CFP: Nuestra América, nuestra literatura: National and Literary Perspectives of the Latin American Writer Abroad (8/15/06; LASA,

full name / name of organization: 
Kelly Comfort
contact email: 

CFP: Nuestra América, nuestra literatura: National and Literary Perspectives
of the Latin American Writer Abroad, a proposed panel for LASA 2007.

XXVII International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association: "After
the Washington Consensus: Collaborative Scholarship for a New América,"
September 6 – 8, 2007, Montreal, Canada.

The LASA 2007 Congress—"After the Washington Consensus: Collaborative
Scholarship for a New América"—aims to address the ways in which Latin
American Studies have developed under the shadow of US-centric perspectives
and premises. In an effort to encourage the "de-centering" of studies of the
region, the conference emphasizes the enrichment that results when suppressed
or marginalized voices come forcefully into dialogue with those who have
commanded the center stage. Our proposed panel—Nuestra América, nuestra
literatura: National and Literary Perspectives of the Latin American Writer
Abroad—offers one way of approaching the theme of LASA 2007: to examine the
experiences and contributions of Latin American writers who have lived and
worked on these "center stages," that is, in metropolitan centers throughout
the United States from New York to Miami; from Chicago to Los Angeles.

We invite proposals for papers that address the ways in which the experience
of Latin American writers living and writing abroad (and participating in
foreign literary and artistic circles) has led them either to embrace the
foreign metropolis and borrow hegemonic ideas, ideologies, and literary forms,
or to distance themselves from these urban settings abroad and break inherited
molds so as to create something new, authentic, and autochthonous. Our
proposed session thus considers the relationships, dialogues, and polemics
between Latin American writers and their contemporaries—both foreign and
native; both at home and abroad—as well as the repercussions of such contact
for Latin American literary autonomy. We are interested in papers that
address how some anxiety of influence or fear of suppression by a dominant
U.S. culture brings about a new or renewed vision of not only "nuestra
América," but so too "nuestra literatura." We also seek papers that explore
the reception and recognition that the Latin American writer receives in the
country of origin as compared with the United States, since extended periods
abroad often raise questions of authenticity and authority at home.

One might consider the example of José Martí, whose foreign heritage and
extensive residence abroad preceded his call for a revival of the local, the
indigenous, and the autochthonous in terms of literary and cultural
production. Martí speaks of the dangers of foreign influence and promotes
collaboration and communion among Latin American writers. One might also
consider how Julia de Burgos is read differently by the Puerto Rican community
on the island and in the diaspora. Other Latin American writers whose contact
with U.S. culture inevitably shaped their views on literary production and
national or regional identity include Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, José Enrique
Rodó, José Vasconcelos, José Eustasio Rivera, José Luis González, Gioconda
Belli, Rosario Ferré, Reinaldo Arenas and Carlos Fuentes, to mention only the
most salient examples.

Please send 500 word abstracts and a brief CV to Vanessa Pérez
( and Kelly Comfort ( by August 15,
2006. Materials may be submitted in English, Spanish, or Portuguese. While
we encourage papers that explore Brazilian writers in the U.S., due to the
panel organizers' limited speaking abilities in Portuguese, presentations
should be given in English or Spanish. Decisions will be made by August 25,
as session proposals are due to LASA by September 9, 2006.

For further information on LASA and the convention, please see the LASA

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Received on Wed Jul 12 2006 - 16:31:13 EDT