Confounded Identities: A Meditation on Race, Feminism, and Religious Studies in Times of White Supremacy

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Abstract

This article addresses the pervasiveness of white supremacy in American identity-thinking. Challenging the use of identity to structure unity platforms in academia, I advocate for Black-transnational feminist-queer strategies that demand coalition-based politics oriented around a transformative radical potential. Religious studies is used as an interdisciplinary case study to understand the problem of academic identity- thinking, where I show first, how white privilege is maintained in the "scholar-practitioner" divide, and second, how white supremacy is naturalized in identity-thinking. Eschewing relative or comparative approaches that reify identity-based logics, I move towards analytic and technical approaches that are productive of an activist-oriented decolonial stance. This gesture draws on the relationality, conflict, tension, power, and politics of studying racialized religious and spiritual subjects with an unapologetically transformative agenda.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-340
Number of pages34
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Religion
Volume86
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 17 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Religious studies

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