CFP: Latina/o Language Experiences (1/15/04; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Toni Herrera
contact email: 

Please review the call for papers below and attached and consider
contributing to this proposed collection. Your assistance in
forwarding this to friends and colleagues via e-mail, listservs, or
bulletin boards would also be greatly appreciated.


Toni Nelson Herrera
Louis Mendoza


Call for submissions for a proposed volume of multi-generic writings

Yo hablo, yo soy. ?Y que!: New Perspectives from Latinas/os on their Dynamic Language Experiences

Latinas/os are often presented in media, academic, and popular discourse in
a traditional immigrant model that measures assimilation solely through language
usage. We find this model to be lacking in terms of the complexities of language
experiences that we ourselves have lived. To illustrate how Latina/o self-identification is
inflected through a variety of language experiences, we are seeking submissions in a variety of genres for an anthology that focuses on the subject of "Latina/o Language Experiences." Such experiences may run the gamut from childhood stories, interactions between lovers, workplace relations or between family members, educational or religious experiences, interactions among Latinas/os, or with other cultural groups. We believe that the diversity of perspectives and voices offered will provide insight into the fluid dynamic of social, class, cultural, communal, and national identity formation and provide insight into how identity is formed, lost, maintained, or otherwise negotiated through language usage.

This collection challenges the notion that there is a one-to-one correspondence between
language practice and ethnic identity. Our observations tell us that people's relationships with language is dynamic, fluid, and circumstantial.

o How, for instance, does language usage reflect cultural
allegiance,ethnic "authenticity", community identification,
and the politics of cultural inclusion and exclusion?
o What are the political, economic (class), emotional, and
spiritual dimensions of language?
o How do we use language as a tool for community building and
political solidarity?
o How has language been used as a basis for division or
o How has language shaped and been shaped our attitudes and
experiences about gender, sexuality or sexual identity?
o How do our language choices, limitations, and capacities
affirm as well as frustrate our
                relationships with others?
o Has the "Latinoization" of the U.S. affected the mainstream's
perception of linguistic practices and the homgenization of U.S. Latinas/os?
o How are language experiences distinct among generations of

Submissions may include, but need not be limited to, topics as linguistic chauvinism, linguistic pride, linguistic deficiency or shame, and advantages of bi- or
multi-lingualism. Historical perspectives might consider how our language practices functioned to enable or facilitate community survival and resistance. Submissions can be in any fiction or non-fiction style such as poetry or prose, short interview, short
oral history written in essay format, or personal memoir. What we are
looking to compile is a portrayal of the wide range of experiences that reflects the complexity of Latina/o language experiences and which, taken collectively, asserts meaning about the significance of language as a means of self-fashioning and

Submissions are due: January 15, 2004

Send entries electronically or mail to:
For more information, contact:
Louis Mendoza
Department of English
University of Texas, San Antonio
6900 N. Loop 1604 South
San Antonio, TX 78249

Toni NelsonHerrera (
Department of History
University of Texas, Austin

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Received on Thu Nov 20 2003 - 21:52:45 EST