By Samantha Pinto

About Samantha Pinto

Samantha Pinto is Associate Professor of English and African American Studies at Georgetown University. She is the author of Difficult Diasporas: The Transnational Feminist Aesthetic of the Black Atlantic (NYU Press, 2013), which received the 2013 William Sanders Scarborough Prize from the Modern Language Association.


“Coalition” is a critical keyword in modern political organizing, denoting the practice of connecting various political groups of differing cultural, social, and/or ideological identities through a common goal or struggle. In the U.S. and internationally, coalition work is now a staple tactic for rallying institutions—­and sometimes electorates—­for specific policy changes whose interests cut across various economic, cultural, and political lines. In the academy, organization theory, or social organization theory—­a branch of sociology and sometimes psychology—­became increasingly interested in coalition organizing as a dominant mode of politics in the wake of civil rights and feminist organizing in the 1960s and ’70s U.S., as well as global student, anticolonial / Third Worldist, and antiwar movements in the same time period. Coalition’s key historical emergence as what we might think of as a social justice practice was then born of and around the time that African American studies—­as well as Chicano/a studies and …

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