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Open Access In Lak’ ech: you are my other me

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Abstract

This article aims to explore the potential of transgender studies to offer new trans* and interdisciplinary perspectives that simultaneously question dominant power structures and engage with multiple and unexpected becomings. We believe that the disruptive force of trans-disciplinarity lies in its capacity to open up space for marginalised populations and knowledges by creating a co-emergence of theories and methodologies that, rather than gathering different disciplines around the same topic, becomes, in Roland Barthes’s words, ‘a new object that belongs to no one’. The article attempts to re-imagine interdisciplinarity as a decolonial trans- practice that questions broader processes of exclusion occurring in academia. Such envisioning will unfold around the concept of intersectionality, which we consider necessary to challenge and transform the exclusions reproduced through disciplinary knowledge production. In this respect, we maintain that interdisciplinarity must be constituted so as to trans-cend and queer not only disciplinary boundaries, but also the processes of normalisation that create them. We combine this theorisation with the Mayan principle of In Lak’ ech, which unveils the interdependence of animate and inanimate beings on Earth and thereby has the potential to disrupt not only the notion of ‘proper object’ that belongs to specific disciplines but also the ‘proper subject’, namely disciplinary hierarchies per se. The principle of In Lak’ Ech allows us to envision trans-disciplinary becoming as a practice of intersectional resistance that opens space for radical, trans-, queer, and decolonial social critiques.
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Keywords: becoming; decolonial; gender; interdisciplinarity; trans*

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 11, 2017

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  • Het Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies is het forum voor de wetenschappelijke problematisering van sekse in relatie tot andere vormen van discriminatie en uitsluiting zoals etniciteit, seksualiteit, klasse of leeftijd. Er worden artikelen in gepubliceerd over gendervraagstukken vanuit alle relevante disciplines die een wetenschappelijke bijdrage leveren aan debatten over gender en intersectionaliteit in Nederland en Vlaanderen. Het tijdschrift is een interdisciplinair medium op het kruispunt van maatschappij-, cultuur-, geestes-, gezondheids- en natuurwetenschappen. Het verschijnt vier keer per jaar en biedt wetenschappelijke artikelen en daarnaast ook interviews, boekrecensies, discussiedossiers en opiniërende artikelen in het Nederlands en Engels. Artikelen worden dubbelblind beoordeeld door externe deskundigen.

    The Tijdschrift voor Genderstudies (Journal of Gender Studies) is a Dutch language forum for the scientific problematisation of gender in relation to ethnicity, sexuality, class, and age. The journal aims to contribute to debates about gender and diversity in the Netherlands and Flanders. The journal is an interdisciplinary medium operating at the intersection of society, culture, the humanities, health and science. The editorial staff is open to articles about gender issues from different disciplines, and also accepts English articles. As well as publishing articles, the journal includes essays, columns (short topical and polemical articles), interviews, reviews, summaries of dissertations and conference reports. Articles are subjected to a double blind peer review process.
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