2020 PRSA Biennial Conference, Holyoke, MA

Separate and Unequal: The Inclusive/Exclusion of Puerto Rico and
Puerto Ricans in the United States

Puerto Rican Studies Association (PRSA)
14thBiennial Conference

Call for Papers

Holyoke Community College
Holyoke, MA

22 – 25 October 2020

Between 1898 and 1901, following Puerto Rico’s annexation, the United States invented a new constitutional doctrine to rule the Puerto Rican archipelago as a separate and unequal territorial possession that belonged to, but was not a part of the emerging U.S. global empire. Also known as the doctrines of territorial incorporation or separate and unequal, the new territorial law and policy enabled the United States to describe Puerto Rico as an unincorporated territory and selectively rule the archipelago as a foreign possession for domestic or constitutional purposes. This constitutional interpretation also enabled the federal government to selectively affirm the inclusion of Puerto Rico within the U.S. empire, while simultaneously selectively excluding the Puerto Rican territory from the Anglo-American polity. Since then, the United States has applied separate and unequal, as well as anti-democratic, laws and policies to Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans. The federal government has not changed Puerto Rico’s constitutional status since 1901.

Because Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory, the federal government has established that it is constitutional to enact discriminatory laws and policies to rule Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans. These laws and policies have simultaneously affirmed the unequal treatment of Puerto Ricans within the U.S. empire. This biennial conference invites presentations that examine the ways that Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans are treated as a part of the United States, while simultaneously excluded from equal membership within the U.S. empire. We invite presentations across disciplines, methodologies, and perspectives that can shed new interpretations about the inclusive exclusion of Puerto Rico and/or Puerto Ricans within the U.S. empire. We welcome proposals for individual paper presentations, panels, works-in-progress, reports, roundtables, workshops or creative presentations. This year’s biennial conference will seek to provide a large tent and diverse intellectual space as well as a practical space organizing participants with goals beyond the limits of academic projects.

The Puerto Rican Studies Association was founded to help promote scholarship in the field and offer a place for its scholars to come together. The Association meets every year in a different location. PRSA holds a one-day symposium during the month of October on odd years and a biennial conference on even years. We maintain a list-serve for the dissemination of news that may interest to the membership. For more information on the PRSA please visit our website at: http://prsa.uconn.edu.We encourage students, scholars, activists, and others with interests in the island and its Diaspora to join and actively participate in the PRSA. This year’s Biennial Conference will be hosted by Holyoke Community College, a Hispanic serving institution located in the City of Holyoke, Massachusetts.

The 2020 PRSA Biennial Conference Committee Welcomes Proposals that Include the Following Themes:

  • Social, cultural, political, economic, legal and other inequalities;
  • Examples of the inclusive/exclusion of Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans within the U.S. empire;
  • Workshops and other types of presentations that can help organize participants.

Submission Information:

We also welcome individual proposals for papers or other formal presentations.

Every proposal should include the full contact information including email address, professional title and rank, institutional/organization affiliation; and 250 word abstract describing the arguments, sources, contributions and importance of the work proposed. Please submit all proposals using the 2020 PRSA Biennial Conference Online Registration Form

There will be a space for video exhibits.  Please contact conference organizers if you would like to present a video production at the conference.

Submission does not guarantee acceptance.

Submissions are limited to one paper proposal (or other form of participation) per person in a panel, round table, or workshop and one additional role per person as organizer or commentator/respondent.

Proposed presentations are due by 4 May 2020 and should be submitted using the 2020 PRSA Biennial Conference Online Registration Form

Conference Workshops

In addition, PRSA is committed to organizing a series of workshops that go beyond the scope of traditional academic experience. These workshops are designed to provide additional support, mentoring and resources to students and staff who are interested in Puerto Rican studies. For more information on the Student Workshop, please contact Aurora Santiago Ortiz, asantiagoort@umass.edu. For more information on the Professional Development Workshop, please contact Charles R. Venator-Santiago, charles.venator@uconn.edu. While the graduat student workshop will be held on Thursday, 22 October 2020. Please register using the 2020 PRSA Graduate Student Mentoring Form

Tables and other Display Opportunities

If your organization or Department is interested in having a table at the conference, please contact local organizers.  There is a $150 charge for a table payable at the time of submission. A link for reservations will be forthcoming.

There will be a table with a book display (not sales).  If you would like to display your book, please communicate with conference organizers about sending a copy. Institutions or organizations who wish to support PRSA by placing an ad in the program brochure please contact the PRSA Treasurer, Harry Franqui-Rivera at harryfranquirivera@gmail.com

Further updates and information about the biennial conference including hotel will be available at the PRSA webpage (http://prsa.uconn.edu)and we encourage all applicants to make sure they are on the PRSA email list available through this same link.

We strongly encourage all to become PRSA members and immediately register for the conference upon submission of your proposals. All accepted paper proposals are contingent on the payment of Membership and Registration by the deadlines stated below. All participants at PRSA will have to be registered by the FIRST deadline to appear in the program. All PRSA participants will need to register or they will not be allowed to enter sessions or panels. This policy will be followed without exceptions. Please consider asking your home institution to acquire a 2-year institutional membership. For more information on membership, please visit the PRSA website.

Program Committee: Charles R. Venator-Santiago, Co-Chair, University of Connecticut (Charles.venator@uconn.edu); Manuel Frau Ramos, Co-Chair, Holyoke Public Library (manuelfrau@gmail.com); Arlene Rodriguez, Cape Cod Community College (ARodriguez@capecod.edu); Salvador Mercado, PRSA President, University of Denver (Salvador.Mercado@du.edu); Harry Franqui Rivera, PRSA Treasurer, Bloomfield College (harryfranquirivera@gmail.com); Joanna Camacho Escobar, PRSA Secretary (jmcamachoescobar@gmail.com); Aurora Santiago Ortiz, PRSA Graduate Student Representative, University of Massachusetts (asantiagoort@umass.edu).

Please direct conference related inquiries to:

Questions about proposals and local arrangements: Manuel Frau Ramos, manuelfrau@gmail.comand Charles R. Venator Santiago, Charles.venator@uconn.edu

Questions about registration, membership fees, and other financial questions should be directed to: PRSA Secretariat at El Instituto, University of Connecticut: Charles Santiago charles.venator@uconn.eduor Harry Franqui-Rivera harryfranquirivera@gmail.com.

This year’s conference will be held in Holyoke Community College, Holyoke, Massachusetts.

PRSA Secretariat: El Instituto–Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies, University of Connecticut.

We look forward to seeing you at the 2020 PRSA Biennial Conference!

Sponsors: Holyoke Community College and Springfield Technical Community College, University of Connecticut, Puerto Rican Cultural Project, Holyoke Public Library, pa’lante