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Development and Commodification in Latin America

Abaixo a chamada de trabalhos para a conferência que estamos organizando sobre Desenvolvimento e Comodificação na América Latina, a ser realizada em Maio de 2011 na Johns Hopkins Univeristy:


Call for Papers

Johns Hopkins University

Program in Latin American Studies

“Development and Commodification in Latin America: Limits and Possibilities”

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Fernando Coronil, (CUNY-Graduate Center)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Development projects in Latin America, no matter the scope or scale, have entailed processes of commodification in which particular modes of governance and economic strategies are subsumed to the logic of the market. While processes of commodification are premised on the conversion of use-value into exchange-value, the practical life of these processes can illustrate the limits as well as the unexpected possibilities of this conversion. In the region, resource privatization schemes have unwittingly cast light on the embeddedness of goods and services in human as well as market relations. Likewise, alongside the implementation of development projects, claims to and about biological material and knowledge as well as the emergence of different modes of commerce of bodies, sex and desire, regularly re-draw the boundaries between nature and culture, private and public, and North and South.

For its spring 2011 conference, the Program in Latin American Studies at Johns Hopkins University invites papers from across the social sciences and humanities to reflect on the limits and possibilities of the different articulations between (and representations of) development and commodification in Latin America. We invite papers to address these matters from a variety of perspectives that are suggested (but not exhausted) by the following questions:

  • In what ways can we think of the state as both the object and source of commodification?
  • Is it possible to promote development goals that do not rely on commodification?
  • In what ways could we say that there is something (anything?) different about the role of commodification in neo-liberal    capitalism as practiced in the region?
  • The economic logic of accumulation notwithstanding, what is so powerful or even magical about the process of commodification?
  • In what ways does Latin America play a particular role in transnational markets that entail the commodification of the body?
  • How do local economies emerge around sex and medical tourism and trafficking? How do these economies articulate with the politics and erotics of race?
  • How are processes of commodification productive of new forms of political subjectivity and community?
  • How are development strategies and projects interiorized in people’s beliefs and how do they crystallize in everyday practices?
  • What visions of the future or reflections on the past are produced by development projects?
  • What practices of memory and/or fictionalization challenge these discourses?
  • How are different sites (spaces, places) of development conceived and inhabited? In what senses can the act of inhabiting constitute a challenge to development projects?

Please send title and a brief abstract (200 words) indicating the applicant’s academic status, affiliation and contact information, by February 4, 2011 to


Maiores informações no site da conferência:




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