Schedule & Venues


Panels & Abstracts


Downloadable full program (PDF)


Presenter Bios


Call for papers




Information for presenters


Information for out-of-towners


Organizing committee


















Downloadable full program (PDF)


The 2013 International Graduate Student Research Conference on Latin America and the Caribbean is the third event of its kind. These CERLAC-sponsored conferences, organized by a committee of graduate students, have been held bi-annually since 2008. Reflecting the event’s growing reputation, this year’s call for papers received twice the number of responses, compared to the previous two conferences; the program is close to double the size of its antecedents and integrates a higher proportion of international participants. The conference has truly attained international status – in terms of both participation and renown.


The two-day conference will highlight outstanding graduate student research across a broad disciplinary range, with over 90 student presenters representing 12 Canadian universities, 24 US-based universities, and 7 universities located in the region, Europe and Asia (see list of represented institutions below).


The papers have been organized into 22 interdisciplinary thematic panels in three concurrent streams, encompassing topics including: indigenous politics, North American interventions in the region, diasporic experiences,  rural development and food security, literature, performance and politics, popular culture, cultural memory, legacies of violence, education, free trade and globalization, masculinities, gender issues, religion, regionalism, resource development and territorial contestation – among others.


In addition to the student presenters, some 22 faculty members of York University, the University of Toronto, Ryerson University and Trent University will serve as expert discussants.  Many dozens of graduate and undergraduate students interested in the region and the themes of the panels will also attend.


This event provides an important professional development opportunity for its participants, graduate students who will receive expert feedback from faculty discussants and engage in intellectual exchange with an international cohort of their peers.  Some of their papers may be nominated by discussants for publication in one of CERLAC’s publication series.  Dozens of York University students will benefit by presenting papers, by serving on the organizing committee for the event, and by attending and being exposed to a diverse range of accomplished scholarship.


The conference also reinforces York University’s prominence as an international nexus for Latin American and Caribbean studies (LACS), introducing dozens of up-and-coming scholars from around the globe to the university and its outstanding interdisciplinary and international programs, the high caliber work of its students, and the strength of its LACS faculty.


CERLAC and the volunteer student members of the conference organizing committee proudly invite you to attend this event, and welcome your support in whatever form it might take.


Universities represented by participants of the 2013 conference:


Canada: York University, Simon Fraser University, McGill University, University of Toronto , Carleton University, University of Western Ontario, University of British Colombia, Concordia University, Universite de Montreal, Queen's University, Dalhousie University, University of Northern British Columbia.

USA: University at Albany, University of South Florida, Vanderbilt University, Boston University, Cornell University, University of Connecticut, Indiana University, George Washington University,  University at Buffalo, City University of New York, University of Miami, University of Wisconsin, University of Massachusetts, The University of Illinois, University of Florida State, University of New York, Binghamton University, University of California, University of Texas, Tulane University, California State University, Yale University, Duke University, Michigan State University.

Outside North America: University of Switzerland, American Graduate School in Paris (France), Kyoto University (Japan), University of Heidelberg (Germany),  University of Warwick (UK), University of the West Indies (Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago), University of Puerto Rico.







Friday March 15 2013


Track A     

280A York Lanes

Track B  

280N York Lanes 

Track C 

519 YRT

Fri Mar 15
9:00 am



Opening welcome


Fri Mar 15
9:15 – 11:00 am


Politics & Performance


Northern Shadows: Regional Articulations of North American Empire


Cartography of a Pan-American Panorama

Fri Mar 15
11:15 am – 1:00 pm


Literature & Society




Free Trade & Globalization

Lunch Break

Fri Mar 15
2:00 – 3:45 pm


Explorations of Cultural Memory


Good Intentions


Ethno-cultural Intersections: Hybrid Identities and Race Relations

Fri Mar 15
4:00 – 5:45 pm



Indigenous Politics





Saturday March 16 2013


Track A     

280A York Lanes

Track B  

280N York Lanes 

Track C 

519 YRT

Sat Mar 16
9:15 – 11:00 am


Gender Issues in Caribbean Societies


From the Caribbean & Back


Popular Culture, Politics & Identity

Sat Mar 16
11:15 am – 1:00 pm


Space & Visual Geography




Violence, Memory & Overcoming

Lunch Break

Sat Mar 16
2:00 – 3:45 pm


Women & Performance




Resource Development & Territorial Contestation

Sat Mar 16
4:00 – 5:45 pm


Subaltern Spaces


Religion & Change


Sat Mar 16
6:00 pm





Venue locations:


York Lanes is the building in front of which city buses make their final stop on campus. Its main floor is a commercial mall. The conference rooms (280A and 280N) are on the second floor, which is accessible by stairwell or elevator from the Offices lobby. There is a door to the Offices lobby located in the mall, between the pharmacy and the medical clinic. The rooms can also be accessed via the second floor of the York Research Tower. York Lanes is building #24 on this map.


