The 1st Biennial U.S. Latina/o Literary Theory and Criticism Conference Haciendo Caminos: Mapping the Futures of U.S. Latina/o

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Professors Richard Perez and Belinda Rincon
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The 1st Biennial U.S. Latina/o Literary Theory and Criticism Conference

Haciendo Caminos: Mapping the Futures of U.S. Latina/o Literatures

John Jay College of Criminal Justice
City University of New York
March 7-9, 2013
Abstracts Due: November 12, 2012

This conference aims to draw a critical mass of U.S. Latina/o literary critics and theorists, both foundational thinkers and emerging voices, for the first time in the history of the field. In response to a literature extant in the United States for roughly 150 years, U.S. Latina/o literary scholarship has grown with exponential force over the last two decades. Thinking through an array of subjects from borders to exile, poetics to politics, bilingualism, race, and sexuality, U.S. Latina/o literary scholarship offers new dimensions to the study of "American" literature. As the inaugural conference, this gathering marks a historic intervention calling attention to the robust contributions of U.S. Latina/o writers. For too long, academic conferences have relegated Latina/o literary scholars to isolated panels, in large part fueled by the erroneous perception that U.S. Latina/o literature lacks the depth and breadth of other established literatures. Yet this flies in the face not only of a rich body of literature, but scholarly community laboring to shape the field and find greater institutional inclusion. Thus, this three-day conference offers an exclusive space for intellectual exploration and exchange on a literature that sits within literary studies like the proverbial elephant in the room, just too substantial to ignore. Consolidating the field, inciting generative conversations, creating innovative modes of reading and understanding, are some of the scholarly objectives of this conference.

Located in New York City, home to one of the largest and most diverse Latina/o populations in the country and birthplace to some of the important literary movements in Latina/o literature, this conference boldly calls for a fundamental reawakening of the field. One that provides the space for critics of multiple U.S. Latina/o literatures to congregate and become (re)acquainted in order to expand our scholarship and build critical networks of support. In an era when Ethnic Studies is being attacked, we must brazenly champion, across our departments and institutions, a brilliant literature and scholarship that shine a path to a more complex and just humanity.

In addition to two days of panels by scholars from around the country, this conference will include the following special events:

Thursday, March 7th: Opening address by
Ramon Saldivar, Stanford University

Friday, March 8th: Roundtable discussion with
Mary Pat Brady, Cornell University
José Esteban Muñoz, New York University
Frances Negrón-Muntaner, Columbia University

Saturday, March 9th: Junot Díaz in conversation with
Silvio Torres-Saillant, Syracuse University

Proposals for panels or individual papers are welcomed. Undergraduate and graduate student submissions are encouraged.

Papers might include, but are not limited to the following:

Illegal Borders and Imaginative Boundaries
Citizenship, Strangers, Politics of Exile
Affective States
Latina/o Phenomenologies
Diaspora, Displacement, and Relocation
Spic-ing English: Aesthetics and Bilingualism
Afro-Latinidad and Reimagining Race
Class and the Violence of Everyday Life
Gender and Literature
Queer Futures
Coloniality and Modernity
Transnationalism and Hemispheric Studies
Literature and Nation in the Age of Global Capital
Human Rights and Activism
Latina Feminism
New and Old Genres: Poetry, Drama, and the Graphic Novel

Abstracts Due 11/12/12
Please send abstracts and queries to Professors Richard Perez and Belinda Linn Rincon at