Call for Proposals

The Dispossessed Majority: Resisting the Second Redemption in 
América Posfascista(Postfascist America)

In response to the community’s statement in 2017 of the necessity to continue organizing the LatCrit Biennial Conference, we are excited to announce LatCrit 2019, which the Georgia State University College of Law will host on October 18–19, 2019. The conference will be preceded by the annual SALT/LatCrit Faculty Development Workshop, for aspiring faculty and scholars in all phases of their careers, which will be held on October 17, 2019.  

This year’s conference theme is The Dispossessed Majority: Resisting the Second Redemption in América Posfascista(Postfascist America). “The dispossessed majority” represents the effective silencing of the political voice of the majority of people in the United States. Law is instrumental to this dispossession and often colors as “legitimate” antidemocratic means like the Electoral College, racial and political gerrymandering, and voter suppression. In some cases, this dispossession also derives from extra-constitutional means, including outright fraud, manipulation, and the naked derogation of constitutional norms. This dispossession affects not only U.S. citizens, but also undocumented persons, resident aliens, asylees, refugees, and asylum seekers, indigenous peoples, and other groups whom U.S. law and society marginalize. These effects manifest through increasingly nefarious policies and practices that express fear and contempt for the majority by stoking the fires of xenophobic nationalism, inciting racist hate, and criminalizing many aspects of day-to-day life for poor and working-class peoples. 

In such ways, América Posfascista names and critiques a hemispheric focus of today’s global politics. In the U.S., this push towards a totalizing government appears redolent of the late nineteenth century’s Southern Redemption, in which the states of the former Confederacy murderously rejected the limited progress toward racial equality that occurred during Radical Reconstruction and sought to reinstate the political economy of slavery despite the constitutional promise of formal equality. Civil rights workers resisted society-defining tide of Jim Crow across the twentieth century, and their efforts culminated in the Second Reconstruction associated with Brown v. Board of Education, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968. Yet today’s exacerbation of mass incarceration, police brutality, white supremacist terrorism, immigrant detention and deportation, and other practices of settler-colonial domination, suggests that a Second Redemption has dawned, in which the gains of the Second Reconstruction and the New Deal face systematic dismantlement. 

All of these issues highlight the fragility of international human rights and civil rights norms, which are in danger of further erosion as part of a broader failure of the rule of law over authority—a failure arguably intended by design.

Yet “resistance” is a powerful force in today’s national discourse. While a few are seduced, the dispossessed majority rejects the neofascist turn in American politics. Resistance to the forces of América Posfascista, the new normal inwhich people who are of color, LGBTQI, immigrant, women, disabled, poor, or otherwise marginalized are blatantly targeted as deserving subordinate status, occurs on the border, at the ballot box, and in the streets. Indeed, this fight against the rising tide of American nationalism promises the possibilities of a genuine reconsideration of norms and offers opportunities to consider not only American resistance but also decolonialization struggles across the Global South and North in order to connect dispossessed peoples throughout the world.  

The LatCrit Biennial Conference in 2019 offers a site for resisters from all places and of all stripes—including academics, activists, lawyers, students, and other social justice workers—to gather and strategize how to overcome white nationalism, misogyny, nativism, and the global decolonization struggle. Join us to discuss how we can together reject the Second Redemption, protect the rule of law over authority, and advance the struggle toward a more just and humane society.  

Finally, LatCrit 2019 continues our tradition of gathering from across the globe to re-energize, reconnect, and renew our commitment to critical praxis. We hope you will attend to show your support of this ongoing endeavor.

Proposals are invited on any topic related to critical legal discourse, including but not limited to:

  • Civil Rights
  • Critical Race Theory
  • Disability Rights
  • Feminist Theory
  • Immigration Law and Policy
  • Indigenous Rights and Resistance 
  • International Human Rights
  • Pedagogy of Social Change
  • Sentencing and Criminal Justice Reform
  • Social Movements
  • Voting Rights
  • Workers’ Rights and Labor Law

To submit a paper, panel, roundtable, or workshop, please visit http://latcrit.org. Submissions will be accepted starting March 20, 2019. If you have any questions, please contact the program committee at latcrit.conference@gmail.com

THE DEADLINE FOR PRPOSALS IS MAY 15, 2019

We hope to see you there!

Shelley Cavalieri & Atiba Ellis

Program Committee Co-Chairs