Program Tracks and Committee Members
Select the most appropriate track for your proposal from the list below and enter it in the designated space of the submission system. You can send your proposal to one track only. Names of Program Committee members are provided for information only. Direct your correspondence to the LASA Secretariat ONLY.
NEW PROGRAM TRACKS FOR LASA2024
COL / Colombia: desafíos actuales y futuros posibles
Jairo Elicio Tocancipa Falla, Universidad del Cauca
Sergio Coronado, Centro de Investigación y Educación Popular, CINEP
The 2022 electoral victory of Gustavo Petro and Francia Márquez marks the first time Colombians have elected a leftist as president and an Afro- Colombian woman as vice president. Riding a wave of mass social discontent and protest over inequality and politics “as usual,” Petro and Márquez emphasized social justice, racial equality, environmental protection and consolidating the peace. Despite persisting and new challenges, their victory is encouraging Colombians to imagine a new future for their country.
With the policy of “total peace,” Petro and Márquez are seeking to fulfill the promises of the 2016 peace accord signed with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) and to reach new agreements with other armed groups, such as the National Liberation Army (ELN) and the drug trafficking organization Clan del Golfo. Colombia, however, remains a country in conflict, with armed groups engaging in new forms of violence, ongoing massacres in the countryside, and targeted killing of community leaders. In this fraught context, the country continues to debate how to redress the grievances of victims of the conflict, the question of whose memories matter, and how to write a history of decades of violence.
In this context of high expectations, Colombia confronts other old and new challenges. Profound socio-economic inequalities and racial and ethnic exclusion persist. Diverse armed groups and drug trafficking organizations continue to operate throughout the country. Colombia, like many other countries, is also struggling to address the profound environmental challenges of our time, including the transition to a non-carbon economy, threats to biodiversity, deforestation and water contamination. With 80 percent of the population living in urban areas, Colombia’s cities play a key role in tackling many of these challenges, from improvements to transportation and infrastructure, to specific policies dealing with crime and violence. Colombia is also vexed with a massive influx of people from neighboring Venezuela and from smuggling networks that move migrants from around the globe through northern Colombia on their path northward.
Amidst these challenges, Colombia’s social movements have remained vibrant despite years of entrenched state, paramilitary and insurgent violence. Human rights organizations, LGBTQI movements, peasant federations, and urban social movements are actively engaged in political life in Colombia. Especially notable are Colombia’s indigenous and Afro-Colombian social movements, which have played a key role in highlighting the ways violence has impacted their communities as well as historic patterns of marginalization and exclusion for which they are demanding redress. Another positive trend is the flourishing of cultural production in Colombia, which extends the country’s rich traditions in literature and visual arts. The visual arts and other forms of cultural production are making rich contributions to ongoing debates about the country’s recent past and efforts to consolidate peace. Historically underrepresented groups are increasingly visible in the country’s artistic and cultural production.
This track invites proposals from scholars, students, community leaders and activists, from any disciplinary or transdisciplinary perspective, that address the present challenges facing Colombia as well as contemporary debates in history, literature, and the arts. How is the Petro administration shaping Colombia? How are the center and right reacting to these changes? What are the prospects for broadening and deepening the advances made with the FARC peace process? How do changes in the conflict and crime environment affect the life of Colombians? How are social movements and the government seeking to address the concerns of Afro- Colombians, indigenous communities, and other historically marginalized groups? What are the major environmental challenges facing Colombia and how are Colombians dealing with them? What are the major urban challenges facing Colombia and what policies are urban governments and communities adopting in response? What role do the social sciences and the humanities play in post-conflict Colombia, particularly in relation to the question of how to write the narrative of the recent past and how to teach the recent past in schools and universities? What is happening today with Colombia’s social movements? What new directions are emerging in Colombia’s cultural production? How is cultural production supported, and how do these different forms of support shape the content and meaning of the arts in Colombia?
