International Grad Student Conference

(des)articulaciones 2017: (De)conceptualizations: Beyond Identity, Coloniality and the Subaltern

Date: October 20-21, 2017


Keynote Speakers: Lurgio Gavilán and Nelson Maldonado-Torres

Frederic Jameson proposed that third world texts should be read as national allegories, considering that politics and libidinal dynamics are equally involved in mapping out the whole. Behind this view lies the idea that these texts only function as displays of a collective reality by way of an individual and subjective reality. In addition, this notion reinforces the fact that national allegories are based on the idea of identity as a fixed and hereditary entity which does not change with time, when in reality, identities are cultural constructs which we define in our relations with others, i.e., fluid constructions which are ever changing and in progress. Identity interpreted contrary to a universalist and essentialist view, as Stuart Hall affirms, is a “structured representation which only achieves its positive through the narrow eye of the negative.  It has to go through the eye of the needle of the other before it can construct itself.” Therefore, the matter here, following Levinas, is one of accepting alterity as a constitutive part of the subject while, on the other hand, not falling into a stereotyped vision of reality. Achille Mbembe says that, “in Foucault’s terms, racism is above all a technology aimed at permitting the exercise of biopower, that old sovereign right of death.” In other words, the form of looking at the other is defined by a peculiarity and legitimacy that stems from violence and murder.

We propose to think about theory from various angles, which take into account crises of national allegory, failures of identity and thinking about Latin America as a homogenous block. By revising the core ideas proposed, we allow ourselves to reflect on the extent to which the production of knowledge can be realized inside, and outside of, the theoretical, political and social debate. To this end, we call for interdisciplinary approaches that, by means of alternative theories and/or empirical practices, try to place themselves outside of the established theoretical frameworks in order to enrich them with new reflections and hypotheses. Concepts of identities, coloniality, and the subaltern, amongst others, are standard in the Academy. Thus, our proposal is not only to rethink them, but also to furnish them with new meaning or unveil their methodological gaps.

Abstracts can focus on the following topics (although other related topics are welcome):

  • The transformation of local, national and international identities (transpacific and transatlantic studies)
  •  The recent political developments and their effect on the perceptions of the Other and the sense of self-identity
  •  Questions of race, discrimination and racism in the global stage
  • “Frontier” literature and related works
  •  Latino writers in the United States of America
  •  Indigenismo and political struggles
  •  Theories of decolonization, the establishment of identity labels and the process of identity formation itself
  •  Dictatorship, dirty war, forced disappearance and necropolitics
  •  Ayahuasca tourism and its emerging market
  •  Borders, drug trafficking and identity
  •  Popular music and identities

Please click here for Call for Papers pdf.

Please click here for Registration Form pdf.

Direct email:


Submission of proposals:

Send an abstract (between 250 and 300 words), academic affiliation and a brief biography (of no more than 100 words) in Word or PDF format to before/up until 15 August 2017. Presentations should be a maximum of eight pages, double-spaced. The registration fee for the conference is $35.00.