Eleventh Annual LatCrit Conference
“WORKING AND LIVING IN THE GLOBAL PLAYGROUND: FRONTSTAGE AND BACKSTAGE”
University of Nevada Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law, Las Vegas, Nevada October 5—8, 2006.
We are pleased to invite you to LatCrit XI, the Eleventh Annual LatCrit (Latina and Latino Critical Theory) Conference, which kicks off in Las Vegas, Nevada at 3:00 p.m. Friday, October 6 and concludes Saturday night, October 7, 2006. This year’s conference theme is “Working and Living in the Global Playground: Frontstage and Backstage.” As usual, we also will hold our Fourth Annual New-Junior Faculty Development Workshop, sponsored jointly with the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT) beginning at 5:00 p.m. Thursday, October 5 (the day before the conference program kicks off). Our annual board meeting with project team members will take place Sunday October 8, and all LatCrit community members are invited to attend a luncheon with the board at noon that day.
The Theme:Frontstage, Las Vegas projects a culture of pleasure and consumption. But backstage, immigrants and other low wage workers sustain the shimmering machine. This façade makes acceptable the commodification of workers, from women forced to entertain tourists in hypersexualized spaces, to the victims of human trafficking, to the undocumented workers who do the backbreaking work. The glitter obscures the exploitation of workers and the legal and economic structures that support it.
Immigration law has increasingly legalized the outsiderness of immigration workers within U.S. borders. Post-9/11 immigration reforms, especially, continue to punish those whose status is not regularized. The absence of citizenship has now become the new proxy for racialization and underclass status. The post-9/11 atmosphere has made it even more acceptable to exclude and mistreat those who are or appear foreign.
How are immigrants, undocumented and documented, faring in cities like Las Vegas? How are federal immigration and local laws impeding, or helping, their ability to incorporate, assimilate or settle? What changes in laws could help the settlement of noncitizens and also diffuse growing and latent hostility? What is the responsibility of law in regulating employers and markets to allow for a just work environment and more equitable allocation of wealth?
The Las Vegas frontstage display is also a window into U.S. domination of neoliberal global institutions that support the wealth disparities among nations that enable U.S. consumptive lifestyles. But challenges are coming from unexpected quarters. The “war on terror” becomes the rhetorical defense that sustains the U.S. Empire. Natural disasters increasingly expose the consequences of exploiting fragile ecosystems. Increasing competition from China and India could force reconfiguration of global market institutions. Can U.S. frontstage display of unchecked consumption be sustained? What type of legal responses will become necessary to establish a more equitable distribution of power and resources on the global stage?
The Standing Guideposts: In addition to the above Theme, the following four Standing Guideposts are offered as possible points of reference for re-evaluating familiar issues (e.g., affirmative action and bilingual education) and encouraging critical forays into additional substantive areas (e.g., communications and corporate law), which we have collectively utilized over the past eight years:
1) Papers or panels that focus on the multidimensionality of Latina/o identity and its relationship to current legal, political and cultural regimes or practices. The ideal is to explicate aspects of the Latina/o experience in legal discourse, both domestically and internationally. Nonetheless, you are free to address identity issues that do not specifically touch upon Latina/o identity or the law.
2) Papers or panels especially salient to this region (the Caribbean). Regional emphasis ensures that the Conference’s geographic rotation will illuminate local issues, helping us understand how local particularities produce (inter)national patterns of privilege and subordination.
3) Papers or panels that elucidate cross-group histories or experiences with law and power, such as those based on the intersections of class, gender, race, sexuality and religion. In this way, each Conference aims to both elucidate intra-Latina/o diversities and contextualize Latina/o experience within inter-group frameworks and Euro-Heteropatriarchy. Accordingly, we constantly ask how we can create progressive movements, communities and coalitions that meaningfully recognize difference.
4) Papers or and panels that connect or contrast LatCrit theory to other genres of scholarship, both within and beyond law and legal theory, including but not limited to the various strands of critical outsider jurisprudence (critical race theory, feminist legal theory, queer legal theory) that critique class, gender, race, sexuality and other categories of social-legal identities and relations.
The Site: As in past years, the conference site is designed to be accessible, comfortable, self-contained and affordable in order to promote both formal and informal interaction, and to foster a relaxed community ambiance even as we engage in our serious work. As usual, child care services will be facilitated, and partners and family members are welcome. LatCrit XI conference events will be held at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law and we will stay at the fabulous nearby Flamingo hotel on the Strip at a special rate of only $109 a night. Additional details on facilities and logistics will follow in late May, after receiving your responses to this Call, so that everyone can make advance reservations directly with the Flamingo reservations staff. We look forward to your response to this Call for Papers and Panel Proposals by April 10, 2006. Please use the attached LCXI Program Proposal Form to let us know your preferred form of participation in the conference program and, for more information about LatCrit programs and projects, please visit our website: www.latcrit.org
Viva Las Vegas in October 2006!
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