Latinx Studies Association 2024 Conference: Placing Justice and Joy in Latinx Studies



All Day, April 17 to 20, 2024

As LSA celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2024, the conference site committee invites you to consider the productive relationship between justice and joy in the context of Latinx placemaking. In mainstream media, battles over social justice and Latinx joy are often bracketed off from one another. Social justice as a concept has come under fire, alongside other lightning rod issues such as DEI, critical race theory, and ethnic studies. In stark contrast, one can easily conjure up exceptional images of Latinx joy such as Selena or Celia Cruz dancing, and Latinx athletes pumping their fists as they celebrate a win. Where along this spectrum does Latinx placemaking fit? What interventions do Latinx communities make as they both counter harmful rhetoric and celebrate their own resilience in the face of anti-immigrant and anti-Latinx laws, border crises, and other forms of violence? How do Latinx communities create a sense of place amidst so much displacement, from transnational migration to gentrification? As scholars, we seek to consider how justice and joy are bound up with one another, co-creating a shared sense of place.

Our theme resonates with the host site of Arizona, which has long been a lightning rod for anti-Latinx politics but is also a place where Latinxs have found joy, built community, and organized for justice. As Latinxs and Indigenous communities in Arizona have negotiated complex relationships to land and one another, the site encourages us also to ask, what is the relationship between Latinx placemaking and the forceful displacement of other communities, especially Indigenous communities? How can Latinx studies more capaciously consider this kind of placemaking within contradictory contexts?

Beyond Arizona, the conference theme invites wide engagement with the diversity of Latinx places and spaces. From the urban to the rural, from the Southwestern borderlands to the East Coast and beyond, Latinxs have been integral to the rise of important multiracial coalitions that have led the effort to transform the culture and political climate of the United States. Such transformations make spaces for Latinx joy.

To learn more about this conference, click here.

The preliminary schedule is now available!  Click here: LSA 2024-Preliminary Program-updated.