Full Stop: Herlands

Review of Herlands by Keridwen N. Luis

How women-only communities provide spaces for new forms of culture, sociality, gender, and sexualityPolitical efficacy is a concept frequently at issue. We debate whether it is useful to tweet at Donald Trump or go to a protest, whether liking something on Facebook constitutes political activity, whether arguing with your parents after Christmas dinner is effective praxis. This kind of engagement is not the only kind of political activity that’s effectiveness can be debated. Withdrawal, too, is a form of political practice, and the one that Keridwen N. Luis deals with in Herlands: Exploring the Women’s Land Movement in the United States. In this book, Professor Luis conducts an anthropological study of the women’s land movement, examining communities from Massachusetts to New Mexico. Luis places this movement in a historical context of two waves. The first of these stretches through early America, including such forerunners as the Oneida community and the Mormon state in Utah. The second wave, the one which exists in the distant or not-so-distant memory of many of the people Luis talks to throughout the book, is the hippie movement of the 1970s.


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