LatCrit VII (2002)

LatCritVII Poster (2002)

The conference theme for the Seventh Annual LatCrit Conference in Portland, Oregon on May 2-5, 2002 will be Coalitional Theory and Praxis: Social Justice Movements and LatCrit Community. We encourage you to respond to this Call for Papers, Panels and Participation with your ideas. After reading this Call carefully, please complete and FAX back the enclosed Program Proposal Form as soon as possible ¡ and no later than the due date of October 31, 2001.

This Seventh Annual LatCrit Conference--"LatCrit VII"--will seek to move forward with the development of theory and praxis in our diverse communities. During the past six years, the annual LatCrit conferences have focused on domestic and international sociolegal issues through several distinct though inter-related lenses of critical inquiry: (1) Latina/o pan-ethnicity and multiracialism, including intra-Latina/o issues of sameness and difference as well as non-Hispanic Latinas/os, including mestizaje, Indianess and blackness in Latina/o communities and societies; (2) identity - religion, culture, gender, sexuality and heteropatriarchy; (3) immigrations, migrations, and citizenships; (4) coalition, democracy, and community; (5) class and economic equity, including trade, labor, and environment, and (6) inter-American issues of law, justice and society.

This year, the conference theme --Coalitional Theory and Praxis: Social Justice Movements and LatCrit Community-- is designed to provide an opportunity to center progressive social movements within LatCrit theory and praxis. Progressive social movements, whether ongoing or recent, encompass those seeking environmental, international labor, gay/lesbian, and civil rights, as well as the feminist and human rights movements, particularly the Free South Africa campaign. Concurrently, scholarly movements or revolutions exist in legal and other fields of academia, sometimes mirroring the external societal struggles, other times providing a broad lens by which those external struggles may be viewed, as in the case of critical legal studies and critical race theory. This year"s conference will explore the successes and failures of these societal and academic movements, as well as their intersections and inconsistencies with, and lessons for, LatCrit. Particularly evident in our examination and discussion will be the role of law and of lawyers in movements for progressive social change.

This theme of movements will force us to ask the questions, Is LatCrit a movement? If so, toward what academic or societal end(s) does it and/or should it aspire? What are the tools of this revolution? What is the impact of LatCrit and how is this impact manifested or suppressed? How can we bridge the gap between LatCrit theory and praxis? This year"s program is designed to encourage papers and panels that aim to center progressive social movements within LatCrit and to explore the purpose of our collective LatCrit endeavor. As always, the conference program will be designed to accommodate panels and papers that do not directly reflect the conference theme ¡therefore, the Conference Planning Committee invites and welcomes all papers and panels that expand and deepen LatCrit theory.

To facilitate LatCrit theorists" wide range of interests, past LatCrit conferences have sought to feature and balance four basic guideposts in organizing the substantive program. This year, we once again encourage you and other scholars to consider these four additional factors as guideposts for your paper or panel, and to return your response to this Call as soon as possible ¡ and no later than October 31, 2001. These four factors or guideposts are listed below. They have, during the past several years, served as useful lenses for papers and other program events. These guideposts are offered, therefore, as possible points of reference for thinking in new ways about familiar issues (like affirmative action and bilingual education), as well as for encouraging critical forays into new substantive areas (like communications or antitrust laws):

1) Papers or panels that focus on Latinas/os as a distinct but diverse and transnational social group, and the group"s relationship to law or current legal regimes/practices. The idea is to "center" Latinas/os qua Latinas/os in legal discourse, but to do so in a way that recognizes and accounts for the many axes of difference that help to define Latina/o heterogeneity, both domestically and internationally.

2) Papers or panels that bring a regional focus to the conference, corresponding to the region or locale of that year"s conference. In this case, in varying degrees of generality, these papers or panels would help focus the conference or topics historically or currently associated with Latinas/os in the Northwest or the West or the Pacific Rim. The idea is to rotate centers within LatCrit discourse, in part by using the annual geographic rotation of the conference to promote awareness of different conditions at different sites. This effort also helps to ensure a built-in means of substantive variety in conference programming from year to year.

3) Papers or panels that explore or elucidate cross-group histories or experiences with law and power, such as those based on class, gender, race, sexuality and religion. The idea is to ensure that each conference program, in addition to incorporating intra-Latina/o diversities also contextualizes Latina/o issues in inter-group frameworks.

4) The fourth and final guidepost from the past relates to the preceding one: papers and panels that connect or contrast LatCrit theory to other genres of scholarship, and in particular the various strands of 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.

Everyone is encouraged to use these four guideposts, as well as the following considerations, to help draft a proposal, and then to complete the attached Program Proposal form and FAX it back ASAP, and in any event no later than October 31, 2001.