NeMLA 2023: Literature of Resistance

deadline for submissions: 
September 29, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Amanda Gonzalez Izquierdo
contact email: 

For people of Latin America and the Caribbean, centuries of modernity/coloniality have resulted in continuous and compounding traumas that demand resilience. Yet, when we talk of resilience, are we ever naturalizing trauma and legitimizing the status quo, accepting that the way to be of oppressed peoples must always be in response to abusive conditions? Is it not possible that in focusing on resilience, we enable the continuation of unequal power structures by putting pressure on the oppressed to learn to adapt to what hurts us, rather than putting pressure on the world to destroy oppressive systems including racism, patriarchy, and capitalism? Instead of focusing on resilience, we should be imagining and enacting ways of being otherwise. Let us not stop at being resilient, but moreover be resistant in order to move toward a decolonial attitude and praxis. This session invites papers that think beyond resilient survival and clamor for a liberatory resistance that allows oppressed peoples to thrive and claim dignified livelihoods. In so doing, it welcomes papers that explore how writers are using their literary production to build communities of resistance to address and counter colonial violence. Questions that this session seeks to explore include, but are not limited to: How do writers mobilize through their literature to challenge different but intersecting axes of injustice? How has literature been a resource for change, an attempt to heal colonial wounds, and a disruptor of narratives that attempt to make sense of oppression? How can creative acts harbor resistant potential and incite decolonial action? How does literature show that while we have been resilient, our well-being depends on also being resistant?


Submit a roundtable proposal to session 20016: Literature of Resistance:


This roundtable has been accepted for inclusion at the 54th Annual Convention of the Northeast Modern Languages Association. The conference will take place from March 23 to 26, 2023 in Niagara Falls, NY. The conference theme is resilience.


Proposals due before September 30, 2022