CLS Faculty Publish Special Journal Issue on Intersectional Research Methodologies

Latino Studies Journal Cover ImageThis Fall saw the publication of “Intersectional Methodological Approaches: Research movidas to Center Latino/Latina/Latinx Voices,” a special issue of the journal Latino Studies edited by Marla Ramírez Tahuado (CLS/History) and Sarah Rios (Community and Environmental Sociology).  The issue was born of a 2019 roundtable discussion here at UW-Madison that brought five newly hired Indigenous, Latina, and Xicana assistant professors from several departments, disciplines, and colleges together to discuss the challenges they faced in centering historically silenced voices.  Contributors, including Ramírez and Rios as well as Almita Miranda (CLS/Geography) and Edna Ely-Ledesma (Planning & Landscape Architecture), apply the well-known “intersectionality” framework developed by legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw, to a variety of case studies involving communities of Latin American descent in the United States.  They also bring to bear the Chicana feminist concept of “movidas” (“actions” or “maneuvers”) on the situations they describe, working with Latinx communities to explore embodied ways of acting and knowing that the dominant culture of the United States has ignored, devalued, or suppressed.  The articles highlight the stories of U.S. citizens unconstitutionally banished to Mexico during the Depression of the 1930s (Ramírez), the lives of mixed-status families that straddle borders (Miranda), new ways of incorporating the priorities and knowledge of South Texas residents into planning decisions (Ely-Ledesma), and the experiences of farmworkers in California with a fungal disease known as Valley Fever (Rios).  Exploring the intersection of multiple social identities in the lives of the communities they study, Ramírez, Rios and their collaborators build partnerships with marginalized people to write “counter-stories” of resistance, providing new perspectives on established narratives and exposing the violence of racism and colonialism.  Those of us who have been with Chican@ & Latin@ Studies for a long time know that the Program provides fertile ground for the interdisciplinary exchange of ideas.  This publication is one more example of the fruits of that exchange.