Latin Literary Conference 2017


If as WEB Dubois declared, “The problem of the 20th Century is the problem of the color line” then the first decades of the 21st century have only served to amplify and reveal this “problem,” bringing to light just how ingrained the “color line” is in American life.  For the last two centuries, Latinx writers have challenged Black/White divisions to offer alternative racial imaginaries insisting on dynamic identificatory forms from Creoleness to Mestizaje, Brownness to Afro-Latinidad.  Yet the ideology of race has proven structurally sound, a versatile and dogmatic logic impressed over generations into our social, historic, and psychic lives.  Indeed, the effectiveness of race lies in its insidious linking to the pitfalls of class, labor, and other exploitative conditions that systematically conjoin race to a network of deficits.  Latinx literature challenges these hegemonic formulations chronicling “from below”, in Juan Flores’ sense, conventional notions of identity through an irruptive “learning and turning” whose imaginative procedure opens, with the churning vitality of a salsa dance, into new social and political possibilities.  In this sense, Latinx literature insists on the ethical expansion of racial and ethnic parameters through the development of alternative imaginaries.


Latinx Lives, Matters, and Imaginaries

Latinx Lives, Matters, and Imaginaries honors the spirit of the late Juan Flores whose scholarship put race and class at the center of his work.  His imprint and prodigious intellectual legacy exhorts Latina/o literary criticism to keep race at the center of our theoretical concerns.

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, April 13, 2017: Keynote address by Claudia Milian, Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies, Duke University

Saturday, April 15, 2017: Dr. Marta Moreno Vega, author of When the Spirits Dance Mambo: Growing Up Nuyorican in El BarrioWomen Warriors of Afro-Latina Diaspora; and The Altar of My Soul: The Living Traditions of Santeria.

Miriam Jiménez Román, moderator, Executive Director Afro-Latin@ Forum, co-editor The Afro-Latina/o Reader: History and Culture of the United States.

Please send abstracts of 250 words and queries to Professor Richard Perez and Belinda Linn Rincón at

Due date for abstracts: December 12, 2016 
Notification of acceptance: January 16, 2017 
Pre-registration dates: January 17 - March 15, 2017 
Conference dates: April 13-15, 2017

Conference Registration Fees: 
Full-time and adjunct faculty: $150 (pre-registration); $200 (onsite registration) 
Graduate students: $75 (pre-registration); $100 (onsite registration) 
Undergraduate students: $20 (registration) 
John Jay College undergraduates and graduates: free 
Non-presenters: $50