DYD / Despojos y desplazamientos: violencias, extractivismo y economías ilegales en zonas rurales e indígenas
Giovanni Batz, University of California, Santa Barbara
Alejandro Diez Hurtado, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú
In contrast to the agrarian reforms that took place in several Latin American countries in the last century, one of the characteristics of late capitalism in the region today is the accumulation of land for agricultural use or for extractive industries through the displacement, often violent, of indigenous and rural communities from their territories. While indigenous people represent 4% of the world's population, they account for one-third of environmental defenders murdered worldwide. Conflicts over extractive industries and land dispossession are one of the main causes of violence against indigenous and rural communities. Between 2017 and 2021, 2,109 communities were affected by extractive industries and related activities in Peru, Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. The situation is most critical in Colombia, where 117 indigenous leaders were assassinated between 2012 and 2020. In Mexico and Central America, indigenous and rural communities have been dispossessed of their lands by extractive industries and large hydroelectric and agro-industrial projects, while environmental activists and community leaders have been criminalized and murdered. There are important examples of resistance, such as that of Máxima Acuña, from Cajamarca, Peru, who is waging a valiant struggle against the Yanacocha mining project to prevent its encroachment into indigenous territories. Another example is that of Colombia, where the Victims and Land Restitution Law of 2011 offers comprehensive reparations to families who lost loved ones, were dispossessed of their lands and displaced from their communities.
At the same time, illicit economies are growing and also producing waves of displacement and dispossession of lands and territories throughout the Americas. Violence at the hands of timber, drug, and human traffickers is a daily reality that, while often hidden from view, is forcing indigenous communities in particular to leave their homelands. The expansion of these illegal economies exacerbates other problems, such as climate change, which provokes landslides, droughts, and contamination of soil and people that cause displacement and forced migration. In Colombia, dispossession has also been caused by the advance of the guerrilla and the army, paramilitary groups and drug trafficking, as well as climate-related phenomena. In Peru, illegal mining has caused deforestation and dispossession, while hydrocarbon pollution has caused certain groups, especially indigenous peoples, to isolate themselves and organize to fight for their rights. The expansion of large-scale monoculture agriculture, such as palm oil plantations, is causing deforestation and land dispossession in Central America, Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico and Peru.
This special track invites proposals from scholars and activists researching and/or working on the problem of displacement and dispossession of indigenous and rural populations from their lands and territories, and the collective resistance that has emerged to counter this violence. What are the effects of late capitalism on indigenous and rural communities in the Americas today? How do we understand the network of actors who seek to control natural resources, including powerful transnational corporations, violent criminal groups, and corrupt authorities? How do we understand the dynamics of displacement and dispossession, of loss and ruined worlds that consolidate the hegemony of certain power groups, while subordinating and silencing others? How do communities organize themselves against such violence?
EAM / La extrema derecha en América Latina y el mundo
Ben Cowan, University of California, San Diego
Camila Rocha, Universidade de São Paulo
Latin America’s right-wing resurgence parallels dynamics playing out elsewhere in the world, from Turkey to Hungary to the United States. Ultra- conservative groups railing against “gender ideology” and “cultural Marxism” and promoting polarizing visions of “us” versus “them” have gained traction in institutional politics as well as at the societal level. While there are global inspirations for the rise of the Latin American alt-right, it is also very much a home-grown phenomenon, a response to recent historical developments such as the rise of “Pink Tide” governments and drawing from older colonial legacies of Christianity, patriarchy, and racialized concepts such as hispanidad.
Today’s right-wing politics, embodied by El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele, former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, and also-rans in Colombia and Chile, Rodolfo Hernández and José Antonio Kast, have a marked populist and putatively anti-elitist rhetoric. These leaders are savvy about social media, engage in revanchist cultural politics, and are well-networked internationally. While these politicians participate in democratic elections and often succeed in them, they generally lack a serious commitment to democratic norms and institutions, and once in power often use democratic institutions to concentrate power and weaken democracy from within, and are closely allied to the military, and sometimes paramilitary groups, to advance their agenda. The right has also promoted a “culture wars” approach to politics, for example through its embrace of so-called gender ideology, which claims that reforms benefiting women and LGBTQI people, such as reproductive rights and same-sex marriage, are the result of an imposed system of beliefs that threaten “Christian values” and corrupts society.
This special track invites proposals that address this “new” Latin American right from multiple disciplinary perspectives to help us better understand the nature, objectives, and impact of the contemporary right in its political, economic, social and cultural manifestations. What animates the rise in right-wing ideologies and political movements in the Americas? What types of threats does the alt-right pose to democracy and to broader understandings of rights in the region? What role do international ties play in supporting the right in the Americas and how do these ties drive right- wing politics? How does the right today express itself in culture and to what extent is cultural and social activism important to the right? What role do ties to the military and paramilitary groups play in advancing the right’s agenda?
IPP / Impunidades: pasados y presentes
Amy Ross, University of Georgia
In systems based on rule of law, there are a set of rules and norms codified in law; all persons are subject to and equal before the law; and an independent judicial system exists to uphold the law and investigate and prosecute violations of the law. In systems based on impunity, there is no punishment —and no expectation of punishment— for grave crimes, including human rights violations, grand corruption, and arbitrary deployment of state power. Impunity is the exercise of power without accountability. With no accountability, arbitrary rule becomes the norm, the space for civil society shrivels, and corruption and criminal networks flourish.
