Migrants in Transnational Cities (ACLA 2018)

deadline for submissions: 
September 21, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Lorena Cuya Gavilano/ Arizona State University
contact email: 

INFO about the conference

ACLA Annual Meeting 2018: https://www.acla.org/annual-meeting

Deadline: September 21, at 9 a.m. EST

The American Comparative Literature Association's 2018 Annual Meeting will take place at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in Los Angeles, California between March 29th and April 1st, 2018. 

interested individuals may submit a paper proposal directly on the ACLA website <https://www.acla.org/node/add/seminar> before  September 21, at 9 a.m. EST

PANEL: Migrants in Transnational Cities

More than half of the human population on the planet is urban, a consequence brought on by migrations and other transnational circulations. Cities are economic, cultural, and political crossroads. They are, therefore, the loci of negotiations between what Arjun Appadurai describes as 'sites of agency' and 'fields of possibility.' They are all in all perfect—or imperfect—examples of spaces where residents and migrants encounter, confront, and transform each other and their communities. The city’s inhabitants are constantly repositioning their location within fields of local and transnational powers. Thus, the idiosyncrasies we know about specific cities are relentlessly transformed by the contributions of migrant flows.

The scholarship on cities as sites where actors have connected and disconnected throughout the globe is clearly a necessary critical task. Hence, this panel discusses how to understand and conceptualize the dynamic relationships between cities, migration, and transnationalism. Migrants and residents who live in cities as new and old local actors influence the configurations of culture, economics, education, family, and other social relationships. These configurations produce new forms of cultural production reflected in the expressive arts in which images of migrants shape and transform the diversity of transnational cities.

This panel also examines the production and circulation of images of urban transnational migrants with an emphasis on those of U.S. Latino and Latin American backgrounds. It focuses on narratives—written, oral, audiovisual, visual, performative, for example—that represent, interrogate, or contest the different signs and scales of the transnational city. Among other questions, we will discuss how authors have imagined and represented transnational cities in the U.S., Latin America and other regions. How have their narratives (i.e. literary texts, films, music) contributed to the construction of transnational cities? How have transnational authors and other artists imagined, echoed, or thought of the city in a transnational context? In answering these questions, the panel seeks to bring together an array of critical perspectives that suggest new ways to understand, situate, and historicize the culture of migrants in transnational cities and/or the culture of transnational cities in the age of global migration? How do we identify new pathways to transnational urbanism, and map the cultural contours of translocal connections?

Key words: transnationalism, migration, city, Latino, Latin America, Immigration, Global, Translocal, cityscapes

For more information, please contact:

Lorena Cuya Gavilano

Assistant Professor of Spanish

Arizona State University



Juanita Heredia

Associate Professor of Spanish

Northern Arizona University