In Power Interrupted, Sylvanna M. Falcón redirects the conversation about UN-based feminist activism toward UN forums on racism. Her analysis of UN antiracism spaces, in particular the 2001 World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa, considers how a race and gender intersectionality approach broadened opportunities for feminist organizing at the global level. The Durban conference gave feminist activists a pivotal opportunity to expand the debate about the ongoing challenges of global racism, which had largely privileged men’s experiences with racial injustice. When including the activist engagements and experiential knowledge of these antiracist feminist communities, the political significance of human rights becomes evident. Using a combination of interviews, participant observation, and extensive archival data, Sylvanna M. Falcón situates contemporary antiracist feminist organizing from the Americas—specifically the activism of feminists of color from the United States and Canada, and feminists from Mexico and Peru—alongside a critical historical reading of the UN and its agenda against racism.
Introduction | The Challenging Road to the Durban Conference
1. Race, Gender, and Geopolitics in the Establishment of the UN
2. UN Citizenship and Constellations of Human Rights
3. A Genealogy of World Conferences against Racism and the Progression of Intersectionality
4. Making the Intersectional Connections
5. Intersectionality as the New Universalism
Appendix | Copy of the E-mail and Non-Paper Sent by the US Government to US NGOs during the Preparatory Period of the 2001 WCAR
Sylvanna M. Falcón is an assistant professor of Latin American and Latino Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
"In the ardently thought-provoking and often stirring Power Interrupted, Falcón, a sociologist and assistant professor of Latin American and Latino Studies, sets out to reveal how feminist activists of color ‘advocate for a more comprehensive approach to understanding racism at the UN level’ by offering a candid and, at times, caustic critique of Western feminism as practiced within the UN."
~National Political Science Review
Gloria E. Anzaldua Book Prize