This program track aims to draw attention to the persistent problem of impunity and weak rule of law in Latin America. Even as Latin America has made important strides in holding heads of state accountable for serious crimes, including grand corruption, abuse of authority, and crimes against humanity, impunity remains a central feature of life in much of the region. In addition, in many countries the legal system is becoming a tool used by powerful reactionary elites to attack and immobilize individuals and groups working for progressive social change, a practice often referred to as “lawfare.” This includes environmental activists, indigenous and Afro- descendant leaders, journalists, and human rights defenders. In some countries, these tactics are being deployed against independent judicial operators as well.
The persistence of impunity also presents fundamental challenges for addressing present-day violence and organized crime in Latin America. Throughout the region, there is near-total impunity for gender-based violence and femicides; for police violence, especially against racialized indigenous and Afro-descendant populations; as well as organized crime, including white-collar crime, such as the massive Odebrecht corruption scandal. Impunity breeds more violence, more corruption, and more organized crime.
This track invites scholars, practitioners and activists to present proposals exploring both the enduring problem of impunity in the Americas as well as efforts to combat impunity and consolidate rule of law, past and present. We are particularly interested in proposals exploring the links between past and present crime and impunity.
RES / Resistencias colectivas, futuros imaginados en las Américas
Carmen Ilizarbe Pizarro, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú
Claudia Heiss, Universidad de Chile
From political history and postcolonial theory, authors such as James Scott, Ranajit Guha, and Gayatri Spivak have conceptualized and described forms of resistance against different systems of oppression and violence. These practices of resistance take many forms and are deployed by groups that do not belong to the centers and dynamics of power, but who construct their agency and agentivity as modes of action capable of imagining changes in the meaning of social and political life.
In recent years there have been a number of mass uprisings in several Latin American countries, especially in South America. These large protests have forced important issues on the agenda. The social uprising in Chile in 2019, for example, revealed the incomplete nature of the transition to democracy by questioning the political and economic system inherited from Pinochet, summarized in the slogan "it's not 30 pesos, it's 30 years". In Colombia, the social mobilizations that erupted in 2021 in response to economic reforms evolved into criticism of the government’s failure to comply with the peace accords and of all the actors in the war who bear responsibility for 50 years of violence, as well as of a political system that excludes indigenous and Afro-descendant populations. In Peru, since December 2022, important demonstrations have taken place in different regions demanding greater indigenous representation in national decision-making. In these and other cases, women, youth, students and indigenous peoples are imagining the possibility of changing the traditional ways of doing politics in order to achieve greater political representation, dignity and well-being for themselves and their communities.
Other forms of collective resistance are also evident in the Americas. Feminists have engaged in creative mobilizations to denounce feminicide and sexual violence and to guarantee women's reproductive rights. In the face of crippling impunity in cases of enforced disappearance, mothers in Mexico (“las madres buscadoras”) and those seeking truth about the false-positive scandal in Colombia have undertaken their own search efforts, developing knowledge and techniques to find their missing loved ones, and challenging the power of the State and hegemonic narratives denying this heinous criminal practice. In 2022, a series of strikes in Panama over the rising cost of the family basket of goods, medicines and gasoline, in which a number of important trade union and indigenous organizations joined together to push for dialogue, had important results for citizens. The Mapuche people of Argentina and Chile preserve and share their ancestral knowledge with new generations so they can learn about and preserve their territories and customs. How can we understand these practices? What do they tell us about political systems in Latin America? How do they help us to think collectively about other forms of governance?
This special track invites scholars and activists to submit proposals that can describe and analyze the different forms of collective resistance in Latin America, to help us understand how they relate to and challenge hegemonic power, and how they contribute to collective thinking, imagining —and building— shared futures.
