Latina/o Utopias: Futures, Forms, and the Will of Literature

full name / name of organization: 
The 2nd Biennial Latina/o Literary Theory and Criticism Conference
contact email: 

CFP: The 2nd Biennial Latina/o Literary Theory and Criticism Conference

Latina/o Utopias: Futures, Forms, and
the Will of Literature

John Jay College of Criminal Justice

City University of New York

April 23-25, 2015

Abstracts due: September 15, 2014

In his most recent work, Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity (2009), José Esteban Muñoz proposed queer utopianism as "an idealist mode of critique that reminds us that there is something missing, that the present […] is not enough." Muñoz's call to imagine that which is not-yet-conscious compels us to let our dissatisfaction with a corruptive social stasis resharpen our critical endeavors and re-direct our interpretative lenses toward more liberatory and affirming futures. We take up Muñoz's invitation, indeed, his imploration to reconceive the trajectories of Latina/o literary studies by welcoming submissions to the 2015 Latina/o Utopias conference. As a germinative concept, rich in the kind of interdisciplinary and theoretical sophistication that defines Muñoz's work, queer utopia provides a radical hermeneutic capable of tracking what he called the "anticipatory illumination" that abounds in Latina/o literature.

Latina/o Utopias welcomes papers that explore the affective dimensions or performative politics and practices that inform Latina/o letters. We seek papers that chart the temporal and spatial coordinates of Latina/o literary production. We encourage presentations that analyze how Latina/o aesthetics unmake and remake the social or how Latina/o authors use history as a resource to construct literary worlds that gesture toward an indeterminate yet just and empowering collective futurity. We anticipate submissions that reveal how Latina/o authors employ gender, sex, sexuality, queerness, and desire to re-theorize relations of power and create alternative sites of possibility, engagement, and critique. We call on scholars whose work uses Latina/o literature to examine the ways in which race, class, and (dis)able-bodiedness inform Latina/o identities and how Latina/o subjects are continually re/fashioned under the crippling logics of capitalism, neoliberalism, globalization, imperialism, militarism, xenophobia, sexism, and heteronormative regimes. We also call for work that honors Muñoz's commitment to making the classroom a transformative and sustaining space of intellectual and imaginative growth. Muñoz once argued that teaching is "the performance of utopia" and that pedagogues had the responsibility to foster a critical acuity within their students that would enable them to "face the present and embrace abetter place and time." Thus, papers and panels that address the pedagogical practices and challenges that go into shaping Latina/o literature classrooms, syllabi, and curricula are especially welcomed.

In addition to two days of presentations by scholars from across the country, this conference will include the following special events:

Thursday, April 23, 2015: Keynote address by Laura Lomas, Associate Professor of English and American Studies, Rutgers University

Friday, April 24, 2015: Roundtable discussion with
Sandra Cisneros, author of Have You Seen Marie?; Caramelo; Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories; and The House on Mango Street
Nelly Rosario, author of Song of the Water Saints
Iris Gomez, author of Try to Remember
Lyn Di Iorio Sandín, author of Outside the Bones and Professor of English at the City College of New York and the CUNY Graduate Center
Sonia Saldívar-Hull, moderator, Professor of English and Director of the Women's Studies Institute at the University of Texas at San Antonio

Latina/o Utopias honors the spirit of José Esteban Muñoz's audacious and provocative scholarship and wishes to celebrate the indelible imprint that his intellectual legacy has left on the field of Latina/o literary theory and criticism. In addition to the theme of Latina/o utopias, we will also accept papers that include, but are not limited to, the following:

Alternative archives
The Brown Commons
Illegal Borders and Imaginative Boundaries
Citizenship, Strangers, Politics of Exile
Affective States
Latina/o Performance
Latina/o Phenomenologies
Diaspora, Displacement, and Relocation
Spic-ing English: Aesthetics and Bilingualism
Afro-Latinidad and Reimagining Race
Class and the Violence of Everyday Life
Gender and Literature
Queer Futures
Dis-Abilities in/as Utopia
Pedagogy and Subversion
(Post)Coloniality and Modernity
Transnationalism and Hemispheric Studies
Literature and Nation in the Age of Global Capital
Human Rights and Activism
Latina Feminisms
Poetry, Drama, and the Graphic Novel
Latina/o Cinema and Literature
Latina/o Visual Cultures and Literature
Latina/o Music and Literature
The Space of Utopia
Time After the Future

Proposals for panels or individual papers are welcomed.
Undergraduate and graduate submissions are encouraged.

Please send abstracts of 250 words and queries to Professor Belinda Linn Rincón and Professor Richard Perez at

Due date for abstracts: September 15, 2014
Notification of acceptance: October 15, 2014
Pre-registration dates: December 1, 2014 – March 16,2015
Conference dates: April 23 –25, 2015
Conference Registration Fees:
Full-time and adjunct faculty: $100(pre-registration); $150 (onsite registration)
Graduate students: $50 (pre-registration); $70 (onsite registration)
Undergraduate students: $20 (registration)
John Jay College undergraduates and graduates: free
Non-presenters: $40