York Research Tower (YRT) is the 10-story glass tower at the Eastern end of York Lanes. The tower is accesible from outdoors via a main floor entranceway on the buidling's South side (not to be confused with the Ontario Archives entrace on the East side), or via the second floor of York Lanes. 519 YRT is on the 5th floor, accessible only by elevator. YRT is building #95 on this map.


Directions on getting to York University from downtown using public transit.











All presenters, and members of the public attending more than one panel, are requested to register. There is a nominal registration fee of $20. Proof of registration will be required in order to obtain conference materials and access to refreshments. 

To confirm a place in the program, all presenters are required to register in advance (by January 25, 2013).

Send a cheque or money order payable to York University (CERLAC) to:


CERLAC, 8th Floor YRT

York University

4700 Keele Street

Toronto, ON

M3J 1P3



Others can register in advance or in person during the conference at the registration and information tables on-site.

Advance registrants can pick up their conference package and proof of registration in person during the conference at the registration and information tables.















Toronto's main airport is Toronto Pearson International Airport


See the map of the Keele St. campus of York University.

Directions on getting to York from downtown using public transit. Driving to York.

From the airport to York, a cab will take 20 minutes and cost approx. $40. More info about getting from the aiport to York.





On or near campus

On campus: Schulich Executive Learning Centre (campus hotel) - very comfortable and convenient, approx. $150 / night

Near campus: Holiday Inn North York (approx. $100/night); Travelodge (approx. $100/night); Super 8 Hotel North (approx. $80/night)

NOTE: York University is located at the northernmost end of the city of Toronto, nearly an hour's distance from downtown. The campus hotel is very comfortable but more expensive; only people with their own transportation should consider staying at the near-by off-campus hotels, as otherwise expensive cab rides will be your only means to campus. Also, be aware that staying near campus saves you commute time, but situates you in an isolated area without cultural amenities.



Staying downtown will allow you a better experience of the city, but will entail a commute of close to an hour to arrive at the conference venue at York.


Global Village Backpackers Hostel

Alexandra Hotel

Kaiser Guest House

College Hostel

Comfort Hotel Downtown

Days Hotel

Downtowner Inn

House on McGill

Planet Traveler's Hostel




Rate / night

Holiday Inn Yorkdale (mid-way between downtown and York, on the subway line)

3450 Dufferin Street

Reservations: 1 866 568 0046

Online booking

Special conference rate: $106

(mention "CERLAC conference)

Holiday Inn Toronto Midtown (downtown, but on the subway line to York)

280 Bloor St West, Toronto, ON 

(416) 968-3300 ext 1520

$129.99 (approx.)


Billeting:  Contact us if you are interested in being billeted (hosted for free in a local home).  Please email and indicate: your gender, the dates for which you need accommodation, any special needs (allergies, smoking/non-smoking, etc.).



Getting around

Venue information & maps, and links for transit & other information

City information and maps



Additional questions

Contact CERLAC:











The most important component of your proposal / application is the abstract. Regardless of the value of your work, if your abstract is poorly written your proposal is unlikley to be accepted. Below are some online resources on how to prepare an effective abstract.

Abstract Writing (University of Western Ontario)

Writing an Abstract (University of Adelaide)

Writing an Academic Abstract (Columbia University)

How to Write an Abstract (Philip Koopman, Carnegie Mellon University)

The Abstract (University of Toronto)

A few additional tips from members of the organizing committee (based on experience with past submissions):

* your abstract should outline an argument, not be wholly descriptive or simply state a position

* avoid excessive background information; focus on your argument and on what is new and important about your research

* clearly define your topic, ensure the scope is reasonable: your paper should not try to do too many things, or deal with too enormous a subject

* avoid jargon and gratuitous references



The papers that you submit to us, on which your presentations are based, should be approx. 20 pages long (double-spaced).


To confirm your participation, we require that you submit a version of your paper to us by 25 January 2013, even if it is only a (near final) draft. This will allow the faculty discussant on your panel be able to read it prior to the event. Please submit papers to us in Word format:


When you submit your paper, please indicate whether or not you would be opposed to having the paper made available in PDF from the conference website.




Each person on a panel will be given either 15 minutes (for 3- and 4-person panels) or 12 minutes (for 5-person panels) to present his or her paper in turn.