PERMANENT PROGRAM TRACKS
AFR / Indigenous peoples and Afro-descendants: Epistemologies and Knowledge
Héctor Nahuelpan, Universidad de los Lagos / Comunidad de Historia Mapuche
Kelly McDonough, University of Texas at Austin
AGR / Agrarian and Food Studies
Juan Ignacio Romero Cabrera, Universidad de la República de Uruguay
Ponciano del Pino Huamán, Universidad Diego Portales
ALD / Archives, Libraries and Digital Scholarship
Mariano López Seoane, UNTREF / New York University
Laura Martin, University of Wisconsin, Madison
ART / Art, Music and Performance Studies
Marcial Godoy-Anativia, New York University
Alina Peña-Iguarán, Universidad Jesuita de Guadalajara (ITESO)
BIO / Biopolitics and Biopower
Fermín Rodríguez, Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires / CONICET
CHI / Childhood and Youth Studies
Patricia Ames, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú
Pablo Vommaro, Universidad de Buenos Aires / CONICET / CLACSO
CIV / Civil Societies and Social Movements
Janice Gallagher, Rutgers University, Newark
Omar Coronel, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú
CUL / Culture, Power and Political Subjectivities
Paulo Ravecca, Saint Mary’s University, Canada
Isabel Wences, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
Gabriela Fried Amilivia, California State University, Los Angeles
DEM / Democratization and Political Process
Guillermo Trejo, University of Notre Dame
Lucio Renno, Universidade de Brasília
ECO / Economics and Political Economy
Candelaria Garay, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella
Marcelo Paixão, University of Texas at Austin
EDU / Education
Fabiola Cabra, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
Werner Vásquez von Schoettler, Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales, Ecuador
ENV / Environment, Nature and Climate Change
Mark Ungar, City University of New York
Fabiola Yeckting, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos
FIL / Film Studies
Alex Vailati, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco
Bridget Franco, College of the Holy Cross
GEN / Feminism and Gender Studies
Claudio Barrientos, Universidad Diego Portales
Anne Lambright, Carnegie Mellon University
Elisabeth Guerrero, Bucknell University
HEA / Health and Wellbeing
Jorge Alves, City University of New York
Raúl Necochea López, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
HIS / History and Archaeology
Natalia Sobrevilla Perea, University of Kent
Rodrigo Patto Sá Motta, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
HUM / Human Rights and Memory
Elizabeth Oglesby, The University of Arizona
Eugenia Allier Montaño, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
IND / Indigenous Languages and Literature
Rita Palacios, Conestoga College
Miguel Andrés Rocha Vivas, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
Miguel Rojas Sotelo, Duke University
INT / International Relations/Global Studies
Víctor Mijares, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia
Camelia Tigau, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México / University of Toronto
LAB / Labor Studies
Cirila Quintero Ramírez, El Colegio de la Frontera Norte
LAN / Language and Linguistics
Ana Alonso Ortiz, Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro
LAT / Latinx Studies
Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes, University of Michigan
Melissa Castillo Planas, City University of New York
LAW / Law and Justice
Jordi Díez, University of Guelph
Ludmila Ribeiro, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
LCC / Literature Studies: Colonial/19th Century
Felipe Martínez-Pinzón, Brown University
Vanesa Miseres, University of Notre Dame
Catalina Rodríguez, University of Toronto Mississauga
LCE / Literature Studies: 20th/21st Centuries
Hector Hoyos Ayala, Stanford University
Claire Mercier, Universidad de Talca
LCU / Literature and Culture
Margarita Saona, University of Illinois Chicago
Yamile Silva, The University of Scranton
MED / Mass Media and Popular Culture
Manuel Alejandro Guerrero Martinez, Universidad Iberoamericana
Celeste González de Bustamante, The University of Texas at Austin
MIG / Migration and refugees
Gisela Zapata Araujo, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
Tania Cruz Salazar, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur
OTR / Otros saberes and Alternative Methods
Richard Stahler-Sholk, Eastern Michigan University
Rocío del Pilar Moreno Badajoz, Universidad de Guadalajara
POL / Political Institutions
Maiah Jaskoski, Northern Arizona University
Jennifer Cyr, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella
PUB / Public and Social Policies
Mariely López-Santana, George Mason University
Lirio Gutierrez Rivera, Universidad Nacional de Colombia
RAC / Race and Ethnicities
Renzo Aroni, Columbia University
Flávia Rios, Universidade Federal Fluminense
REL / Religion, Politics and Society
Bibiana Astrid Ortega Gómez, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana
Joanildo Burity, Fundação Joaquim Nabuco
SLS / Sexualities and LGBTI Studies
Jose Guillermo de los Reyes, University of Houston
Montserrat Sagot, Universidad de Costa Rica
URB / Urban Studies
Eduardo Moncada, Columbia University
Verónica Zubillaga, Universidad Simón Bolívar
VIO / Security and Violence
Marcos Alan Ferreira, Universidade Federal da Paraíba
Angélica Durán Martínez, University of Massachusetts Lowell