24th Conference on Spanish in the United States and 9th Conference on Spanish in Contact with Other Languages

Language Contact, Language Conflict, and Language Confluence at the Edge of the Nation

March 6-9, 2013

Casa de Palmas Hotel

McAllen, Texas

Celebrating the 24th Spanish in the U.S. and 9th Spanish in Contact conference just miles away from the Texas-Mexico border gives us pause to think about the incredibly consequential role that geopolitical borders play in the formation and struggle over linguistic identities. The theme selected for the 2013 conference highlights this role by inviting researchers to think about the multiple ways in which borders shape languages and their speakers. Language contact is certainly a salient feature of the borderland region. In the Rio Grande Valley, over 80% of the population reports that a language other than English is spoken in the home. Language conflict, however, is just as salient along the border. Conflicting loyalties and fractured identities often lead to dramatic linguistic conflicts which play out on a daily basis in schools, in hospitals, and, of course, at international ports of entry and other sites of citizenship surveillance. Language confluence, finally, is another characteristic of the border milieu. It is here, along the border, where languages come together, comingle and transcreate themselves into new modes of expression. It is in this third space that poets such as Gloria Anzaldua and novelists such as Rolando Hinojosa have carved out a space where many languages and modes of expression meet and enrich both their speakers and listeners.

The 24th Biennial Conference on Spanish in the United States was made possible through the support of the following sponsors:

Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

Mexican American Studies Program

The College of Arts and Humanities

Office of the Provost

Student Association for Medical Spanish

art village ON MAIN, L.L.C.

McAllen Chamber of Commerce