Of course, you will not have time to present your full 20-page paper in this time span; this time will allow for only about the equivalent of 5 or 6 pages worth of text, so be sure to prepare accordingly.

Some on-line tips on preparing a conference presentation:

CGU Writing centre

Giving an academic conference paper

How to prepare and present a conference presentation

How to Deliver an Effective Conference Paper


After all the papers on a given panel have been presented, the panel discussant will respond and comment, and then open the floor to discussion.


The discussant will also serve as chair, keeping presenters to their time limit and mediating the discussion.


The order in which papers are presented can be other than as may be arbitrarily listed in the program: If panellists wish to change the order in which papers are presented, they can discuss and resolve this with their fellow panellists and the discussant/chair before the panel begins.


Technical needs: The conference rooms are all equipped with flatscreens and built-in PC computers with standard presentation software (Powerpoint). Please bring any electronic media you wish to use on a USB memory stick, in a PC-compatible format. If you wish to use media that require special software or if you have other concerns about compatibility, please inform us in advance so we can make special arrangements: (Those who indicate their needs on their application forms need not contact us again.)









Forging ahead with its commitment to promote interdisciplinary research concerned with the economic development, political and social organization and cultural and artistic contributions of Latin America and the Caribbean, York University's Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC) is hosting its


3rd International Graduate Student Conference on Latin America and the Caribbean


15 & 16 March 2013

@ York University

Toronto, Canada


This conference brings together scholars working on Latin America and the Caribbean to share their research in a collegial, professional and friendly environment. The conference organizing committee welcomes papers, presentation proposals and panel proposals on research focused on Latin America and the Caribbean.


We are seeking a broad range of playful, critical, engaging, diverse, and dynamic themes that span across various disciplines including, but not limited to, social sciences, humanities, fine arts, environmental studies and law and business. Themes from previous conferences include indigeneity, literature, inter-state relations, violence, identity, language, development, gender, fair trade, diaspora, memory and neoliberalism.


All modes of presentations are welcome, including papers, posters, film and other creative expressions and may be presented in any language of the region, while abstracts must be submitted in English, French, Portuguese, or Spanish by September 30, 2012.


We particularly encourage applicants to coordinate panels around a particular topic or theme. If you're interested in organizing a panel and would like to include the call or abstract for it on our website, please contact


CERLAC is an interdisciplinary research unit that works to build academic and cultural links between these regions and Canada; to inform researchers, policy advisors, and the public on matters concerning the regions; to assist in the development of research and teaching institutions that directly benefit the peoples of the regions; and to promote scholarship and knowledge production on issues of relevance to the regions. From its founding in 1978, CERLAC has been the preeminent regional research body in Canada, with over 100 Fellows based in Canada and internationally, and a broad network of institutional partners throughout the Americas.



INDIVIDUAL SUBMISSIONS: Download application form. The form includes a request for a list of keywords, and a 250-word (maximum) abstract for papers, panels or alternative presentations.


PANEL PROPOSALS: Download form. We also encourage applicants to submit thematic panel proposals as a way to bring colleagues together to discuss current research and to advance a particular field.


** See resources below on how to prepare an abstract **


Languages: We are accepting submissions in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.


The deadline for the submission of abstracts and panel proposals is September 30, 2012; those planning to present in alternative formats (e.g. film, dance, visual arts, music, etc.) are encouraged to contact us earlier. Inquiries and completed application forms may be sent to


Applicants will receive confirmation of acceptance by December 1, 2012.


To confirm participation, accepted presenters will be asked to submit their papers - or a near-final draft - by January 25, 2013.


For more information about CERLAC:


Previous Graduate Student Research Conferences
2008 Inaugural Conference

2011 Conference










Panayiota Argyrides (MA, English)

Marshall Beck (CERLAC)

Alexandra Belaskie (MES, Environmental Studies)

Marie Benjamin (BA, International Development Studies)

Katherine MacDonald (PhD4, Geography)

Sonja Killoran-McKibbin (PhD4, Environmental Studies)

Carlota McAllister (CERLAC)

Jennifer Mills (PhD2, Environmental Studies)

Ewa Modlinska (MES, Environmental Studies)

Aruna Panday (PhD3, Anthropology)

Paulo Ravecca (PhD4, Political Science)

Tyler Shipley (PhD7, Political Science)

Katie Ungard (MES, Environmental Studies)

Caren Weisbart (PhD1, Environmental Studies)









The Department of Anthropology, the Department of Geography, the Department of Political Science, the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES), the Faculty of Graduate Studies (FGS), the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies (LA&PS), and the York Graduate Students Association (GSA).






Since 1978