NeMLA 2021: Caribbeanizing the Humanities

deadline for submissions: 
October 11, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Amanda Gonzalez Izquierdo
contact email: 

Propose a paper for the Northeast Modern Languages Association March 2021 Conference. The panel is called "Caribbeanizing the Humanities." The Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) has secured a digital event platform.

Western epistemology has made a genealogy of specialized disciplines that it has treated as discrete fields, failing to see (or willingly ignoring) the ways in which areas of knowledge are entangled, thus turning its back to the theory, praxis, and productive conversations that can emerge out of intellectual movements that underscore connection and linkage. This panel proposes that we think not in terms of comparativism, but in terms of relationality, particularly informed by greater Caribbean literature (where “greater Caribbean” includes US writing contextualized by Caribbean migrations). Caribbean scholarship has undermined the “universalism” claimed by eurocentric epistemologies and decolonial thought situated in the region has exposed the ways in which new modes of thought develop out of the diverse linguistic and cultural contexts of the archipelago, where theoretical frameworks are informed by lived experiences and modes of relating to one another. This panel welcomes papers that take to task the re-invention of knowledge from liminal perspectives and thinks through how Caribbean modes of thought can be applied to the humanities in order to restructure and re-orient the field to answer the needs of a connected society. Possible questions include but are not limited to:

  • What would it mean to shift from ontogeny to sociogeny?
  • How can we make academic spaces more porous?
  • How are theory and praxis entangled?
  • In what radical ways can we conceive not counter-epistemologies, but inter-epistemologies?
  • How do we engage archives of contradiction?
  • How does the Caribbean become a methodology to test the limits of hegemonic thinking?
  • What are ways in which to engage undisciplined rigor, or, going beyond the scope of discrete fields?
  • What roles can networks of solidarity play in the humanities?
  • How do we undo the epidermalization of knowledge?
  • How can we, in Frantz Fanon’s words, “build a world of you” through ethico-political community?


Format for abstract:

  • Paper Title: 100 characters (including spaces)
    • Capitalize titles by MLA formatting rules unless the title is in a language other than English.
    • Do not use quotation marks in the session title or abstract title itself. Please use only single quotation marks around titles of short stories, poems, and similar short works. 
    • Italicize the titles of long works mentioned in the paper title.
    • Do not place a period at the end of the title.
  • Paper Abstract: 300 words
    • Italicize or use quotation marks around titles according to MLA guidelines.

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