Latin American Transitions: Processes of reconfiguration

Villa Tillmans (Research Academy Leipzig)
Coloquio de Estudios Latinoamericanos - Leipzig (CEL-LE); Graduate School of Global and Area Studies (Universität Leipzig )
17.10.2019 - 19.10.2019
Carolina Rozo

The image of instability and violence commonly associated with Latin America disregards the socio-cultural longevity and geopolitical continuity that have characterized the region in the long term. In this context, crisis have meant also phases of cultural, political and economic reconfiguration. Movements of recomposition have had both devastating and beneficial consequences for different communities and regions. These movements are polyvalent, i.e. they may have different functions, forms, facets, and outcomes. For instance, the processes of national reconfiguration after the “third wave of democratization” in the late 20th century led to reinforced rule of law in Peru, but also to the return of militarism to Brazil and Venezuela.

This year’s conference proposes to investigate diverse, past and present processes of reconfiguration in Latin America. When and where do we identify turning points leading to processes of reconfiguration in the subcontinent? How have local, regional, national, and transnational actors contributed, adapted to and challenged recomposition? And more generally, how have agents and structures promoted or countered continuity within processes of reconfiguration? Addressing these general questions requires analysis at different levels, of different cases, and from different disciplinary approaches. Therefore, the conference invites young scholars from different field, who are currently working on topics, such as:

- Social strategies and sustainable approaches to environmental degradation and social fragmentation caused by economic development, like the promotion of extensive agriculture and the massive use of pesticides or the spread of urban sprawl in megacities of the region like Mexico City, Bogota or Buenos Aires.

- Communal projects contributing to social and political recomposition in times of crisis, such as Colombia's conflict-riddled process of transitional justice to overcome decades- long armed conflict.

- Inclusive and exclusionary reconfiguration processes in the face of migration in sending and receiving countries, such as Programa Frontera Sur implemented by the Mexican government since 2014, expressions of solidarity and xenophobic responses to Venezuelan exodus.

- The role of media and new technologies in the symbolic recomposition of economic, political, religious groups at national or regional level.

- Comparative approaches between Latin America and other regions regarding processes of political or social reconfigurations towards and away from democracy, such as Adam Przeworski’s seminal work “Democracy and the Market”, published in 1991 by Cambridge University Press.

The conveners invite scholars, and especially junior scholars (PhD researchers and Post-Docs), working on or interested in Latin America from different academic backgrounds in the social sciences and humanities to foster rich interdisciplinary discussions. We welcome submissions from all relevant disciplinary backgrounds - including, but not limited to history, anthropology, sociology, political science, economics, religious studies, literature, cultural studies, and geography.

Please submit abstracts for individual presentations (max. 250 words) or panel proposals (max. 200 words. 3-5 presentations), before July 30, 2019.

Conference languages are English and Spanish. However, prospective speakers can present their presentation proposals in English, Spanish, German or Portuguese.

We are also happy to announce that this year's Latin American Transitions CEL-LE will collaborate with the film festival Lateinamerikanische Tage, which celebrates its tenth anniversary in Leipzig. At least two of the conference’s events will be co-hosted by both organizations: the opening of the film festival and the Foro Latinoamericano, in which invited experts will discuss with a broad audience the past, present and future of populism in Latin America.

Conference registration fee: 30 Euros. Depending on funding possibilities, we might support travel and accommodation expenses for some participants.


Latin American Transitions: Processes of reconfiguration, 17.10.2019 – 19.10.2019 Leipzig, in: Connections. A Journal for Historians and Area Specialists, 29.06.2019, <>.
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