The Americas as Space of Entanglemnts
Julia Roth (Bielefeld University)
Paper short abstract:
Zooming in on the Caribbean, the paper is interested in discussing the Americas as space of entanglements which have from the outset connected the region to Europe and created persistent global inequalities It examines perspectives from the Americas as correctives for Eurocentric self-narrations.
Paper long abstract:
The Conquest of the Americas started a logic of coloniality (Quijano) as a structuring organizing principle which has been constitutive for Europe's self-narration "modern" - or, following Coronil as "Occidental." Serving as a 'tabula rasa' onto which Europeans could project their imaginations and construct of the conquered spaces "backwards," and ultimately, racialize them as non-white, the Americas served to justify the cruel exploitation of indigenous populations, the trade in enslaved humans an the exploitation of natural resources. Based on the logic of wealth accumulation, European "migrancy" to the Americas thereby set in motion an entirely new process of - often enforced - worldwide migrations. The Americas provide a showcase example for the close entanglement of European modernity with coloniality (Mignolo). Departing from this perspective, the paper discusses the Americas as closely entangled with Europe. Zooming in on the Caribbean as "threshold of global geopolitics" (Ceceña), the paper is interested in discussing the Americas as space of entanglements which have from the outset connected the region to Europe and created persistent global inequalities (as e.g. expressed in current migratory regimes). On the other hand, the paper examines perspectives from the Americas as possible correctives for imperial or Eurocentric self-narrations and ways to think alternative ways of the social. As a region marked by century-long experiences of creolization, anti-colonial resistance and conviviality of diverse populations, Europe might indeed learn from the Caribbean (and the Americas) - also to reveal persistent notions of purity and originality as fictions.