XXVI International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association
Sonia E. Alvarez
University of California/Santa Cruz
Frances Aparicio and Amalia Pallares
University of Illinois/Chicago
From its inception, LASA has proven to be a vital forum for scholarly collaboration and intellectual exchange among U.S.-based Latin Americanists and colleagues in Latin America, the Caribbean, and around the globe. Yet despite our growing international membership (currently nearing 30 percent), Latin American Studies, as an institutionalized knowledge formation, remains largely centered in the US and LASA is arguably still a “US-centric” area studies association. The 2006 Congress seeks to further the “de-centering” and transnationalization of the field by featuring sessions on how the study of Latin America, the Caribbean and its peoples is practiced in distinctive ways within the US (e.g., Latin American/Latina-o Studies), in Latin America and the Caribbean, and in other regions of the world. The Congress would hope to build on the wide variety of approaches and epistemologies that emerge from multiple positionalities and diverse geopolitical locations in collectively (re)imagining Latin American Studies for the 21st century.