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Texts are at the centre of all our academic disciplines. Texts are central in the study of ancient papyri and their palimpsests, or in the textual evolution of languages evident in historical manuscripts through to text messages, from the study of literature to screen ‘texts’ such as film and television, from maps, corpora and archives, to transcriptions, hypertexts, and data, including codices, political speeches, AI-generated texts, manifestos, and paratexts.


Our very academic fields, despite their apparent distinctions, ultimately share the use of text. We all take these texts and contexts using them as raw products to transform them into new texts, in the form of academic articles, chapters, reports, and books (both printed and digital) that we all use to communicate and disseminate research with people across the globe.


The rise of globalization discourses led to a renewed focus on the international dimensions to society, language, and culture. Texts, read and misread, are translated and transmitted in different historical, geographical, aesthetical and linguistic contexts, within the regional, the national, transnational, and international. Of late, a synthesis of the old dichotomy between the global vs. the local has emerged, attesting to the porosity of national boundaries, the flux and circulation across political territories, and the consideration of new worlds with different boundaries, that is: a study of the transnational textures of our modern societies and cultures.


When we speak of textures, we can consider the characteristics of any particular thing such as its constitutions, its structures, its qualities, its patterns, or trends. Etymologically linked to weaving, textures are a potentially useful way to consider how local and global dynamics contribute to the transnational linking and delinking, as well as structuring, deconstructing and restructuring of our peoples, societies, languages, politics, art and cultures in the Hispanic and Lusophone worlds.


As scholars who engage with Iberoamerican cultures, we are involved in and contribute to these textual conversations. We need only think of the enigmatic case of the quipus. Despite the generalised understanding of Indigenous civilisations in terms of illiteracy, in the Andes, at the center of the Incan cultural tradition, we can still find textures: the quipus, those Pre-Columbian recording devices of knotted strings, used, much like texts, to send messages, to communicate.


The XVI Biennial AILASA Conference in 2024 will be hosted by the School of Literature, Languages and Linguistics (SLLL) at the Australian National University in Canberra.


Reflecting on these transnational textures of the Latin American and Iberian Worlds, we welcome panels (of max three presentations) and individual conference papers in Spanish, Portuguese or English on any discipline, historical period, topic, theme, theory, performing art, methodology and pedagogy that are relevant to Iberian and Latin American Studies.

Transnational Textures Poster (1).png
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