Our 20th Annual Conference Keynote Speakers

Relocating Identities, Theories, and Languages

The keynote speakers for our 20th annual conference are Dr. Jonathan Rosa (University of Massachusetts-Amherst) and Dr. Idelber Avelar (Tulane University).

Dr. Jonathan Rosa is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. At UMass he holds affiliations with the Language, Literacy, and Culture Concentration in the College of Education and the Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latina/o Studies. Dr. Rosa’s research theorizes the co-naturalization of language and race as a way of apprehending modes of societal exclusion and inclusion across institutional domains. Specifically, he analyzes the interplay between linguistic discrimination, racial marginalization, and educational inequality in urban contexts. He collaborate with local communities to track these phenomena and develop tools for understanding and eradicating the forms of disparity to which they correspond. His community-based approach to research, teaching, and service reflects a vision of scholarship as a platform for imagining and enacting more just societies. Dr. Rosa received his B.A. in Linguistics and Education from Swarthmore College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Idelber Avelar is a Full Professor specialized in contemporary Latin American fiction, literary theory, and Cultural Studies. He received his Ph.D. from Duke University in 1996 and joined Tulane in 1999. His latest books are Figuras da Violência: Ensaios sobre Ética, Narrativa e Música Popular (UFMG, 2011) and, coedited with Christopher Dunn, Brazilian Popular Music and Citizenship (Duke UP, 2011). He is also the author of The Letter of Violence: Essays on Narrative, Ethics, and Politics (Palgrave, 2004) and  The Untimely Present: Postdictatorial Latin American Fiction and the Task of Mourning  (Duke UP, 1999), winner of the MLA Kovacs prize and  translated into Spanish and Portuguese. He has also published over 60 articles in scholarly journals and edited volumes, and over 100 position pieces in Latin American print and electronic media. He was the winner of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry essay contest on Machado de Assis and has been the recipient of Rockefeller, Hewlett, and Ford Foundation grants. He has been a guest lecturer in 15 countries and dozens of US institutions of higher learning, including Yale, Brown, Princeton, Stanford, Duke, NYU, Berkeley, Columbia, and the Universities of Michigan, Pittsburgh, Illinois, North Carolina, Texas, and New Mexico, among others. He is currently working on a book on masculinity in Latin American literature, for which he was awarded an ACLS fellowship in 2011.

Dr. Avelar will present “Brazilian transitional justice, indigenous struggles, and the Amazon” on Friday, April 24 and Dr. Rosa will present “Languages and Identities Beyond Borders” on Saturday, April 25.

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