Centering Blackness, Challenging Latinidad
Latina/o Studies Association Conference 2022
Hosted by Notre Dame's Institute for Latino Studies
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556
July 11, 2022 — July 14, 2022
Calls for racial justice, accountability, resistance, and representation, which have a long history in this hemisphere, have strongly reverberated across Afro-Latina/o/x communities, prompting us to confront the colonial legacy of enslavement and anti-Black racism prevalent in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the U.S. The racial justice protests that erupted across the United States after the murder of George Floyd in May 2020 re-energized the Black Lives Matter and similar movements worldwide, including in Latin America, in the fight against global anti-Blackness. The present moment links us to a long critical history of decolonial struggles, including the Black Latin American struggle, which dates back centuries. Systemic anti-Blackness can take many forms, from the disproportional impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Latina/o/x and Black communities to police brutality; from environmental racism to the crisis of climate refugees; from discrimination to colorism; and from invisibility to colonialism, among others.
As our title for the LSA 2022 Conference indicates, we believe it is imperative that we center Blackness within Latina/o/x Studies in order to confront the erasure of Afro-descendants from latinidad, something that Afro-Latinxs have demanded for a long time, both from our field of study and from the community at large. We seek to better understand and address systemic forms of racism against Black Latina/o/x communities and how these correlate and intersect with the escalation of anti-Asian violence, the continuing legacy of violence against Indigenous peoples, and global endemic violence against girls and women. Inspired by this moment of racial justice reckoning and the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024), we aim to create a space where afrolatinidad is centered and celebrated, and where we can have an urgent and honest dialogue about how anti-Blackness impacts the Latina/o/x community.
Participants are invited to both register for the conference at Experience ND (below) and become a member of the Latino/a Studies Association. Membership in LSA is not a prerequisite for attending the conference in July but those presenting on stage must become members of the organization.