C&C is Taking a Break–Back in January

Hi, friends! If you haven’t yet noticed, my posting and social media presence for Chickpeas & Change has gotten a bit sporadic over the past couple of weeks. My senior year of undergrad here at Vassar has hit me like a ton of bricks, bringing with it much more schoolwork than I expected. Additionally, I’ve reached a point in my life where I no longer feel able to work from sunrise to sunset and beyond while still taking adequate care of myself.

So, from now until January 2016, I’m stepping back from blogging here on Chickpeas & Change. The outpouring of feedback and support that ya’ll have given me since the launch of this new blog project has meant a tremendous deal to me, and I look forward to connecting with ya’ll again once I’m in a place that allows me to do so with my full energy. My Facebook and Twitter feeds will take a little hiatus, as well. I, however, will still be very much reachable if you want to get in touch with me directly. Just shoot me an email at chickpeasandchange [at] gmail [dot] com.

Additionally, I’ll still be accepting submissions throughout the upcoming months! So there’s still a possibility for content here on C&C…it’s just up to y’all now! Take a gander at these submission guidelines for details, and check out C&C’s recent first “From the Community” piece by Julie Gannon. I’d love to publish more of y’all’s work!

Thanks again, everyone. Stay classy over the next four month, y’hear?

In solidarity, Ali.

Lifestyle Politics Won’t Bring Revolution: Veganism is Not Nearly Enough

Hi, all! So I talk a lot about how vegan consumption habits constitute a mere extension of my broader politics of radical anti-capitalism, anti-speciesism, anti-racism, and feminism. Consuming vegan goods hardly constitutes a revolutionary act in and of itself; in fact, I think that believing it does plays right into a capitalist discourse of “purchasing power” and individualism. It’s this belief — which we can call “lifestyle politics” — that I want to discuss and challenge in this post.

What is lifestyle politics? As I understand the term, it stems from an anarchist philosophy of “prefigurative politics”: a belief that in order to work toward the society in which we want to live, we must “build forms of organization today that prefigure the future society” (D’Amato, Feb. 2009). Taking a page from the second-wave feminist book, proponents of lifestyle politics uphold the assertion that “the personal is political,” and attempt “to incorporate their political philosophy into the minute activities of everyday life” (Portwood-Stacer). As you can probably tell, vegan consumption certainly fits under the banner of lifestyle politics, along with environmentally-minded actions like taking shorter showers, and the oft-encouraged process of “checking one’s privilege.”

Of course, nothing is wrong with any of these actions, and they almost always come with positive intent. However, basing one’s politics upon these individual lifestyle actions does a couple of things: 1.) Obscures the necessity of revolutionary organizing. 2.) Perpetuates an individualistic understanding of the world. 3.) Upholds the capitalist rhetoric of “consumer power.”

From a radical socialist perspective, societal change can only come when the workers of the world unite and rise up against the ruling class that systemically exploits the earth and all of its inhabitants in the name of constant profit accumulation. Organizing toward this goal constitutes a political strategy that will bring about the collective liberation we all want to see, and depends upon collaboration with fellow members of the working class.

In contrast, lifestyle politics — instead of calling for exploited peoples to unite against systemic oppression — encourages individuals to opt out (or rather, attempt to opt out) of those systems rather than confronting them, to distance themselves from those around them who are still engaging in “problematic behaviors.” Far from fostering solidarity among oppressed peoples, lifestyle politics can easily animate a “holier than thou,” “me vs. the world” understanding of society in which we begin to demonize individuals as moral failures for acting in certain ways (mostly in ways related to consumption habits), instead of realizing and confronting the larger power structures and systems that condition people’s actions. Indeed, as Poelker notes, within a “personal is political” rhetoric, “[w]e seem to have forgotten that the structural is also political” (emphasis in original).

So, instead of necessitating a collectively determined — based upon a systemic analysis of society’s ills — the best strategy for rising up and winning a struggle against the ruling classes, lifestyle politics concerns itself primarily with “commodity activism” and making “ethical” consumer decisions. Under lifestyle politics, we believe that by buying or boycotting certain goods — an individualized and capitalistic tactic — we can solve a collective problem.

