PAMLA Online Panel: Latin American Imaginary Cities

deadline for submissions: 
April 15, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Pacific Ancient & Modern Languages Association

This virtual (online) panel seeks papers that explore the imaginary cities built by Latin American literature from the 19th century to the present. Since this year's conference theme is “City of God, City of Destruction,” we are interested in proposals that study both the utopian and dystopian cities that Latin American writers have imagined to place there the collective fears and desires of their societies, as well as all those other fictional cities –neither paradisiacal nor infernal– that have served as microcosms to represent the tensions and conflicts of human comedy.

Imaginary places, particularly imaginary cities, have not been strange in Latin American literature. As Gisela Heffes has studied, these fictional places have repeatedly functioned, since Latin American independences, as “laboratories of experimentation” in which an attempt is made to reconcile abstract and theoretical ideas with a concrete implementation. Even today, in a globe meticulously recorded and documented, many writers choose to create autonomous, detached spaces which at the same time reflect and surpass the material world. Knowing, understanding, these spaces is essential to understand the structures and limits of ours.

What are these imaginary cities like? What is its aesthetic and its urban layout? Who lives there, and how do they live? What are the social tensions that ignite and fracture these spaces? How do these cities reflect the cities we inhabit? What do they say about our present and our future? Do they hold any promise?

Individual paper presentations will be between 15 and 20 minutes long, and can be delivered in English or Spanish.

The conference will be held from Thursday, November 11, to Sunday, November 14, 2021. 

To submit an abstract for this session, please go to:

Once you have created an account, you will be able to use the online system to submit an abstract.  The deadline for proposals is Thursday, April 15.  If you have any questions, please contact Rafael Lemus (