2022 Lozano Long Conference
Archiving Objects of Knowledge with Latin American Perspectives
Thursday, February 24 – Friday, February 25
In honor of the centennial of the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, the 2022 Lozano Long Conference initiates a conversation on archives with Latin American perspectives and practices. Archives, broadly speaking, are sites where the collection, organization, and processing of documents and objects have preserved memories or silenced pasts. Archives also serve as repositories of knowledge and spaces of interpretation where we can uncover and reshape past and present power relations.The Benson Latin American Collection at The University of Texas at Austin offers a unique archival vantage point to study the colonial, republican, and modern histories of Latin America and the Caribbean. From that platform, this interdisciplinary conference will explore evolving practices, philosophies, and politics of archival work; identify ways to improve access to cultural heritage;and foment community engagement and empowerment. The conference brings together leading and up-and-coming scholars, archivists, social activists, and digital humanities practitioners. In assembling this diverse group, the organizers seek to strengthen archival networks while also activating dialogues between and among U.S., Iberian, and Latin American academic communities working on and with archival materials.While significant scholarly work has engaged in the “archival turn,” and pioneering scholarship has considered the role of archives for the North Atlantic world, relatively less consideration has been given to the early-modern Iberian Atlantic and subsequent Latin American and Caribbean worlds. This, despite the fact that Latin American archives have historically played critical roles in state-building processes, enabling academic research, safeguarding national memory creation, empowering communities, or even contributing to post-conflict reconciliation efforts. Furthermore, recent developments in the digital humanities as related to Latin America and the Caribbean are expanding and reformulating archival practices of display, outreach, and collaboration in ways that seek to democratize access. In short, centering the conference on Latin America allows for a rethinking of archival practices and their ethical and political implications on a global scale.