Centering Blackness, Challenging Latinidad
Call for Papers
Deadline: Dec. 1, 2021 by 5:00 pm EST
Calls for racial justice, accountability, resistance, and representation, which have a long history in this hemisphere, have strongly reverberated across Afro-Latina/o/x communities, prompting us to confront the colonial legacy of enslavement and anti-Black racism prevalent in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the U.S. The racial justice protests that erupted across the United States after the murder of George Floyd in May 2020 re-energized the Black Lives Matter and similar movements worldwide, including in Latin America, in the fight against global anti-Blackness. The present moment links us to a long critical history of decolonial struggles, including the Black Latin American struggle, which dates back centuries. Systemic anti-Blackness can take many forms, from the disproportional impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Latina/o/x and Black communities to police brutality; from environmental racism to the crisis of climate refugees; from discrimination to colorism; and from invisibility to colonialism, among others. As our title for the LSA 2022 Conference indicates, we believe it is imperative that we center Blackness within Latina/o/x Studies in order to confront the erasure of Afro-descendants from latinidad, something that Afro-Latinxs have demanded for a long time, both from our field of study and from the community at large. We seek to better understand and address systemic forms of racism against Black Latina/o/x communities and how these correlate and intersect with the escalation of anti-Asian violence, the continuing legacy of violence against Indigenous peoples, and global endemic violence against girls and women. Inspired by this moment of racial justice reckoning and the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024), we aim to create a space where afrolatinidad is centered and celebrated, and where we can have an urgent and honest dialogue about how anti-Blackness impacts the Latina/o/x community.
Blackness inevitably challenges the white-centeredness that undergirds historic conceptions of latinidad. The phrase “Challenging latinidad,” not only points to this, but also hints at a decolonial approach by inviting us to consider how marginalized identities destabilize this concept. With this purpose in mind, we also encourage participants to submit proposals for individual papers and panels centering the experiences of Indigenous, LGBTQ+, undocumented peoples, and other groups often excluded from hegemonic conceptions of latinidad (Haitians, Garifunas, etc.), and to consider how these groups’ experiences intersect with anti-Black forms of violence. By holding the 2022 Conference in South Bend, Indiana—a city in the rural Midwest with an established Latina/o/x community—we also encourage participants to engage with scholars, community organizers, and activists beyond the traditional geocultural areas (West Coast, Southwest, East Coast, Florida) more often engaged in our field. The Conference aims to offer a space for interdisciplinary deliberation on building stronger solidarity networks among scholars, activists, community organizations, artists, and other actors. By centering Blackness and other marginalized identities and positionalities, we hope that the 2022 LSA Conference helps us advance toward a more inclusive field of Latina/o/x Studies.
Additional Topics to Consider:
- Afro-Latinx and Black American networks
- Afro-Latinx futures and science fiction
- Aesthetic interventions that center Afro-Latinidades in art, literature, music, and film
- Racial paradigms and Latina/o/x subjectivity
- The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic among Latina/o/x communities
- Latinidad, racial violence, and comparative race studies
- The political crisis in Haiti
- Haiti within Latina/o/x Studies
- The #SOSCuba movement
- The root causes and intersections of migration, displacement, precarity, and violence in Central America
- (Anti)Blackness in Central America and its diasporas
- The denationalization of Dominicans of Haitian descent in the D.R. (la Sentencia)
- Debt crisis, Hurricane María, the #RickyRenuncia movement, the earthquakes, and the pandemic in Puerto Rico
- Disaster discourse and social crises in Latina/o/x communities
- Ecocriticism and Latina/o/x Studies
- Geography of solidarities across the Black diaspora
- Decolonizing Latina/o/x Studies
- Latina/o/x intersectionalities
- Role of Latina/o/xs in the 2020 US election
- Race and digital humanities in Latina/o/x Studies
- Violence against women, girls, and LGBTQI+ across the Americas and hemisphere
Proposal Submission Guidelines:
The program committee welcomes proposals with diverse formats but will give preference to organized panels, roundtables, and workshops. Individual presentations, poster presentations, and other creative formats will also be considered. Submissions for participation should be submitted through the conference management website here.
Please make sure to have the information listed below ready before submission to the system.
- Names of participants (list organizer first, followed by presenters)
- Panel title
- 300-word panel abstract
- Format (e.g. panel, roundtable, workshop) including A/V needs or special accommodations
- For each presenter, include the following:
- Contact information
- Position or title
- Institutional /organization affiliation
- Discipline (if applicable)
- Title of presentation and 150-word abstract
- Name and contact information
- Position or title
- Institutional/organizational affiliation
- Discipline (if applicable)
- Title of presentation and a 150-word abstract.
Your information will not be saved until you have completed your submission.
Submissions are limited to a one individual proposal abstract per person in a panel, round-table, or workshop and one additional role per person as organizer, moderator, or respondent.