Annual Conference

 Ethnographic Evidence in the Americas: On the Aesthetics of Method and Crafting of Claims

Center for Latin American Studies 70th Annual Conference
March 30 - April 2, 2022

This conference seeks to question tacit assumptions about the nature of empirical worlds that continue to constrict imaginative potentials and research horizons of ethnographic fieldwork. By bringing together scholars, writers, artists and performers working across institutional fields and thematic regions, we will collectively reconsider ethnography’s generative currency as method, evidence, and aesthetic sensibility across the Americas.

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About the conference

Current challenges that many countries face throughout the Americas call for ethnography that is not only principled but artful: to render visible what can be sensed only in lived proximity, but is often imperceptible and ambiguous, and therefore resists description and clarification. Indeed, in spaces where aftermaths of conflicts and governing regimes return as they withdraw, where illicit organizations and state institutions overlap and fold into one another, and where carceral regimes both destabilize and generate social and political worlds, ethnographers must attend to uncertainty, fragmentation, and disorientation.

Workshops and panels during the conference will encourage researchers to reflect on a range of approaches to fieldwork and writing, so as to better weigh the evidentiary claims and compositional innovations that inquiry into these spaces may often demand. In this vein, the conference takes inspiration from ethnography’s capacity to challenge a common presupposition of research methodologies: that they should insulate empirical inquiry from error, ambiguity, and illegibility.

Some of the questions we will engage throughout the conference include:

  • How does one tell a story? What kinds of stories are accepted as telling us something meaningful about social worlds and why?
  • How can one describe a moment from a very specific place?
  • What kinds of expression and which sorts of insight into the ethical conundrums of research should ethnography create?
  • How might fantasies, dreams, and unsettling encounters constitute social life and generate ethnographic evidence?

This conference aspires to foster a highly participatory, collaborative forum. Invited scholars will lead workshops with students and faculty that will present and experiment with distinct approaches to ethnographic fieldwork and composition. Throughout the four-day conference we welcome participants who wish to rethink what ethnography is and can be through hands-on, discussion-based sessions.

UF Core Organizing Team:

Luísa Bridi Dacroce
Andrea Dahdah Palencia
Rebecca Hanson
Daniela Hernandez-Gil
Heidi Jensen
Richard Kernaghan
Nicole H. Kinbarovsky
Patrick James
Christa Markley
Macarena Moraga
Camila Peralta
Francisco Sánchez
Hannah Toombs
Unna Yared

Call for Papers

The Center for Latin American Studies' 70th Annual Conference will be held in Spring 2022. The call for papers is closed at this time. 

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Conference Logistics

The Center for Latin American Studies 70th Annual Conference will be held at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. If you are traveling to Gainesville for the conference, we encourage you to review the hotel and parking information to ensure a smooth travel experience.

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Past Conferences

For the past 70 years, the Center for Latin American Studies has hosted annual conferences ranging in topic from business, Cuba, rural social movements, buen vivir, Indigenous peoples, and more. 

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