Space and Psyche in Contemporary Latinx/Latin American Culture (NeMLA Pittsburgh 2018)

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Thomas Conners, University of Pennsylvania
contact email: 

This panel reflects on the relationship between space and psyche in contemporary Latinx and Latin American texts. With movement across the Americas in constant flux, Latin American and Latinx literatures offer insights into this border-crossing psyche, with recent novels depicting the diverse reactions subjects exhibit in forming, surviving, and thriving. For example, the heroine of Yuri Herrera’s Señales que precederán al fin del mundo (2011) comes to terms with her subjectivity in her journey north, while the journalist of Horacio Castellanos Moya’s Insensatez (2004) finds his conception of self shaken after his move. In a similar way that the protagonist of Héctor Tobar’s The Tattooed Soldier (1995) is unable to escape the Guatemalan trauma he sought to leave behind upon traveling to the US, the protagonist of Salvador Plascencia’s The People of Paper (2005) finds no respite from abandonment and loss of subjecthood after crossing from Mexico into California.

In keeping with NeMLA's 2018 theme, we ask: how do changes in physical space affect psychic space? How is a subject formed when straddling borders, languages, racial identities, and national affiliations? What are the formal, affective, and aesthetic manifestations of this in literature? This panel looks to examine the psychological implications of crossing, moving around, and standing in the spaces in 20th and 21st century Latin American and Latinx texts.

Please submit 300-word abstracts no later than September 30, 2017 through the NeMLA online submission system, found at Please direct any questions to