Thamyris/Intersecting: Place, Sex and Race
Edited by Ernst van Alphen
The mission of Thamyris/Intersecting is to rigorously bring into encounter the crucial insights of black and ethnic studies, gender studies, and queer studies, and facilitate dialogue and confrontations between them. Thamyris/Intersecting shares this focus with Thamyris: Mythmaking from Past to Present, the socially committed international journal which was established in 1994, out of which Thamyris/Intersecting has evolved. The sharpness and urgency of these issues is our point of departure, and our title reflects our decision to work on the cutting edge.
We envision these confrontations and dialogues through three recurring categories: place, sex, and race. To us they are three of the most decisive categories that order society, locate power, and inflict pain and/or pleasure. Gender and class will necessarily figure prominently in our engagement with the above.
Race, for we will keep analyzing this ugly, much-debated concept, instead of turning to more civil concepts (ethnicity, culture) that do not address the full disgrace of racism. Sex, for sexuality has to be addressed as an always active social strategy of locating, controlling as well as mobilizing people, and as an all-important, not necessarily obvious, cultural practice. And place, for we agree with other cultural analysts that this is a more productive framework for the analysis of situated identities and acts that allow us to move beyond narrow identitarian theories.
The long title of the new book series points at what we, its editors, want to do: think together. Our series will not satisfy itself with merely demonstrating the complexity of our times, or with analyzing the shaping factors of that complexity. We know how to theorize the intertwining of, for example, sexuality and race, but pushing these intersections one step further is what we aim for: How can this complexity be understood in practice? That is, in concrete forms of political agency, and the efforts of self-reflexive, contextualized interpretation. How can different socially and theoretically relevant issues be thought together? And: how can scholars (of different backgrounds) and activists think together, and realize productive alliances in a radical, transnational community?
We invite proposals for edited volumes that take the issues that Thamyris/Intersecting addresses seriously. These contributions should combine an activist-oriented perspective with intellectual rigor and theoretical insights, interdisciplinary and transnational perspectives. The editors seek cultural criticism that is daring, invigorating and self-reflexive; that share our commitment to thinking together.