For an edited volume on “Latin American Utopias,” my co-editor and I are seeking two, or potentially three, additional chapters to round out the anticipated collection. The project stems from an interdisciplinary workshop titled “Latin American Utopian Visions: A Critical Look for the 21st Century” held at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (CRASSH), Cambridge University in April 2013. The conference included presentations that ranged in historical scope from the colonial period to contemporary contexts and included scholars from across the social sciences and humanities. The entire program schedule can be viewed here: http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/events/2072/
The volume emerging from the workshop is being organized by historical period and we are in search of papers to fill two gaps:
One or two papers that explore utopian visions in the conquest, colonial or Republican periods of Latin American history. For the sake of coverage, we especially welcome papers for this section that focus on regions other than the Andes.
One or two papers that explore utopian visions and thinking (e.g., sumak kawsay) emanating out of the indigenous politics of the late 20th century. We are especially interested in ethnographic treatments of utopian thinking and practice in regions not yet covered in this section of the planned volume, including lowland Amazonia and Central America.
Papers are welcomed from any appropriate disciplinary perspective.
Below is a copy of the original call for papers. As a common thought piece, participants at the CRASSH workshop were encouraged to read anthropologist Fernando Cornonil’s important statement on utopic thinking in modern Latin America [“The Future in Question: History and Utopia in Latin America (1989-2010)”]. For the volume, we fully expect that each contributor will approach the idea of utopia from their own critical vantage point and perspective. An introductory chapter penned by the editors will help to frame the different and competing visions of utopia that emerged historically across the hemisphere.
Completed papers may be up to 8,000 words in length and may include some images.
If you are interested, please send a query and/or 500 word abstract to Jason Pribilsky at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jason Pribilsky, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Whitman College, USA
Sandra Brunnegger, St Edmund’s College, University of Cambridge, UK
ORIGINAL CALL FOR PAPERS:
Latin America currently stands at a crossroads. The demise of neoliberalism as the hegemonic ideological force across much of the continent has led many inhabitants and observers of Latin America to publicly reopen fundamental questions as to the future and direction of the region and its nations. Democracy, citizen participation, participatory budgeting, human rights, resource nationalization, and pan-indigenous projects have all, at varying moments and in different ways, been invoked as fundamental principles for forging a new ideal future. At this critical juncture, a re-examination of the role of idealist visions in Latin America's political programs and cultural production can reveal the multiple entanglements and implicit assumptions underlying these visions.
This conference seeks to bring together recent scholarship on how utopian visions have shaped Latin America throughout its history. Uniting work from across and between disciplinary boundaries, the conference looks to explore the history, construction, contexts, and effects of imagined utopias, as well as, and crucially, the interrelations between them. From its inception as an ideologically constituted unit born of the colonial encounter, Latin America has been a subject and producer of idealized imaginaries of universal order and humanity's place within it. Its relegation to Europe's 'savage slot' (Trouillot 2003) and the projections of European escapist fantasies onto its terrain was a fundamental determinant of colonial policy for several hundred years. In exploring a range of utopian visions, from the lasting allure of communist revolution to the idealist programs that directed modernism's drive to develop, this conference explores the multifarious ways in which Latin America has served as the landscape upon which utopian ideas have been imagined, designed, and attempted. Furthermore, in bringing together a diverse set of scholarship, the conference aims to excavate the complex entanglements and overlaps between seemingly contradictory but inherently intertwined elements of different utopias. Fundamentally, the conference seeks to serve as a forum for productive discussion and debate of the nature and potential in contemporary utopian visions, or in what Fernando Coronil has described as "the present-day future imaginary" (2010).
We are looking for papers by scholars from a range of disciplines, including literature, film studies, anthropology, history, and sociology, and especially welcome contributions that can speak to one or more of the following sub-themes: human rights, modernity, indigeneity, cultural narratives, or colonial legacies. By focusing on a particular theme – utopia – we seek to unite perspectives from across historical time periods and spanning multiple forms of cultural expression, enabling a collective, multivocal exploration of the past, present, and future of the imagined future in Latin America.
Department of Anthropology
Walla Walla, WA 99362
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