The LSA conference is an exciting event, held every two years during the summer at different geographic locations across the United States. The conference draws together over 500 academics, students, artists, writers, filmmakers and community activists whose work is dedicated to supporting, understanding, and engaging issues relevant to Latino/a/x people in the United States. The conference provides a generative and creative space for fostering community and broadcasting the lively and critical work that defines the field of Latina/o/x studies.
Each conference is slightly different depending on contemporary challenges facing Latina/o/x communities, the scholarship surrounding those issues, and the location of the conference. Plenary sessions are integral aspects of the conferences as well as presentations. Presentation formats include regular panel presentations, roundtable discussions, workshops, poster sessions and other creative venues depending on the interests and needs of the membership. Professional development workshops and panels on recent books in Latina/o/x studies are likewise integral to conference proceedings. In 2018, a subcommittee of the Program Committee formed the LSA Plaza as a dynamic space to get together with long-time friends and colleagues – and find new ones – over coffee and conversation. The community building inherent in the LSA Plaza includes a chance to browse and buy books, meet acquisition editors from different presses, watch films and meet filmmakers, listen to live music, attend poetry and book readings, experience local Latinx art, and interact with a variety of community groups. The Poetry en la Plaza events, which highlighted a series of poets reading from their work over several days, proved to be very popular and may become a permanent – and prominent – feature of the LSA Plaza.
Participants at past conferences have noted their unique character, particularly the sense of support and comradery among participants. Bringing together a diverse group of people in the community allows members to have conversations across disciplinary and institutional borders. The conference affords those interested and engaged in Latina/o/x Studies the opportunity to share work, exchange views, and share in meaningful conversations with scholars, teachers, students, writers, artists, and community activists in the field.
Anita Huízar-Hernández, co-chair, Arizona State University
Sujey Vega, co-chair, Arizona State University
Lee Bebout, Arizona State University
Maritza E. Cardenas, University of Arizona
Juan Carillo, Arizona State University
Irasema Coronado, Arizona State University
Lillian Gorman, University of Arizona
Chris Marin, Arizona State University
Louis Mendoza, Arizona State University
Mathew Sandoval, Arizona State University
Centering Blackness, Challenging Latinidad was held at University of Notre Dame South Bend, IN on July 11-14-2022. [2022 PROGRAM]
Latinx Studies Now was held in Washington, DC from July 11-15, 2018. [2018 PROGRAM]
Deliberating Latina/o Studies: Promiscuity, (In)Civility & (Un)Disciplinarity was held in Pasadena, CA, from July 7-9, 2016. [2016 PROGRAM]
Imagining Latina/o Studies: Past, Present, and Future was held in Chicago, IL, from July 17-19, 2014. [2014 PROGRAM]
As LSA celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2024, the conference site committee invites you to consider the productive relationship between justice and joy in the context of Latinx placemaking. In mainstream media, battles over social justice and Latinx joy are often bracketed off from one another. Social justice as a concept has come under fire, alongside other lightning rod issues such as DEI, critical race theory, and ethnic studies. In stark contrast, one can easily conjure up exceptional images of Latinx joy such as Selena or Celia Cruz dancing, and Latinx athletes pumping their fists as they celebrate a win. Where along this spectrum does Latinx placemaking fit? What interventions do Latinx communities make as they both counter harmful rhetoric and celebrate their own resilience in the face of anti-immigrant and anti-Latinx laws, border crises, and other forms of violence? How do Latinx communities create a sense of place amidst so much displacement, from transnational migration to gentrification? As scholars, we seek to consider how justice and joy are bound up with one another, co-creating a shared sense of place.
Our theme resonates with the host site of Arizona, which has long been a lightning rod for anti-Latinx politics but is also a place where Latinxs have found joy, built community, and organized for justice. As Latinxs and Indigenous communities in Arizona have negotiated complex relationships to land and one another, the site encourages us also to ask, what is the relationship between Latinx placemaking and the forceful displacement of other communities, especially Indigenous communities? How can Latinx studies more capaciously consider this kind of placemaking within contradictory contexts?
Beyond Arizona, the conference theme invites wide engagement with the diversity of Latinx places and spaces. From the urban to the rural, from the Southwestern borderlands to the East Coast and beyond, Latinxs have been integral to the rise of important multiracial coalitions that have led the effort to transform the culture and political climate of the United States. Such transformations make spaces for Latinx joy.
The preliminary schedule (subject to change) is now available! Click here: LSA 2024-Preliminary Program. Please check back for the finalized program.
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