[URBANTH-L]CFP: Latina/o Studies and Empire for AAA

Ben Chappell bchappel at bridgewater.edu
Thu Mar 22 13:19:06 EDT 2007

CFP for proposed AAA panel:
The Shifting Boundaries of Latina/o Studies and Empire
Chair: Gilberto Rosas, University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana
Organizers: Ben Chappell, University of Kansas (bchappel at bridgewater.edu)
Gilberto Rosas, University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana (
grosas2 at uiuc.edu)

Discussant, Arlene Davila, New York University.

The papers in this panel critically visit one of the central paradoxes of
Latina/o Studies: the political and intellectual commitments of this
multifaceted field versus its increasing institutionalization as an
ostensibly disinterested study of Latino populations and their experiences.
We approach this problem in relation to the histories and anthropologies of
United States empire, in all its complexities, contradictions, and
conditions of possibility. The insurgent, scholarly formations of Latino
Studies were initially and extensively premised on an explicit critique of
the complicity of conventional academic disciplines, foremost among them
sociology and anthropology. Their effectively white supremacist
representations and analyses of Latinas and Latinos often pathologized and
silenced these historically and politically subordinated populations.
Contemporary socio-cultural anthropology, meanwhile, in particularly the
broad constellation of representational practices and research techniques of
modern ethnography, remains embedded in an economy of alterity. It largely
invests in demystifying, critically analyzing, and thickly describing the
other's world. In the present context of multiple and often violent
exercises of US state power across the globe, other longstanding forms of
subugation, as well as broad mobilizations against such depredations, these
papers explore knowledge productions from the Latina/o margins of
anthropology, its competing epistemes, research questions, and frameworks,
situating them in the shifting boundaries, disciplinary and otherwise, of
empire, and its multicultural configurations.

Ben Chappell
Anthropology and Cultural Studies
Bridgewater College, Virginia
AIM: cultcrit

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