The 2022 Society for Latin American Studies (SLAS) annual conference, ‘Latin America in times of political mistrust and global pandemic’, will explore political and societal issues in the region. There will be a focus on the events of the past two years, which have been influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year's event will take place at the University of Bath campus. However, there will be blended options to attend, allowing people from across the world to participate online.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has affected Latin America particularly acutely, exacerbating existing inequalities, while adding new ones, marked by territory, gender and labour. Intensified by Jair Bolsonaro’s denialist behaviour, and a causal factor in Cuba’s recent uprising, the effects of the pandemic have been far reaching in socio-political, health and economic terms. In the political realm, the region has witnessed protests in Colombia, elections in Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru, and landmark moments for women's rights as Argentina legalised abortion and Chile secured gender parity in its historic constituent assembly, led by Mapuche leader and academic, Elisa Loncón. The rewriting of the 1980 Constitution presents an important moment in the potential disruption of neoliberalism in the region.
As the political scenario erupts, to what extent has this impacted cultural production as art and politics collide on the street and in the digital sphere? In what ways do the intersections of old and new debates around environmental protection vs environmental development, gender and sexuality vs religion, eurocentrism and plurinationality, emerge in filmic, literary and artistic production and social action in the region?
When thinking about Latin American Studies, how has the pandemic forced us to reconfigure our methodological approaches to research? In a global context of increasing discourse and action around decolonisation, what are the contributions and tensions that emerge within the discipline?
We aim to explore the multiple facets of contemporary and historic socio-political dynamics, how these are reflected within cultural and literary production, and examine the potential futures for Latin American Studies.
Anti-politics and the crisis of democracy in Brazil
Presented by: Professor Leonardo Avritzer, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil
Brazil has experienced a reversal of fortune in its support for democracy since 2013. This process involved an impeachment with shaky legal grounds, the incarceration of an ex-president in a tainted legal process and, later in 2018 the election of Jair Bolsonaro, an 'outsider' who campaigned against democracy and the political system.
Bolsonarismo is both a movement and form of government. As a movement, Bolsonarismo aims to attack human rights, gender policy and the environment. As a form of government, Bolsonarismo aims to disassemble these structures and to outsource the economic policy to the market.
This presentation's two key aims are to:
- approach the conception of anti-politics of Bolsonarismo
- show how the collapse of Bolsonaro's administration is linked to aspects of governability, whereas his conception of anti-politics remains strong
We will end the presentation with different scenarios that could develop from the election of 2022.
Papers, panels and alternative sessions
We will use a number of research papers, panels and alternative sessions throughout this conference.
These have been submitted by researchers with an interest in humanities and social sciences topics in Latin America. These include:
- cultural studies
- environmental studies
- human geography
- political economy
- political science
- social and public policy
In line with previous conferences, SLAS 2022 will be an opportunity for the exploration of any aspect of Latin American studies, from any disciplinary or theoretical perspective.