But this is exactly how those in power want us to think. Williams explains further: “If we subscribe to lifestyle politics we then see ourselves exactly as corporate and political elites want us to see ourselves—as consumers. This is not where our power lies. It allows capitalism to go on as before, with more and more environmental damage and pollution, while we are lulled into believing we’re actually doing something.” In fact, lifestyle activism developed specifically to function within the confines of neoliberal capitalism, as the more revolutionary-minded movements of the 1960s and ’70s were on the decline (Poelker). Lifestyle politics, in other words, is designed precisely to not dismantle the very power structures that we fool ourselves into thinking we’re fighting against.

This is all absolutely not to say that I don’t think that every human who is logistically able to do so should practice vegan consumption habits. That would certainly be a enormous shift in the right direction. However, taking that step cannot be where our activism ends. We must not fool ourselves into thinking that getting more vegan options at restaurants, crowdfunding the next innovative vegan company, or buying a new brand of vegan cheese will even make a dent in the capitalist system that constantly infringes upon the bodily autonomy of all beings, human and non. As I’ve asserted many times before, vegan consumption is a mere outgrowth, what I see as a logical extension, of a radical politics that includes anti-speciesism.

So yeah, let’s keep buying our vegan cheese (if we can), but let’s not kid ourselves into believing that doing so is a revolutionary act. Let’s be real revolutionaries. Let’s organize. Let’s undertake a systemic analysis of society’s ills. Let’s learn about the history of struggle for labor, women’s rights, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, indigenous rights, and beyond. Let’s understand that anti-speciesism and all other forms of oppression won’t be eradicated until we move beyond capitalism. Let’s do this all and more, and let’s do it collectively, united, together.

In solidarity, Ali.


Resources

Allen, Emma. “Lifestyle politics, good intentions, and the road to hell.” Freedom Socialist: Voice of Revolutionary Feminism. December 2010. Web. 18 August 2015.

Bennett, W. Lance. “Branded Political Communication: Lifestyle Politics, Logo Campaigns, and the Rise of Global Citizenship.” Chapter in Michele Micheletti, Andreas Follesdal, and Dietlind Stolle. The Politics Behind Products. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Books, forthcoming.

D’Amato, Paul. “How do anarchists see change happening?” SocialistWorker.org. 26 March 2009, Issue 693. Web. 18 August 2015.

–. “Refusing to be ruled over.” SocialistWorker.org. 27 February 2009, Issue 691. Web. 18 August 2015.

International Socialist Review. “Anarchism: How Not to Make a Revolution.” International Socialist Review. N. dat., n. pag. Web. 18 August 2015.

Lewis, Tom. “Empire strikes out.” International Socialist Review 24 (July-August 2002): n. pag. Web. 18 August 2015.

Muldoon, Amy. “Let them eat (organic) cake.” SocialistWorker.org. 31 August 2009. Web. 18 August 2015.

Poelker, Ryne. “Does it help to ‘check privilege’?” SocialistWorker.org. 15 October 2013. Web. 18 August 2015.

Portwood-Stacer, Laura. Lifestyle Politics and Radical Activism. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013. Web. 18 August 2015.

Williams, Chris. “Marxism and the environment.” International Socialist Review 72 (July 2010): n. pag. Web. 18 August 2015.

Z, Mickey. “Lifestyle Changes (Like Going Vegan) Won’t End Capitalism.” World News Trust. 12 April 2015. Web. 20 August 2015.

Against “#AllLivesMatter”

Welcome to the week, ya’ll! Thanks for the positive feedback on last week’s post about the origins of the Black feminist praxis of intersectionality. Stellar activist Pax Ahimsa Gethen provided what I think is a great suggestion to use the term “kyriarchy” when discussing intersecting forms of oppression, so as not to erase the particular struggles that Black women face by throwing around the word “intersectionality.” Be sure to check out Pax’s blog for more important insights on racism, gender, and speciesism.

Today I want to discuss another issue of racial erasure, this time regarding the “whitewashed sentiment” of All Lives Matter. Being tuned into a community of race- and class-privileged proponents of veganism who continue to assert that All Lives Matter in terms of non-human animals, I see this racial microaggression pop up in my social media feeds on a fairly regular basis. In this post, I’m really just passing along the information that innumerable Black people have emphasized since All Lives Matter first popped up, with a particular intended audience of Animal Whites Activists.

