LatCrit XII (2007)

critical localities: Epistemic Communities, Rooted Cosmopolitans, New Hegemonies, and Knowledge Processes

Proceedings published in: SymposiumCritical Localities: Epistemic Communities, Rooted Cosmopolitans, New Hegemonies and Knowledge Processes, 4 FIU L. Rev. 1 (2008) (LATCRIT XII)


! ALL RESPONSES DUE: ASAP, and no later than March 15, 2007 !

We are pleased to invite you to LatCrit XII, the Twelfth Annual LatCrit (Latina and Latino Critical Legal Theory) Conference, which starts in Miami, Florida at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, October 5 and concludes Saturday night, October 6, 2007.

This year"s theme is "critical localities: Epistemic Communities, Rooted Cosmopolitans, New Hegemonies, and Knowledge Processes." Please make your advance plans now, and use the new online process to submit your LCXII Program Proposal Form (see above). In the spring, please send us your conference registration check by airmail (more on this later).


As usual, we also will hold our Fifth Annual New-Junior Faculty Development Workshop, sponsored jointly with the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT), beginning at 5:00 p.m. Thursday, October 4 (the day before the conference program kicks off).


Our Annual Board Meeting, which is open to the public, will take place Sunday, October 7. All LatCrit community members are invited to attend a luncheon with the board at noon.

What happens as White/mono-lingual/monocultural hegemonies lose some normative power? How ought ideologies, critical institutions, knowledge communities, and individual intellectuals to react?

Opposition to hegemony has helped bring together groups with diverse cultural, ethnic, and class backgrounds. However, economic, cultural, and social globalizations may be changing the face of hegemony. As waves of workers leave their home states to forage globally for jobs, new patterns of power, fear, and personal and state resistance emerge. In this milieu, ethnicity, language, race, sex, gender, and class position become both bases for coalition-building and catalysts of backlash.

Will cultural pluralism allow so-called minority groups to replicate patterns of subordination? Can traditionally subordinated groups reproduce a new hierarchy or will the processes of domination shift contextually? How does progressive coalition building take place when dominance and consensus realign? In this new landscape, how do the relationships between the individual, the state, and exercises of state power adapt? Located near the United States, Miami is a matrix of dialectical oppositions, recognized in Theory and lived in Praxis: South/North; colonial/post colonial/neocolonial/Metropolitan; ethnic balkanization/coalition-building; Otherness/Sameness; rapacious wealth/middle class blindness/abject poverty; citizen/resident/documented/sin papeles; white/proto- white/black/mulatto/asian/hybrid, among others.

As locality, Miami is a cultural laboratory for many of the processes interrogated by the critical discourses of LatCrit, Critical Race Theory, diaspora theory, critical heterosexuality studies, feminist theory, gender, Marxian process analysis, and others. Within Miami, the contours of the social, linguistic, and ecological environments converge and collide, transforming existing patterns of both form and function. As a critical locality, Miami offers a counterpoint to the aggressive assimilation suggested by the "melting pot" metaphor. Theorizing new hegemonies involves unpacking the rival subjectivities embedded within essentialized categories (e.g. race), considering, among others, the subjectivities of Afro-Caribbeans, New World Latinos, the peninsular Hispanic, Asians, African-Americans, Cuban-Americans, Haitian, Haitian-Americans, Chicanos, Creole Latins, White-identified Latins, post-colonial ethnics, Cubans, Afro-Cubans, indigenous peoples, compradora elites etc. The deconstructive/reconstructive processes found throughout Miami"s history mirror in miniature trends happening more widely across the United States and other parts of the world.

Set against this background, LatCritXII seeks to explore the use of the notion of "the critical locality" to enhance the symbiotic relationships between critical theory and praxis by, among other things, facilitating the expansion of knowledge communities spanning borders, class, knowledge paradigms and identity, while recognizing that borders, class, paradigms and identity can still be the raw materials of hegemony.


In addition to the above annual conference theme, the following four standing themes are suggested as possible points of reference for re-evaluating familiar issues which have been the steady objects of our academic attention over the past eleven years:

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.

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

Papers or panels that elucidate coalition building across groups. In this way, each Conference aims to explore intra-Latina/o diversities and contextualize Latina/o experience within inter-group frameworks. Accordingly, we constantly ask how we can create progressive movements, communities and coalitions that meaningfully recognize difference.

Papers or and panels that connect or contrast LatCrit theory to other scholarship genres or academic disciplines, both within and beyond law and legal theory.


Reflecting its locality, Florida International University has one of the most diverse student bodies in the country, including Hispanics (62%), African-Americans (13.9%), and other communities. Founded in 2002 by the Florida Legislature to increase the diversity of the legal profession - both locally and nationally - the College of Law is a majority-minority institution.


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. This year, the fabulous Alexander Hotel in Miami Beach will serve as the conference site. Located oceanfront, the hotel address is 5225 Collins Avenue. We will send the hotel contact information to you, together with the conference registration materials, in the spring, so that everyone can make their hotel reservations directly at the same time you register for the conference. As usual, child care services will be facilitated, and partners and family members are warmly welcome to join us.

Save the dates … and make your plans

!! Viva Miami in October 2007 !!