In Lak’ ech: you are my other me: Re-imagining interdisciplinarity as a trans-disciplinary becoming

C.L. Quinan, Aurora Perego

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This article aims to explore the potential of transgender studies to offer new trans* and interdisciplinary perspectives that simultaneously question dominant power structures and engage with multiple and unexpected becomings. We believe that the disruptive force of trans-disciplinarity lies in its capacity to open up space for marginalised populations and knowledges by creating a co-emergence of theories and methodologies that, rather than gathering different disciplines around the same topic, becomes, in Roland Barthes’s words, ‘a new object that belongs to no one’. The article attempts to re-imagine interdisciplinarity as a decolonial trans- practice that questions broader processes of exclusion occurring in academia. Such envisioning will unfold around the concept of intersectionality, which we consider necessary to challenge and transform the exclusions reproduced through disciplinary knowledge production. In this respect, we maintain that interdisciplinarity must be constituted so as to trans-cend and queer not only disciplinary boundaries, but also the processes of normalisation that create them. We combine this theorisation with the Mayan principle of In Lak’ ech, which unveils the interdependence of animate and inanimate beings on Earth and thereby has the potential to disrupt not only the notion of ‘proper object’ that belongs to specific disciplines but also the ‘proper subject’, namely disciplinary hierarchies per se. The principle of In Lak’ Ech allows us to envision trans-disciplinary becoming as a practice of intersectional resistance that opens space for radical, trans-, queer, and decolonial social critiques.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-358
JournalTijdschrift voor Genderstudies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


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