Okay, solidarity work, right? To me, working in solidarity with others means understanding the unique circumstances that those others face, listening to what those others are asking of you, and not co-opting their experiences to fit your own agenda. Even though we’re all caught up in the same systems of oppression (capitalism, heteropatriarchy, white supremacy), those systems affect particular people in particular ways.

All Lives Matter erases this particularity, which in turn accomplishes two things: 1.) De-emphasizes the systemic police brutality that plagues Black communities almost exclusively (check out this article by Julia Craven for detailed facts and figures on this). 2.) Re-centers whiteness in conversations about race, thus positioning white people as racially oppressed beings and thus without responsibility for confronting white supremacy.

With these effects, All Lives Matter functions in diametric opposition with solidarity work, since it ignores the unique forms of oppression that Black people face, refuses to acknowledge what Black people are asking of us white people, and co-opts the struggle against police-on-Black violence in order to excuse us white people from actively working to dismantle systemic racism. Reddit user GeekAesthete explains the situation particularly succinctly:

Imagine that you’re sitting down to dinner with your family, and while everyone else gets a serving of the meal, you don’t get any. So you say “I should get my fair share.” And as a direct response to this, your dad corrects you, saying, “everyone should get their fair share.” Now, that’s a wonderful sentiment — indeed, everyone should, and that was kinda your point in the first place: that you should be a part of everyone, and you should get your fair share also. However, dad’s smart-ass comment just dismissed you and didn’t solve the problem that you still haven’t gotten any!

The problem is that the statement “I should get my fair share” had an implicit “too” at the end: “I should get my fair share, too, just like everyone else.” But your dad’s response treated your statement as though you meant “only I should get my fair share”, which clearly was not your intention. As a result, his statement that “everyone should get their fair share,” while true, only served to ignore the problem you were trying to point out.

That’s the situation of the “black lives matter” movement. Culture, laws, the arts, religion, and everyone else repeatedly suggest that all lives should matter. Clearly, that message already abounds in our society.

When proponents of veganism use All Lives Matter in an effort to emphasize the species-based oppression faced by non-human animals, we are engaging in that same ignoring, that same refusal to acknowledge, that same co-optation. We are playing Oppression Olympics, challenging Black Lives Matter because we believe that Black people are stealing the spotlight from non-human animals, whom we see as a “more oppressed” class.

If we claim to be so worried about understanding oppressions as interconnected, then why on earth would we push back against a movement devoted to dismantling one of those forms of oppression? Why on earth would we feel threatened by that movement if we’re all working toward collective liberation, but just in different ways which take into account the unique struggles faced by certain peoples?

This pushing back, this threatened feeling — this is exactly how the ruling classes want us to act and feel. Their ability to wield and maintain power depends upon dividing us so that we cannot unite against them. By essentially competing instead of working in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, All Lives Matter plays right into the hands of those responsible for the oppression and exploitation of those not in power.

So. Fellow white people. Let’s stop centering ourselves and start working in solidarity. Let’s stop getting defensive and start acting self-reflectively. Let’s stop this All Lives Matter nonsense.

In solidarity, Ali.


References

Black Millennials. “What You Mean By #AllLivesMatter.” Black Millennials. 1 December 2014. Web. 11 August 2015.

Craven, Julia. “Please Stop Telling Me That All Lives Matter.” Huffington Post. 25 January 2015. Web. 11 August 2015.

Harper, Dr. Amie Breeze. “Dear Post-Racial White Vegans: ‘All Lives Matter’ Is a Racial Microaggression Contributing to Our Daily Struggle with Racial Battle Fatigue.” The Sistah Vegan Project. 13 January 2015. Web. 11 August 2015.

Roose, Kevin. “The next time someone says ‘all lives matter,’ show them these 5 paragraphs.” Fusion. 21 July 2015. Web. 11 August 2015.

Yancy, George and Judith Butler. “What’s Wrong With ‘All Lives Matter’?” The New York Times. 12 January 2015. Web. 11 August 2015.

A Poem on Humility in Three Parts

Hello again, all! A couple of weeks ago I published a very short story that I wrote in order to creatively work through the monumental, never-ending task of decolonizing the mind. Today, I want to share with ya’ll another creative piece that came out of my desire to follow my heart above my overthinking head, and truly feel the reality of life-changing issues that are so easily abstracted in academia.

As the title of this post suggest, the three-part poem below is on my process of fostering humility as an integral aspect of my being-in-the-world. I don’t know if it will resonate with ya’ll, but it’s what I’ve been feeling.


