Man standing in front of plastic sacks that are given to deportees for their belongings.

Call for Papers for Special Series on Deportation and Coerced Return in the Américas

Editors: Perla M. Guerrero and Gretel H. Vera-Rosas

NEW Submission Deadline: September 1, 2023

Publication Date: November 2023

The online site Latinx Talk for research, commentary, and creativity invites your submission of 2000 words or less on deportation and coerced return.

Much U.S. scholarship on deportation has focused on the spread of deportation and policing beyond the border region; the federal, state, and local policies and practices that target and/or terrorize specific groups for detention and expulsion; and the growth of detention centers. Mainstream narratives focused on figures such as  the “Dreamer” (a young undocumented person forced to return to a country of their birth because of opportunities foreclosed in the U.S.) or the “criminal” (an individual whose infractions led to incarceration, detention, or deportation) tend to obscure the complexity of undocumented people’s lives in the United States and in the countries of forced return. New research directions in deportation studies includes the examination of a growing call center industry in Mexico and Central America that uses younger deportees’ English language fluency as a marketable and exploitable skill as well as the challenges that children, families, and school systems in countries of origin face when English-dominant children are deported. Yet, there is much more to be considered.

We invite submissions to this special series on Latinx Talk that seeks to expand what we know about deportation and coerced return. We especially invite people who have been shaped by deportation and return to share their insights and perspectives with the Latinx Talk community. We welcome submissions addressing some of the following questions: How are children affected by deportation and coerced return of family and community members? How do race, gender, LGBTQ+ identity, and disability shape deportation and return? How does centering culture as a site of ongoing political and social struggle complicate our understanding of deportation, belonging, and social justice? What type of collectivities and unlikely alliances and organizing has this type of structural violence and displacement produced?

Please email the issue co-editors with any questions: and

Issue Co-Editors: Perla M. Guerrero and Gretel H. Vera-Rosas are co-authors of “Immigrant Identity is ‘Twin Skin’ to Linguistic Identity: Tracing the Afterlife of Deportation in Mexico City,” American Quarterly 73 (3): 1–28. doi:10.1353/aq.2021.0034. Perla M. Guerrero is Associate Professor of American Studies and U.S. Latina/o Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research and teaching interests include relational race and ethnicity with a focus on Latinxs and Asian Americans, space and place, immigration and legality, labor, U.S. and Mexican history. She has received multiple awards including a Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship and two from the Smithsonian Institution to be a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Museum of American History (NMAH). She is the author of Nuevo South: Latinas/os, Asians, and Remaking of Place and is currently working on her second book, Deportation’s Aftermath: Displacement and Making a Life in Exile. She has published an interview with Maggie Loredo on deportation and coerced return, “To Belong Aquí y Allá” in Southern Cultures. Gretel H. Vera-Rosas is a mother-scholar, poet, and Associate Professor of Chicana/o Studies at California State University, Dominguez Hills. Her poetry and work on visual culture, immigrant maternity, and displacement in the Américas has been published in The Acentos Review and The Chicana Motherwork Anthology, as well as scholarly journals such as e-misférica, Feminist Formations, Chiricú Journal: Latina/o Literatures, Arts, and Cultures, and American Quarterly. Vera-Rosas current research explores the limits and opportunities offered by visual cultural production to critically think about the social worlds destroyed and produced by the drug wars and security and immigration policies. She is working on a book manuscript that centers film, silk-screening, performance, and photography to analyze the visual economies of deportation, migration and the war on drugs in Mexico.

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