The NACCS 2015 conference theme critically explores concepts of civility and incivility within and outside of Chicana/o Studies as a crucial aspect of our historical and political development, to locate ruptures, and to examine ways to comprehend and address the use of and challenges to civility. This needs to be explored both in how dominant society deploys the concept as a mode of social and political control, as well as how it is perceived as an academic, professional, and political discourse(s) amongst and between Chicana/o Studies practitioners. Communications and dialogue with the NACCS membership have critically highlighted the coercive uses of the term of “civility” and prompted a vigorous dialogue and debate about the meanings of the term and how it relates to contemporary society. We recognize colonial histories in which the term civility has been and continues to be misused to silence and control us and to perpetuate a climate of distrust, fear, brutality, superiority, racism, and discrimination. These reasons, among others, we believe merit close and critical scrutiny.
“Civility” is a complex yet essential concept for social interaction and communication. Change agents such as Emma Tenayuca, Ernesto Galarza, Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, Corky Gonzalez, Gloria Anzaldúa, and many current leaders of different social movements have struggled to strategically find the balance between “civility
and “incivility” in order to achieve cultural, political, and economic transformation at both the individual and social level.
Human societies lie within a fluid context that is constantly re-defining ‘civil’ and ‘uncivil’ behavior. Chicana/o Studies does not stand outside of this fluidity of definition. We wish to use the theme of this year’s conference to explore themes of civility and incivility in Chicana/o Studies across a broad range of topics and areas of interest, including but not limited to how the theme relates to:
- Chicana/o Studies discourse(s), including holy and unholy texts, utopian contestations, political and tactical disagreements within Chicana/o Studies, and the continual struggle and disagreement over the legacy and meaning of the Chicana/o Movement
- Chicana/o Studies on campus, including interpersonal politics, peer review, networks and cliques, and processes of hiring, tenure, and promotion
- Chicana/o self-determination and self-definition
- The theme within/between Chicano radicalism and Mexican American assimilationism
- A new, emergent, and maturing electronic media
- Socio-political resistance and refusal
- Decolonial practices and critiques
- Academic freedom and institutional discourses of civility
- Knowledge production, the politics of research and collective work
- Contemporary and historic civil disobedience(s)
- Globalization and neoliberalism