A front. Affront.
Textual skimming, solitary typing, masturbatory philosophizing, i GOT EVERYTHING WRONG.
Repeat.
(Why can’t the red worm leave the i alone?)
Automatonic processes —> autonomyatic outcomes.
Just think how they’ll see me!

Is anyone looking?

***

Clarified muddiness; basic epipanies.
Weekly, tiring…to stagnate? To move? To…?
i’m revolutionary.
[try again]
i’m scared.
[try again]
i’m arrogant.
Britain thought it was perfect, too.

***

Can i scream with a bibliographic citation?
Can i dance to Times New Roman?
Can i share space through “[…]ality”?
If i wait for the cocoon to slip away,
(but i am a specialunique butterfly!)
It will solidify and fill itself with sedatives.
[try again]
(i am an automaton of autonomy.)


In solidarity, Ali.

Bottom Line: Will It Condition My Speciesism?

Hi, folks! I hope you’ve been finding much joy in your lives lately. Today I want to offer you a rather short post, one that summarizes the “bottom line,” if you will, of my actions and beliefs surrounding other animals. I felt compelled to write this because I’ve become increasingly tired of entertaining what I feel are nit-picky arguments against vegan consumption practices and granting other animals moral consideration.

Honestly, I could care less whether some beekeepers have figured out how to steal honey without stressing out the bees, whether oysters and jellyfish can feel pain, whether farmed animals are “smarter” than dogs, etc. I’m still not going to eat or otherwise exploit bees for their honey, oysters, jellyfish, or farmed animals.

Why? Because the reason why I engage in vegan consumption practices comes from a commitment to interrogating the dominant, violent beliefs and ideologies surrounding other animals that I’ve internalized since childhood. My veganism is really just one manifestation of the responsibility I feel as a person of racial, class, ability, and species privilege to challenge the systemic violence committed against those with less of such privileges than me.

So, when asked why I don’t eat honey, oysters, jellyfish, etc., I’m not going to make arguments about sentience or pain or what bees use honey for. What I really care about is whether my actions surrounding other animals contribute to, further condition, and uphold the speciesist mindset that I’m actively trying to work against. Yeah, I could eat honey if all I cared about was the fact that some beekeepers raise bees in environmentally sustainable ways blah blah blah. But I’m not going to, because doing so would simply reinforce my ingrained beliefs of human superiority over other animals. That’s the bottom line.

In solidarity, Ali.

Savior Complexes & Animal Justice Work

In a series of seven Tweets and a consequential March 2012 article in The Atlantic, Nigerian-American novelist Teju Cole coined the term “White-Savior Industrial Complex” to describe the power relations present between privileged Western “do-gooders” and the African people facing immense violence at the hands of Joseph Kony. The Tweets included such facetious observations as “the white savior supports brutal policies in the morning, founds charities in the afternoon, and receives awards in the evening,” “the world is nothing but a problem to be solved by enthusiasm,” and “this world exists simply to satisfy the needs—including, importantly, the sentimental needs—of white people and Oprah.”

Here, Cole made explicitly clear the oppressive, violent implications of those who feel compelled to “save” other people. By concluding that others need to be “saved,” saviors assume both that those who occupy different life-worlds lack agency to confront the problem they face themselves, and that the savior understands the complexities of others’ experiences enough to act in a helpful, effective, and non-oppressive manner. This line of thought strikes me as profoundly arrogant–a mindset that, as I’ve spoken of before, I think must be eradicated if we hope to coexist in the world with others. By working in this arrogant way, saviors more often than not end up reinforcing power imbalances and contributing further to the systemic oppression of those they’re trying to “save.”

The savior complex — applied more generally than the specific White-Savior Industrial Complex that Cole discusses, though I in no way mean to equivocate the Western Humanitarian savior/African “victim” relationship with any other very specific, complex instance of savior dynamics  — is present in various social movements. For example, environmentalism speak of “saving” the earth, humanitarianism speaks of “saving” Black and brown people around the world who live in materially different ways than we in the West, and, of course, animal justice work speaks of “saving” other animals. It is this latter instance of the savior complex that I will focus on in this post.

