The Puerto Rican Studies Association’s 10th Biennial Conference: “Boricuas and Other Border Crossers”

The Puerto Rican Studies Association (PRSA) invites proposals for possible inclusion in the program of the 2012 Twentieth Anniversary Biennial Conference. The conference theme this year is “Boricuas and Other Border Crossers: Of Diasporas and Latinidades.” The conference will be held at the University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY) on October 24-28, 2012. The deadline for submitting a proposal for possible inclusion in PRSA’s 2012 conference is February 13, 2012 (participants must be registered PRSA members).

Description: The Puerto Rican Studies Association’s conference meeting of October, 2012, will mark the 20th anniversary of PRSA’s sustained and continuing scholarly examination and study of the national and distinctively transnational experience of Puerto Rican people. Unexpectedly emerging as pioneers of the earliest, most enduring and continuous of the great pre- and post-World War II migrations to the United States from the Caribbean and Latin America is a decisively defining element of that experience. [. . .]

Taking as a point of departure the experience of Puerto Ricans as bordercrossers, this conference wishes to locate them in relation to a complexly shared Latino experience of multiple and overlapping diasporas—and (given the historical context of the iconic sites and patterns of Puerto Rican settlement in the United States) in particular other Afro-descended communities—, their shifting definitions and perceptions of “nation,” “nationality” and “cultural citizenship” and what may be these definitions’ promise, impasses, dilemmas, portents, and potentialities. [The conference] aims to explore the ways in which Latinos/as, other peoples of diaspora, and Puerto Ricans centrally among them, have and continue to defy, creatively to challenge and unprecedentedly to reimagine—on the island no less than in the diaspora—existing social, cultural, and political boundaries, arrangements, and directing assumptions.

Building on grounded scholarship in Puerto Rican Studies to critically reflect upon how diasporic encounters, practices, convergences, intersections and transformations compel movement across and beyond previously established territories, borders, and jurisdictions, as well as academic and disciplinary frontiers, PRSA seek papers, panels and presentations which focus on, highlight and examine the many dimensions and variant dynamics of these “border crossings” and the Boricua/Latino realities that come of them.

PRSA also proposes to explore the new puertorriqueñidades emerging from multiple diasporic experiences [and] to engage theoretical and methodological approaches which cut comparatively across Puerto Rican, Latino and other ethnic studies fields to scrutinize the intersection of colonial subjectivities, gender and sexuality, race, class and like categories too often obscured, minimized, or hidden in representations of Puerto Ricans and Latino/as and in the design and implementation of social policy directed at these communities. Tacitly and often violently, these representations continue to fuel and sustain existing social inequities.

By encouraging and drawing on integrative, transdisciplinary approaches [the organizers] want to draw attention to the multiple strategies employed by Puerto Ricans and others to both defy and challenge such representations and their consequences. By analyzing discursive as well as visually arresting narratives, practices, and social relations, this conference seeks finally to examine and accentuate how the social formation of our many and particular puertorriqueñidades are simultaneously constitutive of and constituted by broader latinidades.

The deadline for registering as a PRSA member and paying 2011-2012 membership dues is Wednesday, February 1, 2012. See

For more details on proposal submissions, see

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