Moving Home: Poetics of Place in Latin American and Latino/a Literature

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
NeMLA April 12-15, 2018
contact email: 

This panel examines the relationship between identity, memory and the physical, linguistic, affective and geographic expressions of place in Latin American and Latino/a literature (20th-21st centuries). In particular, we will look at the ways movement and translation (linguistic and physical) serve as strategies for questioning, redeeming, liberating or reconstructing marginal places (e.g. prisons, slums, colonies) and identities. This session also aims to address the relationship between representations of place and theoretical debates surrounding nomadism (cf. Braidotti and Forcinito), intersectionality (cf. Crenshaw and Collins), and feminism/queer studies (cf. Haraway and Freccero) as modes of resisting fixity and fostering fluidity.

Furthermore, we seek to explore instances in literature in which writing becomes place as a way of constructing a “home” (cf. McClennen) or reclaiming a lost or endangered identity. Thinking literally and metaphorically about place, we ask, what is the role of place in the construction of identity and memory, both individual and collective? How does place function in discourses of exile and/or insile? How are representations of place used to question dominant discourses of identity, memory, and/or nation?

We are especially interested in new theoretical approaches to place as it relates to memory and identity and welcome papers that explore the tension between emplacement and movement, center and periphery, roots and rootlessness, inclusivity and exclusivity, experiences of exile and insile.