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

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AbstractThis 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.

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News source: Journal of the American Academy of Religion Current Issue

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