The idea behind this website is to produce a rhizomatic set of responses to the concept of Critical Regionalism. By this we mean to both examine the term and where it has come from and, perhaps more importantly for us, to stretch it to see how far and how useful it might be as a means of re-thinking our interests in ‘regionalism’. We are not precious about regionalism – but we know it is a term used, a concept that has a genuine usage in varieties of cultural studies. Regions do matter. People live in places and like to (in some cases) identify them as regions (as opposed to nations … cities …hemispheres …). Are they always inward-looking and parochial? Is that indeed a problem at all? Where do these regions belong in the globalised and globalising world?
Krista Comer argues that “the category and analytic practice of regionalism” has to be innovated so that it does not simply reinforce the nation-state’s values or earlier nostalgic modes, but may, indeed open up “more postnational and transnational” perspectives. (Comer, “Taking Feminism” 112-13). We agree. It might be a locus for new ideas and actions. New identities out of place. Like Comer we’re interested in the “radical” potential of “region” and how it might be employed to interrogate universalised norms and assumptions through asserting “constant contact and interchange between the local scene and the wide world that lies beyond it” (ibid.). So in stretching regionalism out of its traditional frame, we might reframe it.