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Re: Call for Paper
by Quee-Young Kim
17 September 2003 17:21 UTC
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Title: RE: Call for Paper

Call for Papers


Political Economy of the World-System XXVIII Annual Conference

(section of the American Sociological Association)

April 23-24, 2004

The 21st century will be crucial for the future transformation and/or demise of the Capitalist World-System. This historical system has lasted for more than 500 years. Depending on our social agencies in this moment of bifurcation, the transition towards a new historical system could lead to a better or worse system than the present one. Nothing is predetermined nor guaranteed about the future. There could be a more fair, just and egalitarian historical system or a more exploitative and coercive one. A major historical process in this transition is the transformations at the core of the capitalist world-economy. One of these transformations is the significant growth and political/cultural impact of Latin@ populations within the United States, the most powerful core country in the world-system today. In the year 2000, non-Hispanic Whites were a demographic minority in 70% of the U.S. cities and the largest growing population in those urban zones were Latin@s.  Latin@ populations increased 50% between 1990 and 2000. The majority of them are working class and racialized subjects (Chican@s, Salvadoreans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Indo-Latinos, Afro-Latinos, etc.) within the U.S.  Today Latin@s are the largest minority in the United States with 12.5% of the total population. Conservative estimates made by the U.S. Census of Population project that by mid-21st century non-Hispanic Whites will be a demographic minority in the U. S. and Latin@s will be the largest minority with 25 percent of the total population. Others contest these figures and affirm that if Latin@s continue growing the way they did during the 1990s, they will be at least half, if not the majority, of the total population of the U. S. before mid-century.

        These processes imply some important challenges that are the heart of the contemporary debates about the decolonization of the U.S. empire and the future bifurcation of the world-system towards a new historical system. If the legacy of White supremacy in the United States continues, we could have within a few decades an “Apartheid” form of democracy where the demographic majorities are politically excluded by the demographic minority, that is, the social majority would lead the social minorities as it has always been for the last two centuries but with the aggravated fact that now non-Hispanic Whites will be the demographic minority not just in a few states but in the whole country. In this context, can identity politics provide an answer or is it part of the problem? What forms of democracy can provide a solution to these dilemmas? Can a progressive multiculturalism or critical cosmopolitanism contribute to the challenges of the 21st century? How can equality be reconciled with fraternity given our epistemic, class, gender, racial and colonial differences? The increased representation of minorities in government structures is important but not sufficient to challenge the ideological and political hegemony of non-Hispanic Whites and U.S. imperial power around the world. This leads to one of the main goals of this conference: How to think about the decolonization of the American Empire in the 21st century? How can Latin@s contribute in developing a qualitatively different relationship between the United States and peripheral regions in the capitalist world-economy? Although Latin@s cultural legacies includes a diversity of world cultures (Arab, Jew, European, indigenous peoples, African, Asian, etc.), Afro-Latinos and Indo-Latinos are often discriminated by Euro-Latinos within their own communities. Which traditions, imaginaries and identities will prevail within the Latin@ population in the 21st century? And which will be important for the future of the capitalist world-system given their strategic location at the center of the U.S. empire? This leads to another major question: How can Latin@s build a different relationship within themselves and with other groups (Asian-Americans, Euro-Americans, African-Americans, Native-Americans, and oppressed people in other parts of the world) that could break away with the legacies of White supremacy, patriarchy and coloniality domestically and abroad?

        The Black-White paradigm of race relations in the United States has contributed in erasing other racialized subjects of the American empire such as Latinos, Asian-Americans, and Native-Americans. We would like to have a transracial and transethnic dialogue about the decolonization of the American empire in the 21st Century that would include a diversity of groups beyond identity politics. Which alternative forms of knowledge, existing cultural/spiritual movements and political projects can provide a gateway for new forms of thinking beyond Eurocentrism and fundamentalism or colonialism and nationalism? Which ethical imperatives and utopian imaginaries are we going to build in order to confront the challenges of the post-socialist and post-national liberation movements of the 21th century? Can border thinking, diasporic perspectives and transmodern strategies of decolonization be useful for the decolonization of the U.S. empire? Which alternative cosmologies and spiritualities can contribute to the building of an ethics of liberation beyond Eurocentrism and White supremacy? What alternative worlds can we imagine that could contribute to the future bifurcation towards a new historical system beyond exploitation and domination? Given the outlined questions, possible panels for the conference might include the following:


*Latin@s, Decolonization, and the African Diaspora in the Capitalist World-System

*Indigenous Peoples, Indo-Latinos and the Decolonization of Land in the Americas

*Democracy & U.S. Racial/ethnic relations in the 21st Century: Apartheid or Diversity?

*Latin@s and the Future (Demise?) of the U.S. Empire: Continuities and/or Discontinuities

*Heterolatinidades: Colonial/racial Immigrants and Subjects of the U.S. Empire

*Decolonizing Spirituality: Euro-Latin@s, Indo-Latin@s and Afro-Latin@s Spiritual Practices

*Paradigms in Latin@ Studies: Decolonizing Knowledge Production

We will provide lodging for conference participants.  Selected papers from the conference will be included in the annual series published by Paradigm Press.  The deadline for submissions of papers or detailed abstracts is february 1, 2004. Those interested please send a title and an abstract to:

Prof. Ramon Grosfoguel, Prof. Nelson Maldonado-Torres, and Prof. Josť D. Saldivar

University of California at Berkeley

Department of Ethnic Studies

506 Barrows Hall #2570

Berkeley, CA 94720

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