Literary Geographies of Care: Intimate Spaces and Reproductive Labor across the Americas (Panel)


Comparative Literature / Spanish/Portuguese

Pavel Andrade (University of Pennsylvania)

The current care crisis (Fraser 2016; Dowling 2021) has given rise to a collective reflection about gendered practices and the multiscalar spatial configurations that organize life under late capitalism. Following recent scholarship on social reproduction theory (Meehan and Strauss 2015; Battacharya 2017, Giménez 2019) and the global intimate (Mountz and Hyndman 2006; Pratt and Rosner 2006; Boris and Salazar Parreñas 2010), this panel explores the valences of literary form for thinking care topologically. Working at the intersection of the geographies of care and literary formalisms, this panel seeks to interrogate the production of intimate spaces alongside global networks of dispossession, migration, and value extraction. How does intimate space and reproductive labor challenge, subvert, and/or interrogate the ideological procedures commonly associated with the so-called neoliberal turn? What can the literary geographies of care tell us about the sustained order of crisis that mediates the production and reproduction of life under late capitalism? In other words, how can a focus on care help us elucidate the contradictory expansion of neoliberalism and the social, emotional, and economic toll experienced across geographies as a consequence of the increased use of violence as a stabilizing agent for capital accumulation? Inviting hemispheric, comparative, and cross-disciplinary approaches to the literary geographies of care, this panel aims to attune literary analysis to the spatial struggles that have shaped the global contemporary, from reproductive rights to spatial justice and international forced migration.

This panel theorizes the relation between care, reproductive labor, and the global intimate from a hemispheric standpoint. Focusing on the literary geographies of care that transpire through the literatures of the Americas, this panel explores the valences of literary form for thinking care topologically. Panelists explore the relation between capital accumulation, social reproduction, and spatial justice while analyzing the intimate as a literary domain that brings to light the economic, ecological, and political intersections comprising the ongoing crisis of the neoliberal social order.