Call for Papers: Decolonizing the Americas—Methods of Resistance

cerlac logo in png formatYork University's Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC) is hosting its
4th International Graduate Student Research Conference
Decolonizing the Americas – Methods of Resistance
March 11-13, 2016 @ York University
Toronto, Canada

The Conference:
Decolonizing the Americas – Methods of Resistance is a multidisciplinary conference for graduate students, artists, activists, and independent practitioners working on research concerning Latin America and the Caribbean. Hosted by the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC) at York University, the conference will feature papers, workshops, performances and discussions, providing an unparalleled opportunity to engage with diverse contemporary aesthetic, scholarly, and transdisciplinary practices informed by decolonial methodologies. We are working with the Journal of Latin American Encounters to offer conference participants the opportunity to publish their presented work in a special issue of the journal to be published at a later date.

While overt colonization ended with the official independence of the Americas during the nineteenth century and of much of the global south in the late twentieth century, contemporary imperialism and globalization perpetuate colonial inequities and structures of power, epistemology, and visuality. Decoloniality, as both a political and epistemic project, problematizes these histories and contemporary power structures. Decolonial methodologies are therefore ways of thinking and doing that present options for “confronting and delinking from […] the colonial matrix of power” (Mignolo 2011: xxvii).

Coming together to share their research, activist and creative practices, conference participants will explore and engage with transdisciplinary methodologies of resistance. We invite proposals from graduate students, artists, curators, activists, community organizers, and independent researchers whose work engages with decolonization, contemporary Indigenous thought, settler-colonial resistance, aesthetics, and any related fields from across the Americas and the Caribbean. In addition to the traditional formats of paper presentations and panel sessions, we also aim to integrate a wider program that includes artistic presentations, workshops, and roundtable discussions.

[Mignolo WD (2011) The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options. Durham: Duke University Press Books.]


Paper Presentations:
We invite the submission of papers that present scholarly research, artistic work, or any transdisciplinary modes . We strongly encourage applicants to present panels (3-5 papers) instead of individual submissions.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
the role of cultural production through decolonial methodologies
institutional critique and decoloniality
the intersection of quantitative research and decolonial thought
decoloniality and natural sciences, ranging from geology and biotechnology to health and agricultural sciences
academic work as a decolonial practice
aesthetics and the sensory as decolonial tactics
identity politics and decolonial methodologies
collectivities, networks, and media in decolonial communication

Artistic Formats:
We enthusiastically welcome submissions from artists, curators, and independent multidisciplinary practitioners whose work is informed by decoloniality, and whose transdisciplinary practices incorporate decolonial methods. Artistic presentations could include (but are not limited to) performances, screenings of time-based media, artists’ talks, etcetera. Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate installations as such, but we encourage creative presentations of aesthetic work in experimental forms. Artistic presentations should be limited to 20 minutes.

Decolonizing the Americas – Methods of Resistance encourages proposals for dynamic group activities, which can take various forms: roundtable discussions, teach-ins, and any other form of group social engagement will be heartily considered.

Proposals can be considered for the annual publication of the journal Latin American Encounters (LAE), a peer reviewed and Canadian-based Journal. First draft will be due in April 2016 and will be prepared for publication in collaboration with CERLAC editors. Please indicate in your proposal submission if you will be interested in publishing your work and undergo a peer review editing process. See submission guidelines here. While we accept submissions to the publication alone, we strongly encourage proposals that work for both the conference and publication platforms. Please contact for more information about the publication.

Submission Information:
Please send proposals to by November 1st, 2015, with the subject heading “Submission: Decolonizing the Americas – Methods of Resistance”

Please include the following:
The title and type of proposal (panel, paper,workshop, artistic presentation, etc…).
300 word abstract.
A 150 word bio.
For panel submissions, please include a 150 word panel description in addition to the abstracts and short bios for each paper and presenter.
Any technical needs you have.
Your contact information.
Please indicate if you prefer to present in a language other than English. We will do our best to accommodate translation / interpretation needs.
Deadline for submission of abstracts and panel proposals is November 1st, 2015

Applicants will receive confirmation of acceptance by December 15th, 2015

To confirm participation, accepted presenters will be asked to submit their papers -or a near-final draft- by March 1st, 2016

For more information, please contact:

Important Dates:
The conference will take place at York Univeristy, in Toronto, between March 11th and 13th, 2016
Deadline for submission of abstracts and panel proposals is November 1st, 2015
Applicants will receive confirmation of acceptance by December 15th, 2015
To confirm participation, accepted presenters will be asked to submit their papers -or a near-final draft- by March 1st, 2016