Call for Abstracts: US Latina & Latino Oral History Journal – Special Issue on Oral History and Literary Criticism

Deadline for submissions: April 1, 2024

“Oral History and Literary Criticism: Approaches to Researching and Teaching about Latinos/as/x in the U.S.”

The US Latina & Latino Oral History Journal invites abstracts for a special volume, edited by Judith Sierra-Rivera, dedicated to the disciplinary intersections between oral history and literary criticism. Following into the steps of pioneer scholars such as Alessandro Portelli, Rina Benmayor, and Frances Aparicio, this collection of essays will critically examine what each discipline has contributed to the other’s development and practice as a field of study. Articles will also reflect on benefits and pitfalls of this interdisciplinary approach when working with narrators and their stories. In all these senses, the volume will inquire into how that interdisciplinarity might strengthen institutional relations to communities, too.

The idea for the issue relates to the origins and the paths that scholarly practices of oral history have followed. As an academic field, oral history is indebted to knowledge that has passed between generations of families and communities and to their art of storytelling. The discipline’s emergence within university walls has also depended on the collaboration between narrators, activists, and researchers. Such collaboration has evoked a richness of ideas and emotions that, in turn, have informed diverse perspectives on what oral history is and how should it be practiced. Different theoretical frameworks and methodologies have also contributed to the pedagogy of the field and to the study and interpretation of the narrators’ stories.

All submissions must relate to the Latino/a/x experience in the US. Among possible topics:

  • History of the relationship between oral history and literary criticism
  • Relationships between interviewers and Latino/a/x narrators and the art of storytelling
  • Advantages and shortcomings of intersecting theoretical and methodological approaches between the two fields
  • Interdisciplinarity between oral history and literary criticism and institutional relations to Latino/a/x communities
  • Perspectives of other scholars within a field on intersecting the two disciplines
  • Teaching and using oral history to teach literary criticism/literature through training in and practicing both
  • Reflections on old and new definitions on what oral history and literary criticism are when studied through the other discipline

The deadline to submit abstracts is April 1st, 2024. Abstracts should be 300-word long and include a title and a short biography of the author. Please, send your proposal to

Selected abstracts’ authors will be expected to participate in a writing workshop to work on their articles during summer 2024. Articles must be submitted by September 4, 2024, and will be peer-reviewed. Accepted articles will appear in Volume 9 (Fall 2025) of The US Latina & Latino Oral History Journal.

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