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Andreas Beer, PhD,
is an American Studies scholar, whose research interests comprise transnational connections between the USA and Central America in the 19th century (the topic of his thesis), gender and masculinity theories, and postcolonial theories.
For further information on his person and his current academic activities, please take a look at: www.andreasbeer.info



¿Todos somos indios?
Authenticity and „open indigeneity“ in protest movements
and academic discourses in the Americas. 


In my postdoc project I investigate the interconnections between the claims of authenticity and an “open” form of indigeneity in different protest movements in the Americas. I focus on actors who often revert to a position of “indigenous subalternity” to confer authenticity upon their demands in the confrontation with institutions of the nation state, which in the era of (late) modernity often ascribes subaltern subjects special minority rights – at least discursively and legally. The project's thesis is that these groups occupy the valuable speaking position of medially visible subalterns by recurring to a new form of indigeneity, claiming an authenticity based on an “open form” of indigeneity not bound to indigenous heritage. “Open indigeneity” means the possibility for protesters to enunciate inherent rights (of ethnicity, place, language, heritage or history) – a claim that is also present in theoretical texts by several Latin American Cultural Studies scholars, who often reference these protests. By identifying tropes and discursive figures in a variety of textual material, I investigate common elements in the communicative repertoire of the various protest movements and its affiliated academic discourses. The title question (deliberately given in Spanish to indicate the project's transcultural approach) signals towards the underlying questions of this project: Has the postmodern negligence of “the real,” in this case of authenticity, come to an end? Are Latin American-based activists and Cultural Studies scholars re-positioning their everyday experiences as new forms of epistemological knowledge acquisition, or do they follow tendencies of re-essentializing identity claims? And finally: Which role does “the indigenous” (not so much the individual person or collective agents, but rather the abstract, discursive construction of indigeneity) play in the Americas today?