Reflections in the Margins: Representations of the Marginalized in Iberian and Latin American Literatures

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Spanish Graduate Students Committee
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2009 marks, in addition to an historic moment in US politics, the anniversary of many watershed moments in the history of Hispanic Literatures. On the Peninsula, this year marks the 400th anniversary of the expulsion of the moriscos from Spain, ending the era of the so-called convivencia of three cultures in Iberia. In Latin America, we celebrate the 400th anniversary of the 1609 publication of the Comentarios Reales by the Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, offering a new perspective in the telling of indigenous history in the New World. . In more recent history, we commemorate seventy years since the end of the Spanish Civil War and the ushering in of a dictatorship, which would attempt to silence dissident voices in three ensuing decades.

Given the historic nature of these anniversaries in relation to how the Hispanic world has dialogued with and about marginalized groups the Spanish graduate students in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Chicago are organizing its 3rd annual conference entitled "Reflections in the Margins: Representations of the Marginalized in Iberian and Latin American Literatures," which will take place October 16-17, 2009 at the Franke Institute for the Humanities at the University of Chicago.

The list of questions we hope to consider includes, but is by no means limited to, the following:

• How have traditionally marginalized writers (mestizos, slaves, females, homosexuals) made their voices heard in Hispanic literature?

• How have the marginalized (Jews, moriscos, gypsies, the indigenous, mestizos, blacks, prostitutes, heretics, criminals, pícaros, the mentally ill, the sexually "deviant" etc.) been represented in oral, written and visual cultures of the Hispanic world?

• How are marginalized bodies treated as disposable objects? How are the conditions of marginality performed?

• How does the very language of expression (indigenous, Catalan, Basque, etc) contribute to the marginalization and expression of voices?

The conference organizing committee welcomes papers from all theoretical perspectives in English, Spanish or Portuguese. Interdisciplinary proposals are particularly encouraged. Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes in length (7-8 typed pages, double-spaced).

Abstracts of approximately 250 words may be sent as a Word attachment to

For more information, please visit our website:

The deadline for abstract submissions is June 30, 2009.