CFP: ‘Water Imagery in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean and its Diaspora’


The deadline of September 30, 2013 is fast approaching for submitting abstracts for a panel on ‘Water Imagery in the Spanish-Speaking Caribbean and its Diaspora’ at the 45th Annual Convention of the Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA), to be held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, from April 3-6, 2014.

The panel seeks papers that highlight, interpret, and problematize the role of water and the sea in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean and its diaspora in the 20th and 21st century. As a region often placed at the crux between Latin America, the United States, and the rest of the Caribbean, much of the critical work done on literary and artistic expression from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico has been grounded in notions of land and landscape. At the same time, the sea has become a metonymical emblem for the region, as well as a powerful metaphor in the creative and intellectual processes of the Caribbean. Furthermore, both the ubiquity of movement and migrations, as well as the increasing fluidity of identity invite us to step back and look for ways to re-interpret and re-map the relationship(s) between these islands, their neighbors, and their respective diasporas.

The papers in this panel seek to answer questions stemming from this endeavor, for example (but not limited to):

How does a focus on water and fluidity change our reception and interpretation of literary and artistic works from the Spanish-speaking Caribbean and its diaspora?

How and why is water imagery manifested even in spaces presumably devoid of bodies of water, such as the inner city?

Can water imagery be (re)presented metaphorically? How and to what extent?

How are issues of gender, femininity, and masculinity addressed through water imagery?

What are the limits and/or problems inherent in the ambivalence of water imagery and how should we approach them?

This panel especially seeks out comparative approaches, whether between authors, communities, or ideas of representation. Papers are welcome in both Spanish and English.

Please send 250-300 word abstracts (as MS Word or PDF attachments) to:

Rebeca Hey-Colón

Dept. of Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard University


Please include with your abstract:

Name and Affiliation

Email address

Postal address

Telephone number

A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)

For more about NeMLA, visit the website

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