In my experience, we who strive to work in solidarity with other animals to combat speciesism often speak of “rescuing” animals from agricultural operations and/or other situations of abuse, so that we can provide them with an adoptive home or bring them to a sanctuary. Though I can appreciate that other animals may require human-animal solidarity in that humans can more effectively communicate systemic species-based oppression with other humans who have not yet begun a process of learning to speak the languages of other animals, I think that understanding ourselves as the “rescuers” of other animals reinforces our default mode — which Cole so clearly points out — of assuming that we have the experiential knowledge to “fix” the world.

To continue to strive for radical humility in relation to “rescuing” in my animal justice work, I find it helpful to remind myself of those animals who have escaped from agricultural operations themselves, of the power that animals themselves have to shift the hearts and minds of humans (think of those who begin to advocate veganism because of a visit to a sanctuary), and of the ability of animals to very clearly communicate with us (assuming that we exercise enough humility to actually listen to them).

Though I certainly don’t think that waiting until every animal escapes from the farm to which they’re confined is a viable model of combating speciesism (nor is it safe for the animal, who due to our exploitative domestication of them can adequately survive without human support), I do think that we who participate in animal justice work need to do a much better job of allowing other animals to guide our actions and to remain at the center of our movement, rather than centering ourselves as “rescuers” and “saviors.”

In striving to engage in solidarity work rather than savior work, I think that most importantly we can help to foster in other humans an understanding of speciesism. This work can both confront the problem systemically rather than offering a band-aid solution, and remind us of our own implication in the oppression of other animals (which in turn can aid in developing in us a mode of radical humility).

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t continue to provide other animals with safe and supportive homes. What I am saying, though, is that in doing so, we must continue to combat our own internalized specieism, work against speciesism more broadly in systemic ways, and really learn to listen to the other animals with whom we purport to work in solidarity. Otherwise, we will continue to reinforce the speciesist notion of the helplessness of other animals, and uphold a form of the dangerous savior complex first explicitly articulated by Cole, and present in so many forms of social action.

In solidarity, Ali.


References

Bromley, Caroline. “How To Spot A Guy With A Savior Complex.” Thought Catalog. 27 January 2014. Web. 14 June 2015.

Checker, Melissa, Dana-Ain Davis, and Mark Schuller. “The Conflicts of Crisis: Critical Reflections on Feminist Ethnography and Anthropological Activism.” American Anthropologist 116.2 (June 2014): 408-409. Web. 14 June 2015.

Cole, Teju. “The White-Savior Industrial Complex.” The Atlantic. The Atlantic Mag., 21 March 2012. Web. 14 June 2015.

Didymus, John-Thomas. “Africa, the White-Savior Industial Complex and the Quest for ‘Saviordom’ (Part 1).” All Voices. 14 November 2014. Web. 14 June 2015.

Ezeanu, Eduard. “Savior Complex Anyone?” People Skills Decoded. 23 October 2010. Web. 14 June 2015.

Murphy, Brian. “Unlearning: Savior Complex.” B. Murphy. n.d. Web. 14 June 2015.

Schneider, James. “Inside the White Saviour Industrial Complex.” NewAfrican. 6 January 2015. Web. 14 June 2015.

Tatum, Erin. “Why Your Savior Complex Is Toxic to Your Relationship.” Everyday Feminism. 13 October 2014. Web. 14 June 2015.

On Arrogance

Occupying close quarters with 20 fellow human beings, four rats, a bunny and a couple of cockroaches has put into stark reality for me the eternal problem of living together, coexisting in the world with others. And, considering the individualism that pervades nearly all aspects of the lives of those of us who have grown up in and internalized the Western Enlightenment model of ourselves as autonomous, self-determining subjects, this necessary project of living together proves to be a profoundly difficult one. How to develop meaningful relationships with others and ensure their well-being if we are taught that we should orient our life goals toward “perfecting” our own individual knowledge stores, bodies, and careers?

This individualistic model strikes me as profoundly arrogant. And, to me, arrogance lies at the heart of an often violent inability to live among others who occupy modes of being not immediately familiar to us. Colonialism, for example, is based upon a European arrogance that understands Europeans as agents of modernity, civilization, and moral superiority, all of which we — the white saviors — need to bestow upon the “primitive, simple, or traditional” (Mbembe 313) societies of Black and brown people around the world (including in the United States). Certainly not a thing of the past, this colonial arrogance sticks around whenever I, for example, think of myself as morally superior to my housemates for keeping the kitchen spotlessly clean, failing to realize that such a neat kitchen is simply not an aspect of how they enact their modes of being in the world. My propensity to judge those who move through the world differently than I do as lesser, as inferior, forecloses upon the possibility of building meaningful relationships with them. Quite the contrary—it increases the chances that I will enact violence in any form against them.

