2019 Biennial PRSA Symposium Call for Papers and Presentations

Call for Papers: 2019 Puerto Rican Studies Association Symposium

Puerto Rican Studies at 50: Engaging the Past and Building the Future of U.S. Ethnic Studies

The University of Texas at Austin

October 26, 2019

This year marks half a century of ethnic studies as an intellectual and activist project in U.S. colleges and universities. Born out of the radical student struggle launched by the Third World Liberation Front and Black Student Union for greater campus and curricular diversity, 2019 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University (SFSU). The student activism that shut down the SFSU campus coalesced with and influenced other movements for community control over educational resources around the country. In New York City, students attending the City University of New York (CUNY) fought for accessible, quality education that reflected their experiences and concerns. This resulted in the creation of Puerto Rican Studies departments and programs at a number of CUNY campuses in the fall of 1969 with schools throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic following shortly after.

This year’s PRSA symposium invites participants to consider the legacies and futures of Puerto Rican studies as part of the ethnic studies tradition. Fifty years later, how can we think about the trajectory of Puerto Rican studies – where have we been, where are we now, and where do we need to go? What is the relationship between Puerto Rican studies and the larger ethnic studies project today? What is the place of Puerto Rican studies and ethnic studies within the U.S. neoliberal university? Has institutionalization aided or hindered the struggle for community control over educational resources?

We seek papers that will engage questions of the past, present, and future of Puerto Rican studies. In particular, we are interested in papers that think through and enact radical, intersectional, and comparative approaches of Puerto Rican studies as part of the ethnic studies tradition. Some themes that papers may examine include, but are not limited to:

  •    Interethnic and interracial coalitional politics
  •    Decolonial and anti-colonial praxis
  •    Community control and autogestión
  •    Educational realities for Puerto Rican students and other students of color
  •    Protest movements, social justice, and revolution
  •    Structures of racial inequality and anti-Black and anti-Native logics
  •    Citizenship, inclusion, and its limits
  •    The role of scholars of color in the neoliberal university
  •    Bilingual education and inclusive curricula
  •    Queering ethnic and Puerto Rican studies
  •    Feminist and Femme epistemologies
  •    Diaspora, displacement, and migration
  •    Disaster and environmental catastrophe
  •    Sovereignty and political status

Symposium Submission Information:

We invite paper abstracts of no more than 300 words, submitted through our online submission system. Please include your contact information and affiliation, as well as any audio/visual requirements. The program committee will assemble the panels.

The deadline for submissions is August 1, 2019. Upon acceptance, participants will be required to pay their membership dues and register for the symposium.

2019 Biennial PRSA Symposium Participant Registration

PRSA Membership


PRSA Business Meeting:

The PRSA will also conduct our yearly business meeting during the symposium. While this meeting is for the membership, the public is welcome to attend and find out more information about the association’s ongoing projects and future plans.

The Sponsoring Institutions and Symposium Site:

The Puerto Rican Studies Association was founded in 1992 to promote scholarship on the Puerto Rican experience and is currently the most important academic and professional association addressing the Puerto Rican experience. Membership is open to the public and it currently boasts one of the largest memberships of Puerto Rican scholars in the United States. For more information please visit the PRSA website: https://prsa.uconn.edu/.

The mission of the UT Austin Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies is to create a new generation of scholars, practitioners, and activists to research and analyze the life, history, and culture of Mexican-origin and Latina/o (Central, Caribbean, and South American) populations within the state of Texas, the United States, and their diasporas. Our academic program centralizes the interdisciplinary study of peoples’ movement along the Mesoamerican migration corridor that runs from the tip of the Southern Cone, through Texas, and into Canada. In addition, the field of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies historicizes the significance of centuries-old Indigenous and African migrations to the Americas. At the forefront of innovation, MALS faculty and affiliates are leaders in the study of immigration, race, gender, sexuality, social class, and health science humanities.

Other sponsors include:

The Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin
LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections
Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice
John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies