Building Networks of Critical Knowledge

The LatCrit Colloquium on International and Comparative Law (ICC) has met seven times since 1995 in locations ranging from Miami to Malaga to Santiago de Chile to Buenos Aires and Cape Town. This rotating Colloquium aims to foster transnational and interdisciplinary interaction among LatCrit theorists in the United States and elsewhere with scholars, activists and policymakers at the sites where the Colloquium meets. As with the Annual Conferences, the Annual Call for Papers, Panels and Participation is posted on this website, and the program proceedings subsequently are published in the form of law review symposia. This Colloquium next meets in San Juan, Puerto Rico July 2006 in conjunction with the Critical Global Classroom study-abroad program.

The purposes of the Colloquium are varied but inter-related and mutually reinforcing. A key purpose is to provide a venue for scholarly exploration and exchange of critical knowledge among LatCrits and scholars from various disciplines and/or regions of the globe. But as is the practice with LatCrit programs, the aim transcends a one-time encounter: the concept behind the Colloquium is to establish a means for sustained and sustainable collaboration between LatCrit scholars and similarly minded scholars, activists, practitioners, students and others throughout the world. This Colloquium, like other LatCrit initiatives, is designed both to produce knowledge and to cultivate community. Over time, we hope that Colloquium participants will collaborate in the creation, expansion and articulation of transnational and interdisciplinary networks of critical knowledge.

Another and related key purpose is to build a substantive record of critical analysis and theory to design concrete policy interventions both at the national and international levels. As in the past, the Colloquium participants will be invited to publish their presentations in a scholarly journal, a practice designed not only to disseminate knowledge but also to develop a coherent body of literature from which LatCrit and allied scholars, as well as policy makers and others, can derive insights for legal reform and social transformation. Ideally, the Colloquium will serve as a platform for critical global discourse and praxis.

Finally, this Colloquium is designed to help educate the next generation of social justice activists. Because this Colloquium also is part of the formal academic curriculum of the Critical Global Classroom study-abroad program, CGC students will be in attendance. Building on the CGC”s prior academic activities in an integrated way, the Colloquium events aim to cultivate multiple points of social justice connection between students and Colloquium participants that, ideally, will endure beyond the program and help to expand critical networks of knowledge across generations, as well as disciplines, cultures and regions.