Instead of understanding others as legitimate enactments of being-in-the-world who exist in interconnected relation with our own, we — in all of our arrogant glory — tend to judge others against ourselves, to regard them as the “non-Me.” As postcolonial scholar Achille Mbembe asserts, under our arrogant ideologies, “to differ from something or somebody is not simply not to be like (in the sense of being non-identical or being-other); it is also not to be at all (nonbeing). More, it is being nothing (nothingness)” (185). By regarding others as nothing, we understand them as threats to our own being—if they exert power over us, they will turn us into nothing, as well.

So, in order to protect ourselves from becoming the nothingness of others, we cling to the identities most familiar and accessible to us. And we cling hard. At any given moment I, for example, can cling to my internalized whiteness, veganism, queerness, thinness, consumerism, perfectionism, eating habits, nationalism, and the like—all of which can function to remind myself that I am not, I am better than, those who do not identify with any of those things.

Feminist political scientist Leela Fernandes offers a process by which to challenge the arrogance embedded in much of our identity formation—a process she refers to as “disidentification” (about which I’ve written previously). Through disidentification, we simultaneously confront the “very real hierarchies and exclusions of identity” while letting go of attachments to external identities that depend upon ego-based interests in power, privilege and control (27). A never-finished process, disidentification helps to foster a mode of radical humility that allows us to understand the world and all who inhabit it as interconnected, interrelated, and constitutive of our own life-worlds. Far from being autonomous, self-determining subjects, at our very core we exist in deep relation with others. Realizing this relation-based mode of being can aid in dispelling our individualistic, colonial arrogance such that we can more easily work toward coexisting in the world with others in such a way that everyone’s needs are met.

As someone who practices vegan consumption habits, I often encounter accusations of people like myself as arrogant and judgmental. And unfortunately, in my experiences, these accusations prove largely accurate. Though our arrogance does not necessarily originate with veganism — it does, more prominently, from our socialization under ideologies of European Enlightenment — vegan arrogance does take on specific forms that I feel obligated to point out here.

Vegans espouse arrogance when we claim that we are more “cruelty-free” and “compassionate” than people who eat animals, or that we have been “enlightened” while people who eat animals remain in the dark. And yet, many of the (mostly white) vegans I’ve met or otherwise encountered act in profoundly racist, sexist, and ableist ways. Case in point: Gary Yourofsky, Thug Kitchen, and vegans who assert that any marginalized person deserves their oppression because they eat animals.

Vegans espouse arrogance when we internalize the oppression of other animals while leading lives of relative privilege ourselves, clinging to the most oppressed aspects of our ego-based identities and thus preventing ourselves from listening when others point out how we too act in immensely oppressive ways.

Vegans espouse arrogance when we assert that we can fix all of the world’s problems — climate change, food insecurity, disease, war — by transitioning to vegan consumption habits. This belief ignores the multiplicity of complex factors contributing to each of the aforementioned issues, including the fact that if we merely shift the market from an animal-based one to a plant-based one, we’ll still operate under an inherently exploitative economic system of neoliberal capitalism.

I could go on. But I’ll stop here to reiterate calls from A. Breeze Harper, pattrice jones and others to decolonize our veganism of its rampant arrogance. This will, of course, be an ongoing and ever-incomplete process as long as we continue to internalize since a young age individualistic, Eurocentric Enlightenment ideals, but our realization of the nature of such a project should only contribute to our cultivation of humility: just as we are not perfect snowflakes, neither is our activism. But we can struggle in this imperfection together, building a community based in radical humility along the way.

In solidarity, Ali.


References

Fernandes, Leela. Transforming Feminist Practice: Non-Violence, Social Justice and the Possibilities of a Spiritualized Feminism. San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books, 2003. Print.

Glissant, Édouard. Poetics of Relation. Trans. Betsy Wing. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997. Print.

Mbembe, Achille. On the Postcolony. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2001. Kindle file.

Minh-ha, Trinh T. Woman Native Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1989. Print.