Introduction: Across the Americas
Heidi Tinsman and Sandhya Shukla
Late into the first decade of the twenty-first century, we are witnesses to, indeed
participants in, a more profound sense of global connection and a more acute
experience of national and regional division than world history has perhaps
ever presented. Accelerated migrations of goods and peoples proceed alongside
the execution of regional and imperial wars and deepened international and
intranational inequalities. These are the paradoxes of globalization and empire
at our front door, at every world citizen’s door. It seems that political and aca-
demic inquiries into the nature of distinct global communities and into what
constitutes historical ruptures and continuities are all in some basic way con-
cerned with how, analytically, we will work out the apparent contradictions of
connection and division.
Twinned imperatives, to contend with contemporary globalization’s inten-
sity and to understand globality’s historical depth, shape any exploration of
nation and empire. Locating such efforts in the geographical and imaginative
possibilities of region is one way to introduce important questions of time and
space into deeply politicized debates about how nation-states and their peoples
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