A Transatlantic Perspective on Romani Thoughts, Movements, and Presence beyond Europe



Published Nov 15, 2019
Esteban Acuña Cabanzo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3310-8248


This article first aims to establish a genealogy of critical stances on knowledge construction on, about, and from Romani groups in academia. It focuses on critical perspectives that have challenged Eurocentric binary categorizations. Such categories have resulted in the historical perception of a universal “Gypsy”/“non-Gypsy” divide despite the diverse contexts in which Romani identities are negotiated in daily life. The text addresses the writings of authors who have been critical of how central this divide has been to the constitution of Romani Studies as a field, most of whom have relied on insights from Edward Said´s Orientalism (2003 [1978])and other postcolonial theorizations. The theoretical insights brought into conversation come from  ethnographic work with Romani individuals and groups whose mobilities exceed imagined European borders. Based on this work, the second part of the article gives an example of the consequences of Eurocentric categorizations: a review of how Romani transatlantic migration and presence in the Americas has been conceived in academic texts. To conclude, the author puts forward engagements with Romani transatlantic passages as one of the ways in which postcolonial stances can actually be operationalized in academic practice. Throughout the argument, transatlantic experiences become not only an epistemic tool but also a case study for a refined understanding of Romani life worlds.

How to Cite

Acuña Cabanzo, E. (2019). A Transatlantic Perspective on Romani Thoughts, Movements, and Presence beyond Europe. Critical Romani Studies, 2(1), 42-60. https://doi.org/10.29098/crs.v2i1.31



Orientalism, Eurocentrism, Transatlantic, Postcolonialism