About the Series
History, as radical historians have long observed, cannot be severed from
authorial subjectivity, indeed from politics. Political concerns animate the
questions we ask, the subjects on which wewrite. Forover thirty years the Radi-
cal History Review has led in nurturing and advancing politically engaged his-
torical research. Radical Perspectives seeks to further the journal’s mission: any
author wishing to be in the series makes a self-conscious decision to associate
her or his work with a radical perspective. To be sure, many of us are struggling
with the issue of what it means to be a radical historian in the early twenty-first
century, and this series provides some signposts for what we judge to be radical
history. It offers innovative ways of telling stories from multiple perspectives;
comparative, transnational, and global histories that transcend conventional
boundaries of region and nation; works that elaborate on the implications of
the postcolonial move to ‘‘provincialize Europe’’; studies of the public in and
of the past, including those that consider the commodification of the past; his-
tories that explore the intersection of identities such as gender, race, class, and
sexuality with an eye to their political implications and complications. Above
all, this book series seeks to create an important intellectual space and discur-
sive community to explore the very issue of what constitutes radical history.
Within this context, some of the books published in the series may privilege
alternative and oppositional political cultures, but all will be concerned with
the way power is constituted, contested, used, and abused.
In Imagining Our Americas, a disciplinarily diverse group of scholars boldly
intervenes in the growing debate over the longstanding segmentation of aca-
demic knowledge into Latin American Studies and U.S. American Studies
and the consequent inclination to rethink ‘‘American Studies’’ in hemispheric
terms. The editors take as their point of departure José Martí’s famous protest
in the essay ‘‘Our America’’ against the monopolization of the term by U.S.
Americans, as well as his prescient recognition of the inseparability of politi-
cal and cultural developments throughout the hemisphere. Their pluralization
of Martí’s phrase, however, reflects an awareness of the imbricated nature of
knowledge and identities in these two ‘‘areas’’ and an insistence that the histori-
cally constructed differences in power, politics, and culture cannot be erased
through an academic sleight of hand. The editors note at the outset that the
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