EVENT Mar 23
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Latino/a, Latinx, Latine, or Other? A Roundtable on Identity and Inclusion (NeMLA 2023)

Niagara Falls Convention Center
Organization: NeMLA
Event: NeMLA 2023
Categories: Hispanic & Latino
Event Date: 2023-03-23 to 2023-03-26 Abstract Due: 2022-09-30

The aim of this roundtable is to promote dialogue regarding the various terms currently used to identify persons of Latin American descent. Since 2016, the term Latinx has largely supplanted Latino/a in academic writing, political discourse, and social media content. While supporters of Latinx maintain that the term grants greater linguistic visibility to women and non-binary individuals, much remains to be said regarding the role that language and cultural identifiers can play in supporting inclusivity and influencing social reform. Detractors of Latinx point to the impracticality of using the letter x to neutralize grammatical gender in spoken Spanish as evidence that the term privileges writing over orality and is therefore elitist and not genuinely inclusive. Polling shows that only a small fraction of people refers to themselves as Latinx, with one recent Bendixen & Amandi International survey finding that four in ten persons of Latin American descent find the term irksome. In light of the debates surrounding Latinx, some have pointed to the term Latine as a preferable identifier that promotes gender inclusivity in both writing and speech, while others reject the very notion that a single word can adequately describe such a linguistically, geographically, and politically heterogeneous population. As Latino/x/e college enrollment continues to rise, it is time to critically reevaluate the place and significance of cultural identifiers in both our writing and teaching. What are the larger implications of using terms such as Latino/a, Latinx, and Latine, and how do we help foster awareness of and sensitivity to these issues in our classrooms?



Bryan Betancur