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Building New Worlds: Local Imaginaries of Global Politics

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Organizer: Jason Bartles

Co-Organizer: Álvaro Kaempfer

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In this seminar, we will explore literary and cultural discourses that imagine new worlds or articulate explanatory narratives from particular sites that have been affected by wars, revolutions and/or ecological disasters with a global impact. Our primary focus will be those theoretical fictions and critical visions published from the mid-twentieth century to today.
We seek papers that, to borrow from the work of Héctor Hoyos, advocate for “an understanding of the global from the ground up” (Beyond 5). The writings analyzed in this seminar delineate or engage in dialogue with imaginaries that unfold on a global scale. By searching for a new vantage point to found a community, or reformulate an existing one, they reflect on the aftermath of global disputes for political and/or economic dominance that linger in these spaces. Furthermore, this utopian impulse is tempered by taking stock of local demands and realities in order to open new sites or processes from which they can project these possible, new worlds.
Possible topics may include:
--political and ethical theories of the global from local sites, texts, and discourses
--imagined alternatives to Cold War binaries of global hegemony
--alternatives and resistance to the neoliberal world order
--islands or other (wasted) landscapes on which such alternatives are built
--moments charged with global potential: 1968, 1989, 2007-8  
Though the seminar organizers focus on Latin America, we welcome proposals from any region. Please send 300-word proposals to the ACLA abstract portal by September 20, and contact Jason Bartles ( or Álvaro Kaempfer ( with any questions.

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