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Infrastructures of Care in Latin America and Spain (NeMLA)

Baltimore, Maryland
Event: NeMLA
Categories: Hispanic & Latino, Gender & Sexuality
Event Date: 2022-03-10 to 2022-03-10 Abstract Due: 2021-09-30

Nearly absent from intellectual thought throughout much of the 20th Century, critiques of care have returned to the forefront of contemporary political and intellectual debates across the Spanish-speaking world. Thinkers like Verónica Gago, Clara Serra, and Maristella Svampa have suggested that care has always been infrastructural. This conviction, stated explicitly by domestic worker organizer Ai-jen Poo, echoes social reproduction theorists’ claims to the social processes that sustain and reproduce labor power (Federici, Bhattacharya, etc.). Care is infrastructural because it underlies all productivity. Building off Neferti Tadiar, it is also a “live” or “vital” form of infrastructure insofar as it consists of distributed human capacities and social behaviors that must be repeatedly performed, renegotiated, and modified. In light of the global care crisis exacerbated by Covid-19, this roundtable seeks to explore tenuous, malleable, and improvised communities and practices of care developed in or between Spain and Latin America under neoliberalism. Taking cue from recent feminist movements across the Spanish-speaking world, we aim to work within a broadened understanding of care work, defined as the provision of essential services for human health, development, and maintenance, inclusive of both nurturant care work and reproductive care work. We invite papers that explore aesthetic interventions into familial, communitarian, or public infrastructures to support the reproduction of life, including but not limited to paid and unpaid elderly care, child rearing, teaching, physical and mental healthcare, nursing, domestic labor, food service, and cleaning. Proposals should be 200 words and can be presented in English or Spanish. Please send to bvero@sas.upenn.edu and slr317@lehigh.edu.

bvero@sas.upenn.edu

Veronica Brownstone