Universität Bielefeld

The Americas as Space of Entanglements

The 3500-km-long border between the U.S. and Mexico is a monumental symbol of the paradoxical entanglement of two opposing phenomena. On the one hand, you see the attempts at territorial isolation via border militarization. On the other hand, North and South grow ever closer here via the inexorable flow of people, goods, information and media.

The interdisciplinary BMBF project "The Americas as Space of Entanglements" — based at the Center for Inter-American Studies (CIAS) at Bielefeld University — seeks to investigate the following complementary questions: How do hemispheric spaces of entanglements come to be within transversal (i.e. translocal, transnational and transregional) dynamics? And how are these entangled spaces increasingly becoming a central framework for socio-cultural, economic, political and environmental action within the Americas?

It is important to note, however, that the Americas should not be misconstrued as a surrogate for a new category of spatial containment. Instead, 'area' and 'area studies' need to be re-conceptualized vis-à-vis increasing globalization processes.