Call for Papers: Sixth Annual Symposium of Latin American Art

On Now:
Jan 14, 202201.14.22

Symposium Dates: March 30–April 1, 2022

The Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, The Graduate Center at the City University of New York, Columbia University in the City of New York, and the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA) are pleased to announce the Sixth Annual Symposium of Latin American Art “Movement and Presence: The Visual Culture of the Americas.”

The Symposium will include keynote presentations by Dr. Denise Ferreira da Silva and Dr. Diana Taylor, and practice-based methodological workshops (details to be announced in January 2022).


The Sixth Annual Symposium of Latin American Art invites proposals from artists, activists, graduate students, and emerging scholars considering movement in the study of the art and culture of the Americas. The Symposium posits movement and presence as a set of epistemological strategies to recalibrate how art scholarship contends with objects and artworks. By foregrounding movement, the Symposium invites considerations of embodied cultural practices and performance, as well as a critical re-reading of objects, artifacts, and archives.

“Latin America”—the idealized landscape, geospatial entity, and sociocultural construct—has been shaped and mythologized by, through, and against movement. The invention of America and, later, of Latin America, legitimized and enabled the dispossession of land and Indigenous lifeways—of Abya Yala and Turtle Island, for example—into the Euro-Christian imaginary and facilitated the colonial and imperial expansion of the West across the globe. These inventions enabled the mass movement of people, goods, images, and ideas through the processes of African and Indigenous enslavement, resource extraction, global capitalism, and the implementation of borders. Similarly, “latinidad,” a unifying identity-construct for Latin America’s diaspora in the U.S.—with its erasures of Black, Indigenous, and Asian lived experiences—is also predicated on this mobility: it is an identity which is forged through migration and the crossing of borders. However, Indigenous worldviews, migration, and networks of cross-cultural exchange are also forms of movement which predate and intersect with this very idea, offering modes of resistance to ongoing processes of coloniality. Movement is an intentional, embodied presence that invokes cross-temporal and cross-spatial histories, as well as futurities. Closely related to movement are the experiences of community, networks, continuity, and presence. As Diana Taylor writes, being present, or ¡Presente!, constitutes a decisive act of resistance and solidarity.

Encompassing strategic moves, social movements, and embodied ways of being within its formulation of movement, the Symposium aligns itself with modes of thought and practice that consider cultures, objects, and architectures—as well as their ephemeral traces —as complex, interrelated entities that are always becoming. Movement & Presence thus invites proposals that utilize movement as an interpretive lens: how can studying the physical and social circulation of objects, artifacts, and archives expand their potential for meaning, resistance, or dynamic presence?

Possible themes include but are not limited to:

The drawing of maps, borders, and boundaries

Migration and diasporic experiences

Pilgrimage, procession, and carnival

The drawing of maps, borders, and boundaries

Performance and embodied knowledge as a form of practice

Networks of exchange within the Americas and across the Atlantic and Pacific

The visual or artistic strategies employed by social and political movements

Digital and proto-digital networks (which may also be pertinent to any of the above bullet points)

Artists, activists, graduate students, and emerging scholars are invited to apply, especially those based in Latin America and the Caribbean. Topics from all historical periods of Latin American / Latinx / Chicanx / and Caribbean art (e.g. Ancient, Colonial, Modern, Contemporary), as well as fields outside the realm of art history, but grounded in visual material (e.g. Cinema and Media Studies, Latin American and Latinx studies, Visual Culture) are highly encouraged. Abstracts will be accepted in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. 

The Symposium will be accessible to participants and attendees via Zoom, and may also include in-person programming for those participants who are able and willing to travel to New York City. Further logistical details will be released to confirmed participants as soon as possible.

To apply, please submit an abstract of up to 300 words and an abbreviated CV to by Friday, January 7. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance by Monday, January 24. Presentations will be limited to 20 minutes, with additional time for discussion. The Symposium Committee prioritizes participation from graduate students and emerging scholars across the globe. In your application, please indicate your current institutional affiliation as well as the languages you speak. Please also inform us whether it may be possible for you to visit New York City and participate in the Symposium in person, in the event that in-person or hybrid programming is possible. Please note that your ability to travel to New York will not affect the selection process for participation.

Given the changing policies for international travel, potential speakers are advised to consult travel advisories and restrictions posted by the U.S. Department of State. We recognize that the approved vaccines are not equitably distributed in the Americas, and lack of access to the vaccines may prevent scholars from visiting New York. In light of this and the evolving status of COVID-19 transmission, the Symposium may adhere to a hybrid or fully virtual model. We will keep invited participants informed as we negotiate these contingencies.

This symposium is generously funded by the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA), the Rewald Endowment of the Graduate Center’s Ph.D. Program in Art History, and the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures, the Institute for Latin American Studies, and the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. It is coordinated by Professors Edward J. Sullivan, Helen Gould Sheppard Professor in the History of Art at the Institute of Fine Arts; Anna Indych-López, Professor of 20th-Century Latin American and Latinx Art at the Graduate Center; Katherine Manthorne, Professor of Art of the United States, Latin America, and their Cross-Currents, 1750–1950 at the Graduate Center; Lisa Trever, Lisa and Bernard Selz Associate Professor in Pre-Columbian Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University; Jerónimo Duarte-Riascos, Assistant Professor at Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures, Columbia University. The Symposium is organized by current PhD Students Mónica Ramírez Bernal, Chloë Courtney, Kerry Doran, Cathryn Jijón, Shannah Rose, and MA Candidate Sophia Gebara.

For further information or with any questions, please contact

The Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA) supports the study and visibility of Latin American art.
142 Franklin Street New York, NY 10013

Tue–Sat: 12–6 PM Sun–Mon: Closed

142 Franklin Street New York, NY 10013

Copyright © 2023 Institute for Studies on Latin American Art
The Institute for Studies on Latin American Art (ISLAA) supports the study and visibility of Latin American art.

Tue–Sat: 12–6 PM Sun–Mon: Closed