Latina/o Utopias: Futures, Forms, and the Will of Literature
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
City University of New York
23-25 April, 2015
Abstracts due: 15 September, 2014
Notification of acceptance: 15 October, 2014
Please send abstracts of 250 words and queries to Professor Belinda Linn Rincón and Professor Richard Perez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In his most recent work, Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity (2009), José Esteban Muñoz proposed queer utopianism as “an idealist mode of critique that reminds us that there is something missing, that the present […] is not enough.” Muñoz’s call to imagine that which is not-yet-conscious compels us to let our dissatisfaction with a corruptive social stasis resharpen our critical endeavors and re-direct our interpretative lenses toward more liberatory and affirming futures. Latina/o Utopias take up Muñoz’s invitation, indeed, his imploration to reconceive the trajectories of Latina/o literary studies by welcoming submissions to the 2015 Latina/o Utopias conference. As a germinative concept, rich in the kind of interdisciplinary and theoretical sophistication that defines Muñoz’s work, queer utopia provides a radical hermeneutic capable of tracking what he called the “anticipatory illumination” that abounds in Latina/o literature.
Latina/o Utopias welcomes papers that explore the affective dimensions or performative politics and practices that inform Latina/o letters. Latina/o Utopias seek papers that chart the temporal and spatial coordinates of Latina/o literary production. Latina/o Utopias encourage presentations that analyze how Latina/o aesthetics unmake and remake the social or how Latina/o authors use history as a resource to construct literary worlds that gesture toward an indeterminate yet just and empowering collective futurity. Latino/a Utopias anticipate submissions that reveal how Latina/o authors employ gender, sex, sexuality, queerness, and desire to re-theorize relations of power and create alternative sites of possibility, engagement, and critique. Latina/o Utopias call on scholars whose work uses Latina/o literature to examine the ways in which race, class, and (dis)able-bodiedness inform Latina/o identities and how Latina/o subjects are continually re/fashioned under the crippling logics of capitalism, neoliberalism, globalization, imperialism, militarism, xenophobia, sexism, and heteronormative regimes. Latina/o Utopias also call for work that honors Muñoz’s commitment to making the classroom a transformative and sustaining space of intellectual and imaginative growth. Muñoz once argued that teaching is “the performance of utopia” and that pedagogues had the responsibility to foster a critical acuity within their students that would enable them to “face the present and embrace a better place and time.” Thus, papers and panels that address the pedagogical practices and challenges that go into shaping Latina/o literature classrooms, syllabi, and curricula are especially welcomed.
Latina/o Utopias honors the spirit of José Esteban Muñoz’s audacious and provocative scholarship and wishes to celebrate the indelible imprint that his intellectual legacy has left on the field of Latina/o literary theory and criticism. In addition to the theme of Latina/o utopias, papers will also be accepted that include, but are not limited to, the following:
The Brown Commons
Illegal Borders and Imaginative Boundaries
Citizenship, Strangers, Politics of Exile
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
Dis-Abilities in/as Utopia
Pedagogy and Subversion
(Post)Coloniality and Modernity
Transnationalism and Hemispheric Studies
Literature and Nation in the Age of Global Capital
Human Rights and Activism
Poetry, Drama, and the Graphic Novel
Latina/o Cinema and Literature
Latina/o Visual Cultures and Literature
Latina/o Music and Literature
The Space of Utopia
Time After the Future
Proposals for panels or individual papers are welcomed. Undergraduate and graduate submissions are encouraged.
In addition to two days of presentations by scholars from across the country, this conference will include the following special events:
Thursday 23 April, 2015: Keynote address by Laura Lomas, Associate Professor of English and American Studies, Rutgers University
Friday 24 April, 2015: Roundtable discussion with Sandra Cisneros, author of Have You Seen Marie?; Caramelo; Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories; and The House on Mango Street
Nelly Rosario, author of Song of the Water Saints
Iris Gomez, author of Try to Remember
Lyn Di Iorio Sandín, author of Outside the Bones and Professor of English at the City College of New York and the CUNY Graduate Center
Sonia Saldívar-Hull, moderator, Professor of English and Director of the Women’s Studies Institute at the University of Texas at San Antonio.
Due date for abstracts: 15 September, 2014
Notification of acceptance: 15 October, 2014
Pre-registration dates: 1 December, 2014 – 16 March,2015
Conference dates: 23-25 April, 2015
Conference Registration Fees:
Full-time and adjunct faculty: $100(pre-registration); $150 (onsite registration)
Graduate students: $50 (pre-registration); $70 (onsite registration)
Undergraduate students: $20 (registration)
John Jay College undergraduates and graduates: free
Above adapted from CFP email announcement.