Figuring Futures Futures from/of Latin America - A Conference

deadline for submissions: 
December 16, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Interversar, an interdisciplinary graduate-run Latin American Studies journal from the University of California Irvine


The conference explores what Uruguayan author and journalist Eduardo Galeano describes as how collapsing notions of linear time, striving to overcome what is deemed “the past,” can only act in what is located as “the present,” and sees “the future” as a space of promise. Galeano alludes to how scholars and activists have defined different temporalities as intertwined rather separate segments of modern chronology. In addition to approaches to time and the future found across Latin America, including, for instance, the cyclical Aymaran cosmological view of time or Afro Diasporic understandings of present and ancestral temporalities, the conference will explore temporal intersections, continuities, and discontinuities of different peoples and regions to provide a productive space for reflection from where to imagine and theorize possible Latin American and planetary futures. 


Second, the “Figuring Futures” Conference proposes to engage dystopian and apocalyptic imaginaries. Literary and sociological products, these texts speak of a past that is yet to happen, of a past that finds continuity in the present, of a dreadful past which might still be avoidable. The conference, therefore, engages in scholarly conversations that have and continue to explore instances of radical inventiveness, activism, planning and development including conceptual work that envisions even impossible futures, anti-futures, and no futures, given present uneven relationships of power and systems of exploitation. 


Last, the conference acknowledges that the process of formation of Latin America as a region is intimately connected to the creation of the racial colonial capitalism system. As a result, we ask ourselves: what do we do with the concept of Latin America? Where do we go from here? What are the strengths and pitfalls of thinking about Latin American futures? 


We welcome academic papers, essays, short stories, poems, multimedia and interdisciplinary works in English, and/or a combination of English and Spanish/Portuguese.


Interversar currently has an open call for papers, whose name and theme is the same as the conference, and we would love to publish some of the workshopped papers, should they be approved in the anonymous review process, in the first issue of the journal. 





An academic and practicing artist, Dr. Denise Ferreira da Silva’s work addresses the ethico-political challenges of the global present. She is the author of Toward a Global Idea of Race (University of Minnesota Press, 2007), A Dívida Impagavel (Oficina da Imaginaçāo Política and Living Commons, 2019), Unpayable Debt (Stenberg/MIT Press, forthcoming) and co-editor (with Paula Chakravartty) of Race, Empire, and the Crisis of the Subprime (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013). Her several articles have been published in leading interdisciplinary journals, such as Social Text, Theory, Culture & Society, Social Identities, PhiloSOPHIA, Griffith Law Review, Theory & Event, The Black Scholar, to name a few. Her artistic works includes the films Serpent Rain (2016) and 4Waters-Deep Implicancy (2018), in collaboration with Arjuna Neuman; and the relational art practices Poethical Readings and Sensing Salon, in collaboration with Valentina Desideri. She has exhibited and lectured at major art venues, such as the Pompidou Center (Paris), Whitechapel Gallery (London, MASP (Sāo Paulo), Guggenheim (New York), and MoMa (New York). She has also written for publications for major art events (Liverpool Biennale, 2017; Sao Paulo Biennale, 2016, Venice Biennale, 2017, and Documenta 14) and published in art venues, such as Canadian Art, Texte Zur Kunst, and E-Flux. She is a member of several boards including Haus de Kulturen de Welt (Berlin), International Consortium for Critical Theory Programs and the journals Postmodern Culture, Social Identities, and Dark Matter. [from:



Day: February, 25th (Friday), 2022

Venue: Online


Morning (10.30 - 12.00 PT): Keynote by Dr. Denise Ferreira da Silva(UBC) followed by Q+A


Afternoon (01.00 -5.00 PT): Workshop sessions with Dr. Denise Ferreira da Silvaand other participants who have submitted their work and journal members. The idea of the workshop is to work collectively on previous circulated works.  


Language: workshop participants are expected to take part in the workshop communicating in English. Members of the journal will be present to provide linguistic support in Spanish and Portuguese if necessary..



Call for participation opensNovember, 17th, 2021. 


Please send your title and abstract/proposal (two pages max., double space, 12p font.) to Natalia Affonso and Angeles Torres to by December 16, midnight (PT), 2021.


You will hear back from us by December 20, 2021.


Submission of extended version of paper/project (not necessarily finalized): by February 10, 2022. (Specific guidelines will be shared in the acceptance email) 


Circulation of papers: February 11, 2022.


Conference keynote + workshop: February 25, 2022 (morning and afternoon [PT]).


Each workshop participant will have 10 minutes for the initial presentation.





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