UCSC Graduate Student Conference: Politics of Care | Open Call

We are writing to share with you our open call to our first-ever Graduate Student Conference - Politics of Care at UC Santa Cruz. This conference will take place from May 17th - May 19th, 2023. 


Conference Description:

The Graduate Student Conference hosted by El Centro: Chicanx Latinx Resource Center at UCSC is an event that intends to foster community and scholarship amongst graduate students. The conference planning committee invites abstracts from graduate and postdoc students inside and outside UC Santa Cruz, including global scholars, and from various disciplines whose work relates to the overarching conference theme. Scholars might pull from fields including but not limited to Latin American and Latino Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, Feminist Studies, and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies. 


This year’s theme of the conference will be The Politics of Care.


We hope the presentations during this conference will shed light on the often unseen, under-valued, and under-theorized labor involved in “care” and its associated social and political dynamics and conditions. We suggest adopting a care-centered lens to interpret the social, political, and economic challenges that different communities have faced across times and geographies, as well as forms of social justice organizing, political resistance, and mutual aid that are rooted in radical care. Through the rise of neoliberalism in the past 50 years, societal well-being has been centered on financial capital and market interests, at the same time forging a neoliberal logic that rewards individual self-enhancement, self-sufficiency, and competition. Inspired by The Care Manifesto (2020), we open this space to ask and discuss, what would society look like if we centered care?


While remaining open to many definitions of care, we envision care as, most broadly, a form of social relations that enables interdependent subjects to repair and sustain survival and resilience (Malatino, 2020). Foregrounding the power dynamics resulting in an uneven distribution of care, “care webs” cohere through collective practices of mutual aid that attend to respective needs and capacities (Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, 2018). Care practices can prefigure the radically anti-oppressive worlds of our dreams, but they can also be colonized, commodified, and co-opted to advance state and imperial control. At this critical fulcrum, we are soliciting innovative and inter/transdisciplinary, intellectual dialogue to happen in the following four tracks:

  • Neoliberalism, Capitalism, and Care

  • Global Politics, Citizen-making, and Care

  • Environmental Crisis and Care

  • Care as Radical Healing

Abstract applications are now open. Those who are interested in submitting an abstract should apply at tinyurl.com/politicsofcare by March 17th by 11:59 pm (PST).  If you have issues with your submission, please contact the conference committee before the submission date at elcentro@ucsc.edu.  


Special thanks to our Graduate Conference Committee:

Betania Santos (PhD Candidate, SOC & El Centro Graduate Intern)

Brittney Jimenez (PhD Student, LALS)

Boyeong Kim (PhD Candidate, LALS)

Graciela Sierra-Moreno (PhD Student, Literature & AIRC Graduate Intern) 

Koda Sokol (PhD Candidate, SOC & Cantu Center Graduate Intern)

El Centro: Chicanx Latinx Resource Center at UC Santa Cruz


For a full conference call, details, and a shareable flyer please see attached documents. Please share widely with your networks.