Travel to Brazil Aided by CIE Travel Grant
October 28, 2009
Professors Marco Dorfsman and Lori Hopkins organized a three-day seminar on "Equality and Imaginary Identity in Contemporary Latin American Literature." The seminar took place as part of the Latin American Studies Association 28th International Congress in Rio de Janeiro in June 2009.
The LASA Congress is a large, dynamic interdisciplinary conference that brings together scholars from all over the world. The seminar gathered a diverse panel of researchers from universities in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil.
The participants discussed the concepts of equality and identity, which have often been seen as synonymous. In the age of globalization, it is difficult to think of the struggle for equality without justifying it through the parallel desire for the recognition of an identity.
Many contemporary Latin American writers have re-conceptualized the national and transnational imagination by exploring inequality through rhetorical and literary figures, by analyzing the intersection of social organizations and artistic communities, and by strategically blurring the borders between gender and genre, class and ethnicity, in order to open up a space of thought that could be called post-literary. The topic of the seminar was timely and important.
The location of the conference at the Potificia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro also allowed for broad inclusion of various constituencies in a time of economic insecurity and facilitated a smaller global community. The seminar was very widely attended and provided the springboard for multiple collaborations with colleagues around the globe.