LASA 2015 in San Juan, Puerto Rico (May 27 – 30, 2015)

full name / name of organization: 
Rosa E. Soto and Jessica Magnani
contact email: 

Precarious Identities: Battling History, Nostalgia, and the State in U.S. Latino/a Literature and Popular Culture

Although Walter Mignolo was writing largely of Latin America when he remarked that "[t]o embrace Americanity is to dwell in the erasures of coloniality," his comments seem remarkably applicable to Latino/as and Chicano/as given the tensions and contradictions inherent to identity construction within the United States. It might perhaps be more accurate to say that for Latino/as, embracing Americanity means dwelling in a variety of erasures. In addition to the historical baggage of coloniality, Latino/as must often contend with nostalgia, misrepresentation, global political erasures, and the rhetoric of assimilation, among others.
For this panel, we seek papers that address the process of identity construction as it contends with the tensions and absences emerging from within the nation-state in the contemporary period. How do contemporary cultural productions engage the misrepresentations of Latino/a culture and identity? How does the past—historiographic, communal, or familial—inform Latino/a and Chicano/a identity? What does it mean to embrace Americanity in Latino/a and Chicano/a cultural productions? Is it possible to "dwell in . . . erasures"? Papers may address citizenship, representation, history/nostalgia, and/or homelands in an effort to explore the ways Latino/a and Chicano/a cultural productions engage with, challenge, or assimilate dominant narratives.

Send abstracts to:
Rosa E. Soto, Associate Professor at William Paterson University