Call for Papers: CALACS invites you to participate in its Annual Conference, to be held at the University of Ottawa, May 20-22, 2020

Call for Papers

The Canadian Association for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CALACS)
invites you to participate in its Annual Conference, to be held at the
University of Ottawa, May 20-22, 2020.

Security and Insecurity in Latin America and the Caribbean
Sécurité et insécurité en Amérique latine et dans les Caraïbes
Seguridad e inseguridad en América Latina y el Caribe
Segurança e insegurança na América Latina e no Caribe

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the persistence of endemic poverty and inequality remains one of the greatest challenges facing Latin America and the Caribbean. Poverty and inequality continue to shape new forms of socio-economic and environmental insecurity in the region. If the idea of insecurity necessarily implies its inverse, security, then the Americas are shaped by the tension—both creative and disruptive—between these two apparently opposite poles. Rather than construct security and insecurity as a binary, when considering the multiple dimensions of human, social, and ecological security it is possible to see both the co-existence of security with insecurity and their interconnected nature. On the one hand, some assume that one type of security leads to enhanced security in other areas of society. For example, that the security of democratic institutions leads to economic security, and vice versa. Yet, this has proven time and again a fallacy. On the other hand, recent analysis has demonstrated how security in one realm can have (or necessitate) negative effects on security in other realms. How does the militarization of society affect human security? How is securitization linked to geographies and territories – where natural resources are located – affecting Indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples´ means of subsistence? How does the quest for energy security affect food security? How do “smart cities” that are designed to enhance personal security affect the security of personal information? How do basic income programs which provide economic security affect the quality of political engagement? How does protecting the principles of freedom of expression affect the security of marginalized groups and individuals? How do cultural dynamics respond to these tensions? For example, what are the ways that narcocorridos or reggaetón attempt deal with such challenges?

On a general level, is the quest for security a zero-sum game? Or, might these tensions be generative and productive? Such questions and others will be central to the discussion of the Annual CALACS Congress 2020, which highlights these tensions between security and insecurity in literary and artistic production, political representation, migration, education, social movements, economic policies. The conference explores how security and insecurity are constructed in culturally specific ways in the Americas.

In addition to panels, papers, and workshops exploring these themes, we invite proposals on any subject regarding Latin America and the Caribbean. Due to the multidisciplinary nature of CALACS, we are especially interested in addressing these topics from inter- and multidisciplinary points of view. We also encourage submitting individual proposals.

For more information, contact calacs2020(at)

The portal for submission of proposals of panels, workshops, and individual papers will be open between January 1 and January 20, 2020 using the conference website:

Proposals (of around 350 words) can be submitted in Spanish, English, French or Portuguese.

Please note that you must be a member of CALACS to submit a proposal and to present at the conference.