Platform for Dialogue "Politics, affects and identities in Latin America"

This platform intends to reflect about the articulation between politics, affects and identities in Latin America in contexts crossed by multiple crises. Latin America, like the rest of the world, is going and has gone through various moments of crisis, of rapid and convulsive changes and others slow but lasting. In this broad sense, which Marshall Berman has defined as the experience of modernity, it can be argued that the world has always been in crisis or that all periods contain their crisis. The set of experience, social and individual, that human beings all over the world share today, in an environment that promises us everything -adventures, power, joys, growth and transformation of people and the world- and at the same time threatens to destroy everything we have, everything we know, everything we are (Berman, 1988). This state of perpetual becoming as the experience of modernity contains the idea of crisis and is particularly intense in Latin America. Even more so in the current pandemic context caused by COVID-19, a new and unknown virus for science whose implications are not yet known. The pandemic and its consequences deeply affected Latin American countries but in a different way to that of Europe and China, as the first foci.

In order to think about the crises, this is an starting point implies reflecting on historical and contemporary processes in which different actors must develop strategies to face crises that are expressed and express themselves in multiple ways: political and economic crises, social movements, institutional violence, migratory crises, the impact of climate change, the differentiated impact over different identities, the way in which emotions and feelings are traversed and transformed, and the articulation between the various expressions of politics, identities and affects.

The objective of this Platform is to think about the articulation between policies, affections and identities with the diverse and constant crises that have crossed Latin America.  How these crises and processes of change are objectified, reflected upon by different actors. How identity is negotiated, re-invented. How people involved in crisis processes are able to reconfigure a transnational and/or local imaginary through which different symbolic and material manifestations of affect circulate. In this sense, we will take into account the links between affect (in its various dimensions) and the different forms of identification; the particularities presented by the regulation of affect as a key to the exercise and relations of power in contemporary societies and the role they play in the production and administration of crises.

Studies on affects have renewed the theoretical agenda and expanded the problems and questions of the social sciences multiplying the territory of exploration. Through new conceptual matrices, situated approaches and a proposal for the renewal of sources and archives, it is proposed to think the encounters between policies, affects and identities from Latin America. This Platform looks to unfold a debate on the political production of identities and the contemporary struggles around them. Eurocentric narratives as hegemonic matrices have included projects of homogenization, techniques of "invisibilization" and stigmatization of aborigines and inhabitants with African ancestry. Towards the end of the 20th century, the rise of ethnic mobilization combined with diverse legal and constitutional changes, including multiculturalism, multilingualism and interculturalism in several countries, resulted in a growing visibility of heterogeneity. Since the deconstruction of national, ethnic, racial, gender and class identities, these reconfigure and reinvent themselves at the time they are aesthetically and politically represented.

At the crossroads of these debates with the theoretical and methodological production on affects - which range from queer and feminist criticism, Spinoza's Deleuzian readings and critical affect theories, the history and sociology of emotions, the affective narrative with its focus on the emotional structure of stories, among others - the Platfform aims to reflect on the relationship between affects, difference and inequality. The proposal is to place in debate theoretical traditions of the region and creative appropriations from Latin America of predominant perspectives in the Anglo-Saxon academic world. It also includes the consideration of the performativity of theories and therefore will investigate how the study of identities is transformed by this conceptual matrix.

The starting point is the recognition that both affect and inequality (including of course violence) play an important role in the construction of identities and social imaginaries. Emotions and affections can be formative and can build senses of belonging and community. Or, on the contrary, contribute to their disintegration. Hence the importance of studying affects, their role in the discursive construction of identity in relation to broader socio-cultural dynamics.

How are affects regulated and emerging in the face of inequality and violence, and how do these affects translate into cultural representations and actions? Do the affects that emerge in performances or narratives of institutional or symbolic violence counteract social indifference in the face of forms of fragmentation or violence, or do they collaborate with it? How do they reconfigure collective memories, social imaginaries? By paying attention to the feelings and affects in these cultural productions around identities, we propose to investigate their potential to dismantle existing power relations and to analyze how, in alternative narrative modes and media, different affective clusters emerge. We are interested in considering how these identity dynamics articulate or do not articulate with the macro-political processes that many Latin American countries are experiencing in contexts of polarization. That is to say, how links or disarticulations are produced between indigenous movements, movements of African descent, migrant collectives, dissident feminisms and sexualities, or other similar identities, with political identifications.

Finally, this platform is part of three major research areas of the Schools of Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of San Martin (the School of Humanities, the School of Politics and Government and the Institute for Advanced Social Studies) together with the University of Jena. The aim is for the Platform to be the meeting place for a number of lines of work by retrieving studies that investigate these issues in different countries, taking into account regional dynamics.


During the Platform, we propose to work on the connection between these themes based on three axes:

1) Affects, identities and expressions

2) Power relations and regulation of affects

3) Crises and affects in the macro-political processes of Latin America.


Application procedure:

The Platform for Dialogue will be realized as a workshop, organized in collective discussion sessions where participants and guests are expected to present and discuss their own work.

The call is addressed to students, graduates and researchers who can contribute to the topics exposed both in empirical, theoretical and methodological terms.

Interested candidates must fill in the application form with personal and institutional data and the proposed title and abstract (up to 1,000 words). It must be sent by e-mail to with reference "Plataforma Buenos Aires" until 04/10/2020. Proposals are expected preferably in Spanish or Portuguese but will also be accepted in English. An academic committee will select the works under criteria of excellence. The selected candidates must send a text of between 2,500 and 3,000 words to be discussed on during the event by the 28/02/2020.

Applicants will be notified of the evaluation of their work the week of 09/11/2020.

CALAS has limited resources for the accommodation and travel expenses of selected candidates.

Estimated timetable:

  • Call for papers and reception of abstracts: until 04/10/2020
  • Evaluation of papers: 05/10/2020 - 06/11/2020
  • Communication of results: 09-14/11/2020
  • Reception of completed works: until 28/02/2021
  • Realization of the event: 14-16/04/2021

Contact/Further Information:


Regional Office Southern Cone & Brazil, UNSAM, Buenos Aires