Resistance and Empowerment in the Body Rican
Puerto Rican Studies Association 9th Biennial Meeting
Call for Papers, Panels and Presentations Hartford, Connecticut October 21-23, 2010
Please join us at the Puerto Rican Studies Association Conference.
For over three centuries, Puerto Ricans have been subject to—and involved in—various types and levels of surveillance and persecution, and have developed a variety of creative approaches to oppose, resist, engage or live with them. Going against the established juridical-political order; resisting socio-economic conditions; being poor and/or nonwhite; being positioned outside the law when trying individually or collectively to survive; not being an adult male, and/or not identifying as heterosexual; as victims of disease or as persons themselves seen as embodying disease (physiological, mental, or social); speaking the “wrong” language or speaking the “right” language the “wrong” way; having too many children or actively deciding when not to have a child; wanting to live in an unpolluted environment; playing and dancing to the “wrong” music; praying and speaking to the “wrong” God(s); being too loud or refusing to be a spectacle; being in the wrong place at the wrong time; or just simply being. Each of these, severally and
apart, have served as provocation, cause or justification for supervision, accusation, and penalty.
In 2010 our conference theme centers on these and other sites of discipline and punishment, as well as on strategies of coping, opposition and resistance. Carried out by foreigners and by our compatriots, by strangers and by our own kin, by others and by ourselves, these varied practices and instances of penalization have occurred both formally and informally, publicly and privately, overtly and covertly; with the use of force and/or by instilling efficient behavior and a lucrative obedience, episodically and in the historical long-term.
This year’s conference will also explore the ways in which Puerto Ricans have created and can continue to create critical, social, cultural, political and economic opportunities for civic action. Hartford offers us a privileged and critical space for reflection. Locale of the first Puerto Rican elected mayor of a capital city on the “mainland,” it is also home to the largest proportional population of Puerto Ricans residing in any city beyond the confines of the island of Puerto Rico itself. Following President Barack Obama’s historic nomination to the Supreme Court of the Hon. Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina and Puerto Rican to be so appointed, this year’s Conference's exploration of empowerment as a conduit for civic action seems particularly timely and assumes even greater salience. Not only the first Latina to be appointed to the Court, Judge Sotomayor is also the first Puerto Rican ever to serve in one of the highest public offices available within the governing structures of the United States. Aspiring to a critical reflection about disciplinary discourses of punishment and power affecting Puerto Ricans, this year’s conference aims also to engage those narratives and practices of empowerment which facilitate and enable progressive civic action.
PRSA Conference Themes
This year’s conference thus features two mutually constitutive themes, one with a focus on technologies of the self, one on practical approaches to social, political and economic empowerment. Efforts to study the intersections of power and the body have opened up new spaces for critical thinking and collective action. To critically explore their diverse forms and dimensions, we invite presenters to propose papers, panels, poster sessions, and by other creative means and fora, engaging with any of the following, merely suggestive rather than exhaustive, list of possible areas and topics:
1) Papers, panels, or presentations that focus on the roles of state technologies of power used to discipline the Puerto Rican subject, as well as on modalities of resistance to them. Proposals should include themes in the areas of law, justice, state repression and violence, and other institutional mechanisms of discipline and punishment, as well as proposals that explore critical modes of resistance. 2) Papers, panels, or presentations that are especially apt and relevant to this (New England) region, as one of the objectives of this conference is to create a critical space for the exchange of ideas, experiences and reflections on how to empower Puerto Ricans in local, state, national and international forums. 3) Papers, panels, or presentations that elucidate the ways in which Puerto Rican studies can inform broader debates across disciplines, thereby encouraging that interdisciplinarity which has traditionally been one of the hallmarks of the PRSA and its conferences.
We encourage submissions from the array of communities that together shape the Puerto Rican experience: university and college professors, independent scholars, community and labor organizers/activists, teachers and intellectual workers, artists, and graduate and undergraduate students.
Send two copies of your proposal form, abstract and membership fee by
February 10, 2010 to:
Secretariat, Puerto Rican Studies Association: 2009 Conference
c/o Latino Studies Program
434 Rockefeller Hall
Ithaca NY 14853
Please remember that only proposals from paid-up PRSA members will be accepted for inclusion in the 9th Conference. Membership dues must be received by the PRSA Secretariat by February 1, 2010. Membership dues information and a downloadable membership form are available at
PRSA Pre-Conference Workshops
The PRSA Pre-Conference Workshops are designed to provide junior faculty and advance graduate students with a series of professional workshops which seek to assist in faculty development and career planning for scholars whose research and work projects focus on Puerto Rico, Puerto Ricans and their communities, and Puerto Rican Studies. These will include a workshop on tenure and promotion as well as a discussion of the history of PRSA and its contributions to intellectual life and collaborative community work. Pre-Conference Workshops will take place on Thursday, October 21, 2010. More details forthcoming.
The Sponsoring Institutions
The Puerto Rican Studies Association was founded to help promote scholarship in the field and offer a place for its scholars to come together. The Association meets every other year (in even-numbered years) in a different location. We maintain a list-serve for the dissemination of news of interest to the membership. For more information on the PRSA please visit our website at: http://www.puertorican-studies.org/. We encourage students, scholars, activists, and others with interests in the island and its people to join and actively participate in the PRSA.
The City of Hartford, a vibrant city with one of the largest proportional populations of Puerto Ricans in the United States, will assist in the hosting of the 2010 conference. Our 9th biennial conference represents the collaborative effort of members of the city’s local Puerto Rican and Latino communities as well as various academic programs and institutions affiliated with the University of Connecticut, Eastern Connecticut State University and Trinity College.
The Conference Sites
The PRSA Conference will take place in the Hartford Marriott Downtown in Hartford, Connecticut, which will also serve as the primary lodging site for conference attendees. The Hartford Marriott is located in downtown Hartford, within walking distance of many of the city’s amenities. The city of Hartford is itself conveniently located at the crossroads of New England. Only 30 minutes from Bradley International Airport, it is also within reasonable driving distance from New York City, NY, Boston, MA, and Providence, RI.
The Hartford Marriott was selected because it provided a consolidated space with access to meeting rooms as well as a central location within walking distance of restaurants and other downtown establishments. Conference rates will be available. Most of the conference events will take place in the available conference rooms in the hotel. For more information on the hotel, please visit their website at:
Additional information on hotel rates will be forthcoming and available at the PRSA
For local information please contact, Charles R. Venator-Santiago, IPRLS & Department of Political Science, University of Connecticut, firstname.lastname@example.org
For information on PRSA please contact:
• PRSA Secretariat, Marti Dense, Latinos Studies Program,
Cornell University, email@example.com
• PRSA President, Gladys M. Jiménez-Muñoz, Department of Sociology,
Binghamton University-SUNY, firstname.lastname@example.org
• PRSA Program Committee Chair, Vilma Santiago- Irizarry,
Department of Anthropology, Cornell University, email@example.com .