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CFP: Archi/Papel: Paper Practices in the Caribbean (CAA Annual Conference, New York, 10-13 Feb 2021)

This session will explore the potency and potentiality of paper as a vehicle singularly suited to illuminating the complexities of the Caribbean archipelago. Beyond its materiality, we draw on Robb Hernández and Tatiana Reinoza’s claims in their article “The People of Paper/La Gente de Papel,” which probes paper’s generative and transgressive possibilities through an invocation of both the material’s “fleshy contours” and the embodied modes of creation and reception that paper as medium and substrate enables. Just as Hernández and Reinoza consider the ways in which culturas de papel shape our understanding of latinidad, we propose a connection between the ubiquity of paper practices in Caribbean art and the continual (re)shaping of experiences and subjectivities in the region. Michelle A. Stephens’s catalogue essay for the recent exhibition Relational Undercurrents: Contemporary Art of the Caribbean Archipelago surveys the linguistic and structural links between the arc, the archive, and the archipelago in the Caribbean imaginary to attest to the perpetual revealing and concealing, the simultaneous connection, disjuncture, and flux that render the archipelagic both inscrutable and radically open. We contend that affinities between the archipelagic and artistic practices that center paper–whether printmaking, installation, sculpture, photography, mixed-media, or performance–warrant focused and cross-disciplinary exploration, particularly due to the marked contrast between paper’s affordability, portability, and ease of circulation and its fragility, ephemerality, and susceptibility to deterioration in tropical climates. We welcome proposals from practicing artists, scholars across disciplines, and curators and other museum professionals and encourage interactive, virtual, or other non-traditional formats.

Session Chairs:
Sonja Elena Gandert, The Graduate Center, City University of New York ( and Gwen A Unger, Columbia University (

In order to submit your proposal, please send the following via email to the session chairs before Wednesday, September 16, 2020:
- Completed proposal form
- A shortened CV (close to 2 pages)
- (Optional) Documentation of work when appropriate, limit to five images as a single PDF, especially for sessions in which artists might discuss their own practice.

Please note that a paper that has been published previously or presented at another scholarly conference may not be delivered at the CAA Annual Conference. Additional FAQs can be found here:

Please visit the 'External Link' below for more information.

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