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Shifting Paradigms: Cultural Responses to Changing Migration Patterns in Latin America

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Organizer: Cecily Raynor

Co-Organizer: Lara Bourdin

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The nature of migration to, from, and within Latin America has undergone significant changes since the onset of the new millennium. As economic challenges persist, migrants from the region are still heading North and across the Atlantic. However, new migration trends are emerging, spanning Latin America as a whole. These patterns are shaped by changes both internal and external to the region, such as the liberalization of immigration policy in key economies like Brazil and Chile, as well as the heightened emphasis on border security in North America and Europe. As a result, new corridors are being opened between Latin America and regions such as South-East Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, fostering both existing and novel South-South connections. Simultaneously, a rise in neoliberal fascist tendencies, environmental catastrophe, and financial downturn, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, have driven numerous residents of the region to other geographical locales. Together, these shifts have led scholars such as David Cantor, Luisa Freier, and Jean-Pierre Gauci to identify a “paradigm shift” in the history of migration to and from Latin America.

This seminar seeks to examine cultural production that responds to new modes of migration in Latin America. How might the region’s writers, filmmakers, digital content creators, poets, and other producers of culture illuminate what it means to migrate to and within the region today? How are established genres and forms (such as immigration literature and film) being challenged and/or reinvented in response to new modes of movement? We welcome papers that approach culture from a variety of angles (literature, film, visual art, digital content, etc.), produced between 2000 and the present day, and encourage interdisciplinary and comparative approaches. 


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