LatCrit IX (2004)

We are pleased to invite you to LatCrit IX, the Ninth Annual LatCrit (Latina and Latino Critical Theory) Conference, which kicks off in suburban Philadelphia, PA at 3:00 p.m. Thursday, April 29 and concludes Saturday, May 1, 2004. This year"s conference theme is "Countering Kulturkampf Politics Through Critique and Justice Pedagogy." We also will hold our Second Annual New-Junior Faculty Development Workshop, sponsored jointly with the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) beginning at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 28 to 3:00 p.m., the day before the conference program kicks off. Please make your advance plans and use the attached LCIX Program Proposal Form to send us your paper and panel proposals via email or fax ASAP!

The Theme: This year"s theme continues LatCrit"s commitment to interdisciplinary scholarship, multidimensional analysis and social justice activism that springs, in part, from the hybridity of Latina/o and other outsider identities. The "kulturkampf" theme beckons critical attention to the ways and means through which political conservatives are currently employing law and policy to "roll back the New Deal" and undo the civil rights gains of the past century. In the U.S., as part of the domestic "culture wars," Supreme Court Justice Scalia has denigrated the claims of traditionally subordinated groups to equality and dignity under the Constitution as a kulturkampf. Internationally, "globalization" monetary policies, the rise of right-wing parties and the "War on Terrorism" daily constrict the horizons of cultural pluralism, democratic self determination and human rights. Both domestically and internationally, kulturkampf has become the new order.

This conference"s examination of cultural warfare also invites critical analysis of popular discourses that simultaneously affect, and are affected by, law. For instance, why and how have cultural warriors succeeded in normalizing backlash as a norm in educational materials, election campaigns, popular culture and so on? How may social sciences scholarship, especially fields in, Anthropology, Economics, Education and Sociology, be more sharply connected to critical outsider jurisprudence as a platform from which to resist the roll backs of this kulturkampf? Can Justice Pedagogy"s experiential learning methods help LatCrit and other critical scholars translate theoretical critiques of kulturkampf into concrete tools for educators, students and activists? This year"s theme thus invites engagement of the broad set of topics organized under "Cultural Studies," and of the challenges that scholars, theorists, educators and students in every discipline face in the uses of critical pedagogy and activism to combat the backlash agenda of the culture wars.

To engage these and similar questions, we will organize Plenary and Concurrent Panels, Action Workshops and Work-in-Progress sessions around the following topics: (1) Post-"Terror War" Politics and Culture; (2) Justice Pedagogy; and (3) Synthesizing Cultural Studies and Critical Outsider Jurisprudence. We hope you will propose papers and panels that both extend and challenge these topics in light of the overall conference theme.

The Standing Guideposts: In addition to the above Theme, the following four Standing Guideposts are offered as possible points of reference for re-evaluating familiar issues (e.g., affirmative action and bilingual education) and encouraging critical forays into additional substantive areas (e.g., communications and corporate law), which we have collectively utilized over the past eight years:

1) Papers or panels that focus on the multidimensionality of Latina/o identity and its relationship to current legal, political and cultural regimes or practices. The ideal is to explicate aspects of the Latina/o experience in legal discourse, both domestically and internationally. Nonetheless, you are free to address identity issues that do not specifically touch upon Latina/o identity or the law.

2) Papers or panels especially salient to this region (the Caribbean). Regional emphasis ensures that the Conference"s geographic rotation will illuminate local issues, helping us understand how local particularities produce (inter)national patterns of privilege and subordination.

3) Papers or panels that elucidate cross-group histories or experiences with law and power, such as those based on the intersections of class, gender, race, sexuality and religion. In this way, each Conference aims to both elucidate intra-Latina/o diversities and contextualize Latina/o experience within inter-group frameworks and Euro-Heteropatriarchy. Accordingly, we constantly ask how we can create progressive movements, communities and coalitions that meaningfully recognize difference.

4) Papers or and panels that connect or contrast LatCrit theory to other genres of scholarship, both within and beyond law and legal theory, including but not limited to the various strands of critical outsider jurisprudence (critical race theory, feminist legal theory, queer legal theory) that critique class, gender, race, sexuality and other categories of social-legal identities and relations.

The Site: As in past years, the conference site is designed to be accessible, comfortable, self-contained and affordable in order to promote both formal and informal interaction, and to foster a relaxed community ambiance even as we engage in our serious work. As usual, child care services will be facilitated, and partners and family members are welcome. LatCrit IX will be held at the Desmond Great Valley Hotel and Conference Center in Malvern, Pennsylvania (suburban Philadelphia). The Desmond is a full service hotel with conference facilities, business center, gym and a heated pool that provides a rustic and relaxing setting. Philadelphia"s many sights and great restaurants are also an easy drive away. And to facilitate your air travel arrangements, we will coordinate low-cost shuttles to and from the Philadelphia International Airport. Additional details on facilities and logistics will follow in early Spring.

We look forward to your response to this Call for Papers and Panel Proposals by Monday, October 20, 2003 … please use the attached LCIX Program Proposal Form to let us know your preferred form of participation in the conference program … and, for more information about LatCrit programs and projects, please visit our website: