Criticism and Crisis in the Americas: Society, Nature, Exclusions and Resistance- Santiago and Valparaíso, Chile, October 2-5, 2023

VII Biennial Conference of the International Association of Inter-American Studies (IAS)

Criticism and Crisis in the Americas: Society, Nature, Exclusions and Resistance
VII Biennial Conference of the International Association of Inter-American Studies (IAS)

Santiago and Valparaíso, Chile, October 2-5, 2023

Organizing institutions:
Universidad de Chile, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Universidad de la Frontera

The current planetary crisis, evident in the critical and radically threatened state of biodiversity as well as in the growing waves of migration of peoples who relocate in extremely precarious ways in search of minimum living conditions; the threatening situation that indigenous populations and rural communities live in, given the encroachment of the extractivist industry and the extension of “sacrifice zones”; the condition, mainly of women but also of children and minoritized groups, in the face of advancing networks of necropower; as well as the conceptual, ethical and political problems that arise from the economic and political uses of biomedical developments and new technologies in the use of time, in the workplace and in contemporary everyday life are issues that call us to rethink urgently and in a relational and transversal manner, from and in the Americas, through inter-, transdisciplinary and intersectional approaches, the function, categories, and methodologies that critical thought and theory have developed and can develop to help in the understanding, visibility and emergence of responses that gather the contributions of anticolonial, feminist and ecological epistemes and ontologies, proactive in the face of the global crisis of late capitalism.

All these critical scenarios are not the result of a single phenomenon, nor do they have a single responsible cause. Capitalism occupies a relevant role, but as discussions on the concept of the Anthropocene show, the planet’s depletion could have begun before capitalism’s systematic appearance, even though it has only accelerated the processes of climatic disorder and the destruction of nature. On the other hand, responsibility in the planetary crisis shows the insignificance of individual consumption (whose cumulative impact we have not yet managed to measure) compared to hydraulic fracturing and other forms of extractivism operated by transnational corporations. This crisis forces us to understand different scales (temporal and spatial) to confront it, an approach that is only possible if we leave the traditional disciplinary differences aside.

The traditional modern debates on the relationship between technology and nature have become crucial in the current context of hyper-imbrication of subjectivities in the digitized world. The discussion on heteronomy or human agency in the face of these new technologies, and their relation to acceleration and competency as axes of social relations, call us to rethink the relations between space and time in contemporary subjectivities, but also consider the conditions in which plural worlds that inhabit the world produce resistances or can reimagine the future.

Likewise, the forms taken by the management of the COVID-19 pandemic— characterized as a syndemic, due to the conditions of health inequity in which it has developed (Horton)—through security policies of control and population segmentation, bring to the forefront the discussion on the value of life, the bodies that matter and those that do not for current biopolitical regimes. In addition, they ask us to consider the vulnerability of our individual and common worlds, and should make us reflect on the forms that the exercise of global, regional and local political power will take when confronted with these conditions in the coming decades.

In this sense, we must also reflect on how the situation of extreme vulnerability emerging from the pandemic, from climate change and the deterioration of ecosystems, and the consequences of global inequalities, have activated all kinds of authoritarian discourses and “white apocalyptic visions” (Mitchell and Chaudhury) that dispute the future and planetary politics with fundamentalist and supremacist proposals. Likewise, how, especially in the Americas, social movements that reject the consequences of neoliberalism have reemerged and could be a utopian impulse that rearticulates a new social contract based on other relations between human beings and the planet.

In fact, especially in the inter-American sphere, recent migratory processes and the historical claims and demands of indigenous peoples challenge the present, widely and critically, not only in the need for new forms of coexistence or new legal-political agreements, but also in the demand for a profound sociocultural transformation, with the difficulties implied in carrying them out in the midst of an economic framework that still insists on exploitation and extractivism. It is, in short, about the current interactions we

have among ourselves and with the territory, challenging us to find new epistemologies based on relationality, reciprocity and complementarity, such as “Good Living”.

The Faculty of Philosophy and Humanities at the University of Chile, the PhD program in Literature at the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso and the PhD program in Communication at the University of La Frontera, Temuco (in conjunction with the Austral University of Chile), will convene the VII Biennial Conference of the International Association of Inter-American Studies (IAS): “Criticism and Crisis in the Americas: Society, Nature, Exclusions and Resistance.” The event will take place in different locations at the University of Chile, the Institute of Literatures and Languages of the Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaíso, and the Andrés Bello Campus of the University of La Frontera, Temuco, from Monday, October 2, to Saturday, October 5, 2023. The call gives continuity to previous IAS Biennial conferences that were held at Texas A&M International University, USA, in 2021, and at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, in 2018, and in various universities around the world since the Association’s foundation in 2009, and hopes to collaborate in the promotion of a critical inter-American dialogue.

Presenters are asked to consider issues such as:

  • How do we understand a world that appears to operate on a non-human scale?
  • What is the nature of the current global crisis and what are the main aspects thatare expressed and affect the inter-American sphere and in what way?
  • Which inter-American theoretical-critical approaches contribute to theunderstanding of contemporary crises?
  • What are the critical and resistance movements that emerge in this situation andhow are they characterized?
  • What is the impact of transatlantic (and transpacific) history and relations onprevailing discourses on the crises?
  • How are crises represented in languages, aesthetics and media?And topics such as:
  • Conditions imposed by economic crises on the inter-American sphere.
  • Displacement crisis (forced migrations, new regulations; demands on states and inter-American institutions.
  • Climate change and the Anthropocene.
  • New relations in/with nature, e.g. “natureculture” (Haraway), “cosmopolitics”(Stengers), ontological turn.
  • Borders, migrations and displacements.
  • Political transformations, new conservatism, fascism.
  • Reconfigurations of global geopolitics and in the inter-American sphere.
  • Resistance of peoples and subalternities.
  • Reemergence of indigenous knowledge. Relational perspectives and methodologies.
  • Feminisms and dissidences and new imaginings of the crisis and the future.
  • Body, genders and dissident performativities.
  • Counter-informations and counter-discourses as counter-hegemonic strategies.
  • Media, digitalization, algorithmization of life; critical and emancipatory uses of technique and technology.
  • Materialities, circuits and globality.
  • Glocal violences. Ethics and aesthetics in the representation of violence in theAmericas.
  • Art, literature and resistance.
  • Human rights and rewritings of memory and the archive.We encourage proposals from various disciplines including sociology, political science, political economy, anthropology, history, literature, linguistics, philosophy, geography, music, and media studies, among others, that address these themes as well as any other theoretical and/or empirical approaches on the study of borders from relevant Inter- American perspectives.

Please send proposals either for individual papers (only one proposal per person) or for

panels (with a chairperson and 3 or 4 presentations) to

Presentations can be delivered in Spanish, English or Portuguese and

should be approximately 15-20 minutes long. The conference will take place in person.

Some of the activities will be shared publicly though digital platforms.

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