Decolonizing American Studies: Toward a Politics of Intersectional Entanglements

Julia Roth

Bielefeld University


This paper aims to initiate a dialogue between several theoretical-methodological angles in light of their productivity for a Hemispheric American (studies) approach. The paper argues that (Hemispheric/inter-) American endeavors can gain from an intersectional sensitization – or framing – widening the perspective towards the simultaneous and interrelated dimensions of both macro structural levels such as patterns of knowledge circulation, localities or citizenship and micro structural levels such as racialization, socio-economic status and en-gendering. The respective postcolonial, intersectional, critical occidentalist and gender take on a Hemispheric American approach is decidedly sensitive to issues of power. It does not attempt to provide a ready-made frame or method, but rather a methodological framing or tool box for discussions of persistent and new transnational entanglements and inequalities in the Americas. It may be of use regardless of disciplinary or “regional” specificity, and therefore contributes to a theorizing in more general conceptual terms while remaining sensitive to the situatedness of knowledge in terms of thinking alternative units of analysis and new forms of connectedness.

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