“Nuestro norte es el sur”: Mapping Resistance and Resilience in Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian studies

May 9-13, 2016

University of Virginia

Charlottesville, Virginia

Español / Português

The Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian regions have long been witness to great acts of resistance and resilience: from colonial heritage to democratization of the regions, the historical record is replete with widespread protests of abuses inflicted by the state and non-state actors, yet their open veins have not bled out. Many of the issues at stake in the resiliency of the regions are particularly visible in the context of globalization: from overlapping matters of ethnic and national identities in the cultural or political sphere, to neocolonialism in the economic sphere and gross imbalances of political power in the social sphere. SALALM 61’s theme will focus on the many ways in which individuals, organizations, institutions are facing globalizing trends in social, political, environmental and academic realms. Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies have proven resilient as a multi- and inter-disciplinary field, resisting direct assaults on its integrity by adapting and innovating. At stake in the resiliency of this field of area studies are matters of hegemony in North-South power dynamics, the rise of global and interdisciplinary studies, as well as the impact of the digital age on scholarship. In this framework, and borrowing from Joaquín Torres García, the title of the conference “Nuestro norte es el sur” is an invitation to consider and question the privileged position of the Global North in the academic discourse of the area, especially as that discourse engages with other disciplines against the background of global studies.

An examination of these topics can be framed in more specific terms by our recent professional endeavors as Latin American Studies librarians. Discussion at the Future of Area Studies Librarianship Workshop held at Indiana University in October 2013 addressed the fact that the focus on globalization in higher education requires a deep and broad understanding of all cultures and societies, which translates in a greater demand for international resources. What is the impact on globalized campuses and how will this fact influence the support for area and international collections and services?

This five-day conference will include three days of panel presentations, preceded by two days of round tables alongside our traditional business meetings. The round tables will provide a forum to continue the dialog of the workshop aforementioned and the round table “The Impact of Campus Internationalization on the Research Library” at SALALM 60 (2015). Because we want this conversation to permeate into discussions outside the realm of librarianship, the conference organizers will invite other stakeholders, e.g., area studies program administrators, faculty, doctoral students, and publishers to participate in SALALM 61. Special attention will be given to the foreseeable consequences of these trends in scholarly research, teaching, and librarianship, along with the strategies that librarians may develop in collaboration with other participants in the field to meet these challenges.

Each round table will consist of five invited individuals, each one representing one of the aforementioned stakeholders. Each table will focus on a given topic established by a set of questions prepared by the conference organizers. The dialogue will also embrace audience participation.

We are seeking for proposals for panels or panel presentations. Panels will include scholarly presentations related to the conference theme and will also include papers on practical issues of librarianship and archival management related to the topic.

Topics of discussion for panels and individual presentations may include, all within the context of Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies:

  • Overlapping matters of ethnic, racial and/or national identities in the cultural sphere.
  • Neocolonialism in the economic sphere and the consequences for research libraries and archives.
  • Hegemony in North-South dynamics and their effect in the publishing and library worlds.
  • The influence of the digital age on scholarship in this area.
  • The evolution of Global and International Studies.
  • The resilience of Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies within the context of globalization, its changes and innovations.

Interested presenters and panel organizers should contact Paloma Celis Carbajal, SALALM President, with proposals. Please include your name, institution, contact information, proposed title and abstract. The deadline to submit paper proposals is January 30, 2016.

Paloma Celis Carbajal, MA, MLS
Ibero-American Studies Bibliographer
212A Memorial Library
University of Wisconsin-Madison
728 State Street
Madison, WI 53703
Email: paloma.celiscarbajal[at]

For queries on local arrangements and book exhibits, please contact Miguel Valladares Llata, Chair of the Local Arrangements Committee.

Miguel Valladares Llata, MLS
Romance Languages Librarian
Room 408A Alderman Library
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22904
Email: mav4n[at]