizable within their conceptual (...)
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  6. Cultural Gaslighting.Elena Ruíz - 2020 - Hypatia 35 (4):687-713.
    This essay frames systemic patterns of mental abuse against women of color and Indigenous women on Turtle Island (North America) in terms of larger design-of-distribution strategies in settler colonial societies, as these societies use various forms of social power to distribute, reproduce, and automate social inequalities (including public health precarities and mortality disadvantages) that skew socio-economic gain continuously toward white settler populations and their descendants. It departs from traditional studies in gender-based violence research that frame mental abuses such as gaslighting--commonly (...)
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  7. The Secret Life of Violence.Elena Ruíz - 2019 - In Dustin J. Byrd & Seyed Javad Miri (eds.), Frantz Fanon and Emancipatory Social Theory. Brill.
    This chapter proceeds in two ways. First, I argue that Fanon’s structural witnessing of racism yields important insights about the nature of violence that challenges the settler colonial concept of violence as the extra-legal use of force. Second, I argue that his analysis of violence is insufficient for combating colonial racism and violence because, using the terms of his own analysis, it leaves intact logics and mechanisms that allow racism to structurally renew itself in perpetuity: violence against women. Without a (...)
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  8. The Objectivity of Local Knowledge. Lessons From Ethnobiology.David Ludwig - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):4705-4720.
    This article develops an account of local epistemic practices on the basis of case studies from ethnobiology. I argue that current debates about objectivity often stand in the way of a more adequate understanding of local knowledge and ethnobiological practices in general. While local knowledge about the biological world often meets criteria for objectivity in philosophy of science, general debates about the objectivity of local knowledge can also obscure their unique epistemic features. In modification of Ian Hacking’s suggestion to discuss (...)
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  9. Theorizing Multiple Oppressions Through Colonial History: Cultural Alterity and Latin American Feminisms.Elena Ruíz - 2011 - APA Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues in Philosophy 2 (11):5-9.
    The hermeneutic resources necessary for understanding Indigenous women’s lives in Latin America have been obscured by the tools of Western feminist philosophical practices and their travel in North-South contexts. Not only have ongoing practices of European colonization disrupted pre-colonial ways of knowing, but colonial lineages create contemporary public policies, institutions, and political structures that reify and solidify colonial epistemologies as the only legitimate forms of knowledge. I argue that understanding this foreclosure of Amerindian linguistic communities’ ability to collectively engage in (...)
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  10. Cultural Claims and the Limits of Liberal Democracy.Ranjoo Seodu Herr - 2008 - Social Theory and Practice 34 (1):25-48.
    Amy Gutmann and Dennis Thompson’s theory of deliberative democracy has been widely influential and favorably viewed by many as a successful attempt to combine procedural and substantive aspects of democracy, while remaining quintessentially liberal. Although I admit that their conception is one of the strongest renditions of liberal democracy, I argue that it is inadequate in radically multicultural societies that house non-liberal cultural minorities. By focusing on Gutmann’s position on minority claims of culture in the liberal West, which follows from (...)
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  11. A Third World Feminist Defense of Multiculturalism.Ranjoo Seodu Herr - 2004 - Social Theory and Practice 30 (1):73-103.
    Many influential Western feminists of diverse backgrounds have expressed concerns that multiculturalism, while strengthening the power of racial ethnic minorities vis-à-vis the majority, worsens the position of its most vulnerable members, women. Despite their good intentions, these feminists have been consistently dismissive of the voices of racial ethnic women, many of whom argue for the importance of sustaining their own “illiberal” cultures within the Western context. I offer a Third World feminist defense of multiculturalism by paying attention to these women (...)
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