I N T R O D U C T I O N : A S I G H T L I N E
Critical Ethnic Studies Editorial Collective:
nada elia, david hernández, jodi kim, shana l. redmond,
dylan rodríguez, and sarita echavez see
It is a generally well- known (and often mythified) fact that the Third World
Liberation Front (twlf) model of solidarity- and alliance- based rebellion
and revolutionary strug gle structured the opening stanzas of ethnic studies
as a po litical and cultural intervention into the white supremacist university
during the late 1960s and early 1970s. A peculiar pedagogical narrative has
sprung forth from this period of antiracist and anti- imperialist social move-
ments. This narrative both draws from and selectively neutralizes the prin-
cipled forms of intellectual self- determination that constituted the twlf as a
po litical and cultural practice. That is, the coherence of ethnic studies as such
has relied on a changing, often vexed set of rationalizations, arguments, and sto-
ries regarding the necessity and propriety of convening different epistemic-
institutional formations within a political- intellectual housing ( whether an
academic department, high school curriculum, or community- formed proj ect).
These critical and radical intellectual projects, each with its own autonomous
genealogy, have become legible as black studies, African American studies,
Native American studies, indigenous studies, Chicano/a studies, Puerto
Rican studies, Asian American studies, Latino/a studies, Arab American stud-
ies, women of color feminisms, queer of color critique, and so forth. Ethnic
studies, as a pedagogical and narrative rubric, attempts to convene these
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