2019 Host Institution

Five Colleges – University of Massachusetts

UMASS, Amherst

This year’s (MALCS) Summer Institute will take place July 18-20, 2019 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Located in the fertile Connecticut River Valley, the area colloquially known as the Pioneer Valley is surrounded by hills and mountains, making it a popular tourist destination. Well-known for its bucolic setting, the valley is also renowned for its many institutions of higher learning, including Amherst College, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith College, which along with UMass Amherst are known as the Five Colleges.

Situated in what was once constructed as “the new world” by European settler colonists, Western Massachusetts is a space of long and complex histories. The original inhabitants of the land were people of the Pocomtuc Nation. Despite their resistance, the Pioneer Valley became the site of one of the nation’s earliest colonial settlements in New England, dating back to 1636.


Five Colleges
Five Colleges

2019 Theme

“Sin Fronteras Ni Barreras: Mujeres Activas and the Unmaking/Remaking of a New World”

The theme of this year’s convivencia is “Sin Fronteras Ni Barreras/Without Borders or Barriers”, and it marks the historic occasion of the Institute’s first meeting in the Northeast, specifically in New England. While demographically majority white, Massachusetts continues to be home to Indigenous peoples such as Mashpee Wampanoag, Chappaquiddick Tribe, Cowasuck Band of the Pennacook-Abenaki People, Hassanamisco Nipmuc Tribe, Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and features a rapidly growing Latina/o/x population. Pioneer Valley is currently home to one of the largest and historic populations of Puerto Ricans off the island. Our growing communities have led to the creation of coalitions and networks of solidarity rooted in an inclusive construction of Latinidad and/or Indigeneity to advocate for our communities’ survival. We are redefining notions of home and belonging in predominantly white, heteronormative spaces defined by long settler colonial legacies and unmaking/ remaking (Anzaldúa, 2005) the “new world” according to our own legacies and cultural practices. We invite MALCsistas to join us in the Pioneer Valley and engage in larger conversations of resistance, community building, and identity formation/affirmation as we move forward with unmaking/remaking the nation.

The 2019 MALCS Summer Institute will showcase creative work and scholarship focused on gender non-conforming, transgender, queer, Chicana, Latina, Afro-Latina, Asian-Latina, Native American and Indigenous individuals and communities challenging and resisting structures of oppression and exploitation in local, national, and international contexts through redefining the “new world.” We welcome panels, round tables, performances, workshops, and individual paper proposals that address this year’s theme, which may include the following topics and approaches:

  • Colonization and Decolonization
  • Addressing the Colonial Legacies: Cultural Politics of National Politics
  • Multiracial and Gender Non-Conforming Identities and Solidarities
  • Cultural and Cross-Cultural Practices
  • Re/Claiming Spaces with Community Alliances
  • Community-Engaged Scholarship, Work and Community Development Projects, and Methodologies
  • Conflict, Violence, Trauma, and Healing
  • Jotería Thought and Queer of Color Critique Studies
  • Intersectional Feminist Thoughts and Theories
  • Indigenous Epistemologies and Methodologies
  • Contemporary Indigenous Rights and Politics
  • Language Recovery and Revitalization: Oral Traditions, Stories and History
  • Nationalism, Citizenship and Border Crossings
  • Land Reclamation/Use and Environmental Justice
  • Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Health
Pioneer Valley