Regional Identities in multiple crisis

The ongoing intense public debates on collective identity in Latin America are deeply related to multiple crisis. The formation of nation-states in Latin America has always implied narratives of national identity based on Eurocentric narratives about 'whiteness' and 'mestizaje' ('mixture of races') (Briones 1998, Pratt 2010, Quijano 2015, Segato 2015). These hegemonic matrices have included projects of homogenization, techniques of "invisibilization", and stigmatization of aborigines and inhabitants with African ancestors (Restrepo 2013). At the end of the twentieth century, an important change with constitutional effects took place in several countries, which led to the recognition of the multicultural origin of all kinds of identity and the necessary pluralism, multilingualism and interculturality of Latin-American societies (Zapata 2018). Ever since – and beyond the official formal multi- and pluricultural or even national redefinitions of the majority of the Latin American nation-states–, regional, ethnic, ethnic racial, gender, and class identities, as well as processes of reterritorialization and movements of the subaltern, have struggled against classism, racism, machismo (de la Cadena 2007, Hall 1996, Spivak 1996), while other forms of social-economic and symbolic exclusion have been revived.

This thematic axis explores the multiple configurations in which identity is negotiated, (re-)invented, performed and politically as well as aesthetically represented (Grimson 2011, Hammerschmidt 2016). In doing so, the thematic axis analyzes the identity processes related to politics of recognition and ethnic autonomy as well as recent trends of resurgence of 'whiteness', sexism, and racism. Moreover, special attention will be given to new forms of identity formations that arise in the context of regional and cross-border self-definitions, south-south migration flows, forms of intersectionality, and alternative forms of literary and cinematic expression.

Research, implying case studies and theoretical conceptualizations, will concentrate on the following aspects:

1) On identity processes between native people, migrants, social organizations, and women's movements, with special reference to the ideological and theoretical implications of concepts such as multi-, trans- or interculturality. This perspective concentrates on different kinds of identity building by social practices, discourses, and narratives based on inclusion and exclusion procedures, especially taking into account processes of intersection and their (intercultural) aesthetic articulations, and reconsiders commonly accepted theoretical assumptions such as multiculturality in the context of new hegemonic discourses grounded in racism, new xenophobia, violation of human rights, and misogyny.

2) On equivalence and divergence processes between emergent demands and their potential of fragmentation and articulation in Latin American nation-states, with a special focus on new regional identities, local discourse and text production in global contexts, and constructions and deconstructions of the region by symbolic inventions and their aesthetic-political potentials. To this effect, we focus on constructions and deconstructions of the region by symbolic inventions and their aesthetic-political potentials, rendering possible new forms of strategic identities which react to crises, including ethnicity, territory, ecology, class, and gender.

3) On the crisis of metropolitan narrations on identity, such as the crisis of 'the lettered city', the interrelations between representations of crisis and crisis of representation, identity and intersectionality, or designs of 'subjects in crisis' in current Latin American literature and cinematography.



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Zapata, Claudia (2018): Crisis del multiculturalismo en América Latina. Y respuestas desde el pensamiento político indígena. Guadalajara: CALAS.