CFP: Crossing Boundaries in the Americas, Mexico, September 2012

CALL FOR PAPERS:  Crossing Boundaries in the Americas:Dynamics of Change in Politics, Culture, and Media
Guadalajara, Mexico, September 25 – 27, 2012
Second Bi-Annual Conference of the International Association of Inter-American Studies

Mass migration, accelerated urbanization, and the processes of transnational economic integration are profoundly challenging the social and cultural constitution of the Americas in the New Millennium. In view of these dynamics of change, it has been argued that the sovereignty of the “nation-state” is an outdated concept. The gradual decline of the geopolitical hegemony of the U.S. is also changing the ways in which influence is negotiated regionally, as new global players from the South—such as Brazil—are gaining power.

The political landscape in the Americas is subject to contradictory dynamics. The new Latin American left has entered a phase of consolidation, while—at the same time—there is also a recent shift to the right with a revival of nationalist and fundamentalist discourses in many countries. New social movements affect the political systems across borders and, with the crisis of multiculturalism, the postcolonial legacy with its ethnic or racial boundaries eroding and transforming. The cultural and linguistic contact zones of borderlands and diasporas have become laboratories of hybrid cultures and post- or plurinational citizenship.

The cultural flows of media industries which traverse the Americas in diverse directions, albeit in an asymmetrical manner, have a deep impact on how people imagine the communities they feel to belong to in North and South, as well as transversally. Although there is still a wide digital gap, especially with regard to Latin America, the global interconnectedness of the World Wide Web is changing the ways in which people participate in local, national, and transnational communities, preserve their cultural roots, and use new forms of expression.

The second bi-annual conference of the International Association of Inter-American Studies, to be held at the Centro Universitario de Ciencias Sociales y Humanidades de la Universidad de Guadalajara in collaboration with the Centro de Investigación sobre América del Norte de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, provides a forum for a dialogue across disciplinary and cultural boundaries on all matters related to the dynamics of change in society, politics, economy, culture, and media. Scholars are invited to propose presentations and panels on a wide variety of topics, including:

  • Transnational mediascapes
  • Transnational social movements
  • Literature, film, and music in the contact zones
  • Border discourse and violence
  • Transnational trafficking of people, goods, and ideas
  • Mobilizing identities: Translocal and transnational communities
  • Geopolitical transformations and changes in the political landscape
  • Theoretical and disciplinary implications of crossing boundaries in the Americas

Please send individual proposals of papers (deadline: September 30, 2011) or panels with chairperson and 3 to 5 presentations (deadline: October 31, 2011) to: including name, title of presentation, abstract (200-400 words) and e-mail address. Contributions can be in either English or Spanish.

 General Organizers:

Yolanda Minerva Campos García (CUCSH/U. de G.)

Graciela Martínez-Zalce (CISAN/UNAM)


The International Association of Inter-American Studies (IAS) was founded in 2009 and seeks to promote the interdisciplinary study of the Americas, focusing in particular on interconnections between North, Central, and South American culture, literature, media, language, history, society, politics, and economics. The Association aims to provide a worldwide network for scholars and students as well as for initiatives, projects, and area studies in Latin American, Caribbean, U.S. American, and Canadian Studies as well as in other disciplines concerned with the Western Hemisphere.

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