Our Work Groups emerged as an alternative to traditional academic panels, providing a critical space for interdisciplinary collaboration and in-depth exploration of a specific topic related to the Encuentro theme. Some work groups continue beyond the conference and become ongoing partnerships. Limited to no more than 20 participants, they meet several times during the Encuentro and are intended as sites to both share and produce new research and reflection. Instead of participating in a traditional panel and presenting individual papers, members of each Work Group communicate with each other before the event through our online Forums, post their papers online for their colleagues to read, comment on each other’s work, and use their time together at the Encuentro to approach the Group topic through discussions and/or alternative performative methods. Each Work Group then has the opportunity to present/perform their group's collaborative work during the Work Group Presentation sessions held at the end of the Encuentro.
Work groups were divided into the four umbrella topics for this year:
bodies and the making of place
How has the body been central to the construction of social formations in the Americas? How have the politics of the body – in terms of race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality – been enlisted in the production of political bodies – in terms of nations, communities or other social groups?
bodies and movement(s)
How does attention to the performing body help us understand political movements and social change; the staging of power, repression, and resistance; and body politics of migration, displacement, public exposure?
bodies and terror
In our contemporary political moment, how can we understand the production of terror and the ways in which it produces terrifying/terrified, fearful/fearless bodies, including the production of non-human bodies, secret or invisible bodies, and disciplines the performance of (terrorized/terrifying, fearful/fearless) citizenship?
poetics and politics
What is the relation between aesthetic and ethical performance; what practices, theories, or models allow us to explore the politics and poetics of the body?