Mobilizing ‘America/América’: Toward Entangled Americas and a Blueprint for Inter-American ‘Area Studies’

Wilfried Raussert

Bielefeld University


As the conflictive imaginaries of the Americas—of who matters and who does not—show, the Inter-American is more easily evoked than described. In a by now famous quote, Frederic Jameson has called globalization an “untotalizable totality”. Similary, we may speculate that the prefix “inter” refers to an undefined relationship to America/América and between the Americas. How can the “inter” as significant marker within Inter-American Studies potentially be translated into research paradigms? The article delineates developments and debates within the field of Inter-American studies and creates and reflects a critical vocabulary in glossary form.The entries in the second part follow in alphabetical order and represent modalities of space, albeit on conceptually different levels. Their links to spatial categories help to avoid arbitrariness. Being aware of the impossibility of totality, they should be used in a kaleidoscopic way to look at area(s) from multiple angles and perspectives. The terms are loosely connected, may sometimes overlap to a small degree, and, as tropes within mobility studies, need to be continuously renegotiated with the flux of time and place.

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