Mobile and Entangled America(s): 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Mobile and Entangled America(s)

1st Edition

Edited by Maryemma Graham, Wilfried Raussert


340 pages

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pub: 2016-05-06
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A superb combination of focused case studies and high level conceptual thinking, this volume is an important monument in the ongoing development of Inter-American studies The articles gathered here closely examine a wide variety of cultural phenomena implicated in the 'entanglements' which have defined the history of the Americas. From religious networks to music and dance, and across a range of literary and artistic works, the mobility of people, objects, and ideas in the Americas is expertly mapped. At the same time, the book represents a serious enterprise of theory-building. Drawing on the histories of postcolonial thought, mobility studies, and work on human migration, Mobile and Entangled America(s) clearly establishes a new interdisciplinary field attentive both to the complexities of cultural form and the pervasiveness of power relations. Each article stands as a significant piece of scholarship on its own, but all are in dialogue with each other. The result is a richly satisfying and important volume of cultural scholarship.


’This volume transcends celebrations of multiculturalism and condemnations of globalization through its insightful reflections on the positive and negative aspects of entanglements in the Americas. Essays on literature, music, media, travel, and biocultural and spiritual mobilities explore issues of identity and displacement, mobility and stasis, rupture and growth. A timely collection that pushes the boundaries of Inter-American Studies.’ Catherine Leen, National University of Ireland, Maynooth ’A resolutely interdisciplinary Inter-American Studies collection by an international group of scholars in ongoing dialogue. So rigorously do the editors stir up the collection’s key concepts, mobility and entanglement�, that the words stopped striking me as opposites about halfway through the introduction, and seemed to increase in dynamism as author after author pushed them together to spark new insights in a vast range of cultural studies across the Americas. Not a metaphor or map in sight, this is a disorientating collection in the best sense of the word.’ Sherrie Tucker, University of Kansas, USA

Table of Contents

Lists of Figures and Tables vii

Notes on Contributors ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction: Just a Small Step: From Jamaica Kincaid’s

A Small Place to Mobile and Entangled America(s) 1

Maryemma Graham and Wilfried Raussert


1 On Routes and Roots: Movement and Rootedness in

Garifuna Culture 13

Paula Prescod

2 CircumCaribbean Sisterhood: Patterns of Migration in

Cristina Garcia’s The Agüero Sisters 25

John Lowe

3 Tracing Afro Diasporic Histories: Translocational Storytelling

and Entangled Afro Americas in Ntozake Shange’s Sassafrass,

Cypress & Indigo and Edwidge Danticat’s Brother I’m Dying 51

Wilfried Raussert

4 “My history is a creature nobody really believes in. My history is

a foreign word.” Second-Generation Immigrant Identity in

David Chariandy’s Soucouyant 73

Miriam Brandel

5 From Granny’s Knee to Graduate Seminar: The Travels of

the Soucouyant 91

Giselle Liza Anatol

6 Translocating the Caribbean, Positioning Im/Mobilities:

The Sonic Politics of Las Krudas from Cuba 103

Julia Roth

vi Mobile and Entangled America(s)


7 Intimate Ties: Biotic Mobility and Inter‑American Studies 131

Rüdiger Kunow

8 Tattoo Travels: On Mobilities and Mobilizations of

American Skin Art 155

Martin Butler

9 United Colors of Belonging? Participatory Culture and

Diversity 2.0 in the Crowd-sourced Documentary Life in a Day 167

Sebastian Thies

10 Transnational Forces, Technological Developments, and

the Role of the State in the Mexican Audiovisual Sector 189

José Carlos Lozano

11 Mission Inverted: Inter-American Religious Flows and

How to Capture Them 203

Heinrich Wilhelm Schäfer



12 The Polysemic Use of Identity and Culture in International

Migration: The Case of Central American Migration in Mexico 245

Rodolfo Casillas

13 The Mobility of Hope and Violence in Sin Nombre 265

Josef Raab

14 Mexican Indigenismo in a Hemispheric Context―Elements for

a Historiography of Inter-American Entanglements in the

First Half of the Twentieth Century 283

Olaf Kaltmeier

15 Boas Goes to Americas: The Emergence of Trans-American

Perspectives on “Culture” 301

Afef Benessaieh

16 Moby-Dick and Globalization 321

John Carlos Rowe

Index 337

About the Editors

Maryemma Graham is Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas, Lawrence.

Wilfried Raussert is Chair and Professor of North American Literary and Cultural Studies and Director of Inter-American Studies at Bielefeld University, Germany.

About the Series

InterAmerican Research: Contact, Communication, Conflict

InterAmerican Research: Contact, Communication, Conflict

The Americas are shaped by a multitude of dynamics which have extensive, conflictive and at times contradictory consequences for society, culture, politics and the environment. These processes are embedded within a history of interdependence and mutual observation between North and South which originates in the conquest and simultaneous ‘invention’ of America by European colonial powers.

The series will challenge the ways we think about the Americas, in particular, and the concept of area studies, in general. Put simply, the series perceives the Americas as transversally related, chronotopically entangled and multiply interconnected. In its critical positioning at the crossroads of area studies and cultural studies the series aims to push further the postcolonial, postnational, and cross-border turns in recent studies of the Americas toward a model of horizontal dialogue between cultures, areas, and disciplines.

The series pursues the goal to ‘think the Americas different’ and to explore these phenomena from transregional as well as interdisciplinary perspectives.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General