Call for Articles: Memory Studies and Latinidad

deadline for submissions: 
February 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Journal of Latino-Latin American Studies (JOLLAS)
contact email: 

How does latinidad rely on personal memory? ¿Cómo es el concepto de « latinidad » a la vez un producto de memoria cultural? ¿Qué pasa cuando olvidamos? Do we learn latinidad from lessons that value the truths of memory? Across specialties of the disciplines and in a variety methods, recent scholarship is addressing the distance between the historical and the remembered. The authority of history measured against the validity of memory (both individual and collective) reveals that how we remember has become as important as what we remember. Hayden White, in Metahistory, likened written history to species of literary genres, and oral history today is burgeoning as essential scholarly method in recovery projects. The discursive space between the empiricism of historical record and the subjectivity of personal memory itself constitutes a site of critical inquiry, and at the present moment this space is rich and dynamic. Walter Benjamin, Michel Foucault, Maurice Halbwachs, and Pierre Nora inform more contemporary theorists such as Viet Thanh Nguyen, Marianne Hirsch, Marita Sturken, Diana Taylor, and Kirk Savage. Andreas Huyssen notes that the in-between space that lies between history and memory demonstrates a “fundamental disturbance not just of the relationship between history as objective and scientific, and memory as subjective and personal, but of history itself and its promises.” The field of memory studies examines precisely this space connecting memory and history, with both equally individual and collective. In “Historical Memory and Collective Memory,” Halbwachs argues that individual memory relates personal experience to historical references, and thereby deeply informs collective memory; but the latter ventures into the production of history itself by maintaining personal matters of cognition, affect, citizenship, and identity as the substance that fills in gaps in historical record (Hirsch’s intervention of postmemory regarding trauma in the Jewish diaspora bears importantly on this process). Memory studies examines the complex interactions that gather at the boundaries of how we know our individual and collective pasts, our private and public pasts, and how the knowledge and communities they produce shape our perspectives and values for regarding pasts soon to emerge. Memory studies and greater Latin American studies (i.e. including U.S. Latinx culture and politics) can enrich each other mutually by intersecting the concerns of their respective inquiries. Considering a historical range from the Guadalupan event (1531) to the Pueblo Revolt (1680) to the catastrophic destruction of the National Museum of Brazil (2018), personal memory and collective memory intertwine importantly when regarding events prominent in Latin American and Latinx memory and history. 

Serving as guest editors of the Spring 2020 special issue of the Journal of Latino/Latin American Studies (JOLLAS) on the theme of “Memory Studies and Latinidad,” our team seeks submissions (initial 500-word abstract plus vita) on any topic related to the theme of “Memory Studies and Latinidad.” Topics may include, for example: immigration and deportation experiences vs. state accounts, bilingualism and translingualism, memoir and autobiography, performance and Nuyorican poetry, oral histories and interviews in the context of the Pinochet regime, cartography and the Amazon, the Santa Muerte following, sexuality and the Church, childhood in extended families, and saudade in Brazilian literature. As the scope of the field of memory studies is interdisciplinary, the editors welcome submissions from a variety of fields, including literature, history, sociology, anthropology, religion, government, journalism, music, and art history. This special issue will be co-edited by a team of guest editors. Apart from the acquisitions editor, the rest of the team will remain anonymous until publication to ensure that all essays will be blind peer reviewed in the selection process. 

C.v.s and 500-word abstracts are due by February 15, 2019. Full article manuscripts requested for selected submissions must be submitted by May 1, 2019. Articles should be 5,000-8,000 words in length, with text and notes in Chicago Style format. Peer review and editorial response will be completed within three months of article submission. Please send your abstract and c.v. by email as separate attachments in .doc(x) format, with no mention of author’s name, institutional affiliation, or any other kind of identifying information on the abstract. Please send this submission, as well as any queries, to Daniel Luis Archer at with the subject line “Memory Studies and Latinidad.” The editorial team are heritage speakers of both Spanish and English; queries and submissions may be in either language.