domingo, 7 de outubro de 2012

Latin American Utopian Visions: A Critical Look for the 21st Century

Type: Multidisciplinary Conference
Institution: Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and
Humanities (CRASSH), University of Cambridge
Location: Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Date: 19.–20.4.2013
Deadline: 30.11.2012

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.

Please send abstracts of up to 500 words along with a brief
biographical statement to <> and
<> by November 30, 2012.
Decisions will be made by December 15, 2012.

Sandra Brunnegger (University of Cambridge)
Karen Faulk (Carnegie Mellon University)


Dr Sandra Brunnegger
Department of Social Anthropology
University of Cambridge
Free School Lane
Cambridge, CB2 3RF
United Kingdom

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