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Author ORCID Identifier


Campus-Only Access for One (1) Year

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Ron Welburn

Second Advisor

Asha Nadkarni

Third Advisor

Fumi Okiji

Subject Categories

Literature in English, North America, Ethnic and Cultural Minority | Native American Studies | Women's Studies


Redefining Gender Violence: Radical Feminist Visions in Contemporary Ethnic American Women’s Fiction and Women of Color Activism 1990-2010 reconceptualizes state-sanctioned family disintegration as gender violence, most recently evidenced in the forced separation of the central Latin American asylum-seekers at the US-Mexico border. It frames family separation as part of ongoing settler colonial history and delineates the gendered aspects of this form of state violence. More specifically, Redefining Gender Violence articulates a theory of gendered logic of dispossession through analyzing the novelistic representations of family (dis)integration by Native and Black authors and resistance strategies offered by women of color (WOC) activist writings. It examines how selected novels by Leslie Marmon Silko, Toni Morrison, and LeAnne Howe and the writings of the feminists-of-color-led activist network INCITE! interrogate bodily, familial, and communal attacks, highlighting the conjunctions of gender, identity, family, and community in violences directed at women of color. Redefining Gender Violence argues that the novelists’ and activists’ visions of family integrity are central to their anti-violence feminist resistance and communities of color’s political struggles. Building on women of color feminist theories, Redefining Gender Violence makes three critical interventions: first, based on its archive’s shared emphasis on women’s role in the political and social organization of family and communal life, it interconnects assaults on bodies, families, and collectives of color as with those of to their geographic origins, lands, and homes. Second, it foregrounds feminist visions of contemporary novelists and activists to establish solidarity through the political, intellectual, and artistic productions by WOC. Finally, through a careful juxtaposition of contemporary feminist visions with the critical incident of family separation at the border, it makes evident that current immigration control mechanisms are closely related to the histories of dispossession and settler violence.


Available for download on Saturday, May 13, 2023