Time & Location
Nov 10, 7:00 AM EST – Nov 11, 5:00 PM EST
Homewood, 800 Lakeshore Dr, Homewood, AL 35229, USA
About the event
Image Credits: Caroline Summers/Samford University
The 2023 Midwest Association for Latin American Studies (MALAS) conference marks the 73rd edition of the MALAS meetings. This conference will take place November 10-11, 2023. This conference will be held in Birmingham, Alabama on the picturesque campus of Samford University. It will be a hybrid gathering in that in addition to presenting in person onsite, scholars will also be able to participate online. This conference will provide an opportunity for scholars (faculty, researchers, and students) in Latin American matters to contribute towards a better understanding of all things Latin American, from literature to politics, from history to architecture, from anthropology to human rights, and more.
In 1943, the Uruguayan Joaquín Torres-García artist drew a curious illustration that has come to be known as the ‘Inverted America’. He sought to challenge the traditional mental framework of the Americas and upend traditional hierarchical structures by recalibrating what the ‘south’ and ‘north’ are to be understood as. In so doing, he promoted the sensibility that South American art should be created on its own terms rather than in relation to other centers of power. The 73rd Annual MALAS Conference seeks to explore social, cultural, historical, and political aspects of Latin America on its own terms, but from multiple perspectives. We invite scholars to share narratives of Latin America that have been written from the inside looking out as well as the outside looking in. As we navigate the realities of our world near the end of the first quarter of the 21st century, we find ourselves laden with grand challenges and Latin America is situated with the power to determine its futures. The left versus the right continues to polarize the Americas. Notions of health and standards of living have been upended with increasing levels of urbanism and the difficulties of post-pandemic concerns. Climate crisis, social inequity, resource scarcity, decolonization, forced migration, and fair access to housing and health care continue to be urgent concerns for people in the Caribbean, Central and South America. As we look at these issues, we must ask ourselves, what can we learn by looking at these issues deeply, critically, and from an inverted perspective? How can we understand the political landscape with the recent attacks on democracy? What can be learned by recuperating pre-Columbian cultural practices? How can we interpret the artistic production of contemporary artists and filmmakers that resonate with youth in different parts of the Americas?