NeMLA 2020: Alternative Narratives of Trauma in Recent Latin American Cultural Production

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Mai Hunt & Tess Renker/Brown University
contact email: 

We are seeking abstract submissions for a roundtable to be held at the 51st NeMLA Annual Convention during March 5-8, 2020 in Boston, MA. Abstracts are due September, 30th. 

Alternative Narratives of Trauma in Recent Latin American Cultural Production:

Throughout the twentieth century, the push toward modernization across Latin America has responded to a long-standing tradition of paternalism, drawing upon classic discussions of civilization and barbarity. Such a dichotomy rests upon the association of the barbaric with communities and subjectivities deemed too uncivilized to speak for themselves. The dictatorships, civil wars and armed conflicts that arose across Latin America in an effort to bring the continent out of savagery and into civilization have inevitably evidenced vestiges of colonial domination, making paternalism a doomed initiative by which Latin America continues to repeat mistakes of the past. The recent emergence of previously marginalized and silenced voices seeking to share their experiences of trauma, violence and repression offer an opportunity to break from this cyclic repetition of failure. Precisely through a redefinition of their identities and communities, these new actors advance the ultimate goal of achieving a revitalized future for Latin America, at the very least as defined through the emergence of new cultural production. In creating a counter-archive of contestatory testimonies, these narratives are shaping the collective memory of recent history and challenging the patriarchal constructs that have traditionally sought to relegate them to the sidelines of the very conflicts whose violence they have suffered firsthand. In encouraging the formation and study of these bodies of work, we hope to help visibilize these previously silenced voices and explore the potential impact of non-hegemonic responses to violence, trauma and repression. Our roundtable seeks to open discussion of this emerging counter-archive, with a focus on the diversity of actors and experiences it may contain.


We welcome papers in English or Spanish that explore alternative narratives of trauma seeking to build a counter-archive that draws marginalized identities to the forefront of contemporary discussions on mourning, memory, and diversity across Latin America. We frame this diversity through a plurality of gender identities, sexual orientations, racial and ethnic backgrounds, linguistic modes, religions, belief systems, political affiliations, and socioeconomic inequalities fighting for a voice.


Abstracts are to submitted through the NeMLA website:

To find our submission page, click here: