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General Conference Information

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President's Overview: San Juan as a Meeting Place

The very location of this year's conference is a powerful call for reflection—reflection on indigeneity and dispossession; reflection on the course of U.S. empire; reflection on rich histories of resistance; reflection on American Studies as a set of interpretive and pedagogical practices in that zone where Indigenous Studies, Atlantic World, Caribbean Studies, Diaspora Studies, and Pacific Rim all come together. Claimed by Columbus on his second voyage in 1493, these Taino lands were the site of colonization, slavery, and near extinction before becoming collateral damage to U.S. imperial designs in 1898. In the eyes of policymakers like Theodore Roosevelt, the point of colonizing Puerto Rico was never for the sake of holding Puerto Rico itself, but for a system of U.S. ports, bases, and coaling stations that had mostly to do with Euro-American rivalries and "the China market." The colonizing structures articulated by the Foraker and the Jones Acts—made famous in Downes v. Bidwell's tortured judgment that Puerto Rico is "foreign in a domestic sense"—marked the islands as the site of the United States' most unabashed imperialist manipulations, but also as a field of rich and varied resistance, democratic yearning, and anti-imperialist thought.

From the outset the Program Committee of the American Studies Association (ASA) has felt an awesome responsibility to organize sessions and events that would do justice to the significance of these histories in collision. The ASA's membership made the task a good deal easier by stepping up to propose several hundred passionate and intellectually committed panels, roundtables, and papers. So, thank you. But even so, we were concerned that North American habits of travel and San Juan's own infrastructure of tourism might exert an inexorable pull on the conference that could ironically replicate many features of empire itself.

With these concerns in mind, the committee has assembled a slate of extracurricular exhibits, screenings, and events meant to augment and anchor the anti-imperialist spirit of the conference agenda and to provide routes into San Juan and its history quite distinct from those laid out by the normal circuitry of tourism. Please consult the day-by-day schedule in this book for all details, but highlights include:

Tours. For those arriving in San Juan in advance of the conference, we have arranged for a Wednesday tour of the Hacienda La Esperanza Nature Reserve, one of the largest sugar plantations in Puerto Rico in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Located in the municipality of Manatí, on the northern coast of Puerto Rico, the Hacienda La Esperanza Nature Reserve offers visitors the opportunity to explore several distinct ecosystems, as well as some of the island's history. On Saturday conference participants are invited on a walking historical tour of Viejo San Juan, led by Edwin Quiles Rodríguez, author of San Juan Tras la Fachada: Una Mirada Desde Sus Espacios Ocultos (1580–1900). This tour traces the historiography of the underprivileged and hidden sector of San Juan, which greatly contributes to this culturally rich and constantly changing city. Saturday we have also arranged for an environmental justice tour of the ENLACE Caño Martín Peña Project. Building upon the capacities of the 25,000 residents in eight densely populated communities initially developed as squatters along the Caño Martin Peña, ENLACE seeks to overcome poverty, and attain social and environmental justice. By addressing major environmental degradation issues, it promotes safer and healthier communities and a restored San Juan Bay Estuary System.

Artists-in-Residence. Nao Bustamante will present and discuss her current multimedia project, Personal Protection, which activates the tactile and tactical histories of women in war, specifically of women who fought in the Mexican Revolution. In "Tierra y Libertad" Bustamante fabricates period Edwardian dresses, constructed with contemporary ballistic protection materials and engages period weaponry in a series of reenactments and tests. Bustamante creates performances, films, and installations that explore themes of vulnerability and protection. Adál Maldonado and Mariposa María Teresa Fernández will present their multi-media project, Blueprints for a Nation: Construction of an Imaginary State, weaving diverse perspectives on the Puerto Rican Diaspora, the significance of creative expression in fostering new political imaginations, the various cultures and expressions of resistance, and the subversive tropicalization of new environments. The project centers on the creation of an imaginary space called El Puerto Rican Embassy, represented here as an art installation where Nuyorican/New Rican artists define and create a new hybrid identity through their personal creative intentions. Rafael Maya and Pablo Luis Rivera will lead the Bomba Percussion and Dance Workshop demonstrating the basic drum rhythms and dance steps of the oldest musical genre on the island.

Poetry Reading. Celebrated Puerto Rican poet and writer Giannina Braschi reads from her recent work, including The United States of Banana and Empire of Dreams. Fantastical, philosophical, and epic, Braschi's work explores themes of U.S.-Caribbean relations, the politics of empire and independence, the post-9/11 psyche, and the migrant's experience of marginality and liberation. Written in a mood of "ire and irony," as one critic has put it, Braschi's work disrupts the smooth surfaces of conventional wisdom, at once evoking and inviting revolutions of thought.

Anti-Imperialist Film Festival. The conference features nearly continuous screenings of important recent films on empire and related subjects. (The full schedule is available at Registration.) The featured event will be a Saturday screening of Amigo followed by a discussion with director John Sayles and filmmaker-critic-scholar Frances Negron-Muntaner. Amigo is an understated, poignant, deeply human canvas of one baryo in the crossfire of empire and resistance, and of a ragtag but lethal detachment of U.S. soldiers who find themselves halfway around the world walking point for their country's new imperialist policy. Americans' first land war in Asia in 1899 crucially links the Plains Wars of the nineteenth century with Vietnam in the twentieth and Iraq in the twenty-first. By insisting upon its remembrance, Amigo asks us to ponder and to weigh all that national arrogance has authorized, and all that democracy has failed to mean. Thursday evening features a screening of Roberto Clemente, followed by a discussion with director Bernardo Ruiz and historian Rob Ruck. This brilliant and nuanced film situates the Puerto Rican superstar as both transnational athlete and humanitarian activist, bringing to light the ballplayer's inner geography, his confrontation with the U.S. color line, his staunch antiracist politics, and his devotion to the oppressed everywhere. Más de 800 Razones [More than 800 Reasons] screens on Thursday, a documentary on the 2010–2011 University of Puerto Rico student strikes. The imposition of an $800 dollar fee and the threat of privatization has created an atmosphere of confrontation and militarization in the University of Puerto Rico. Saturday features Aquel Rebaño Azul [The Blue Herd], written and directed by Guillermo Gómez Álvarez and sponsored by Puerto Rico's Civil Rights Commission. This documentary offers a historical account of police brutality in Puerto Rico by means of vivid videos intertwined with eyewitness accounts. A commission member will be on hand for a post-screening discussion. Other screenings throughout the weekend include eight documentary films provided by the feminist non-profit Women Make Movies. Visit the screening room most any day and time for ongoing showings of Anna May Wong: In Her Own Words, on the Chinese-American actress and Hollywood's image of Asian Americans; Apache 8, on the all-female firefighting unit of the White Mountain Apache reservation; Atomic Mom, about one woman's journey from being a Cold War era researcher for the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project to being a whistleblower and peace activist; The Learning, the story of four Filipina teachers who venture to Baltimore in the hopes that their increased wages might transform the conditions for their impoverished families in the Philippines—an immensely powerful portrait of the legacies of empire and of the current plight of urban education; No Job for a Woman: The Women Who Fought to Report WWII, on trailblazing war correspondents Martha Gellhorn, Ruth Cowan, and Dickie Chappelle; Skydancer, on the Mohawk construction workers who for six generations have split their lives between their rural reservation and their weekday jobs building skyscrapers in Manhattan; and A Place Called Home, the story of Persheng Sadegh-Vaziri, who having grown up in pre-Revolution Tehran and then immigrated to the United States, now (1998) decides to return to Iran after nearly twenty years as an expatriate. On Friday director Javier Van de Couter will be on hand from the nearby Puerto Rico Queer Filmfest for a screening of Mia Argentina about a transgender community in Argentina.

Deepest thanks are due our three co-chairs, Frances Aparicio, Elizabeth Dillon, and Natalia Molina; our Site Resources Committee, co-chairs Wilson Valentin-Escobar and Jade Power Sotomayor, along with Jorge Duany, José Fusté, Jorge Giovanetti, Carmen Haydée Rivera, and Maritza Stanchich; and our full program committee, Ernie Chávez, Mona Damosh, Matthew Guterl, Pablo Mitchell, Tavia Nyong'o, Mérida Rua, Sandhya Shukla, Stephanie Smallwood, and Thuy Lin Tu.

Plenary Events

Thursday, November 15, 2012

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Welcome Reception/Celebration of Authors/Exhibit Open

Puerto Rico Convention Center Ballroom B (Exhibit Hall and Foyer)

Join with fellow ASA members in a welcome reception and celebration of authors at the Puerto Rico Convention Center. The Book Exhibit will be open. All members and guests are encouraged to attend.

Friday, November 16, 2012

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

ASA Awards Ceremony

Puerto Rico Convention Center Ballroom A


Curtis Marez, University of California, San Diego, and president-elect, American Studies Association

Presentation of the 2012 Constance Rourke Prize for the best article in American Quarterly, the 2012 Wise-Susman Prize for the best student paper at the convention, the 2012 Yasuo Sakakibara Prize for the best paper presented by an international scholar at the meeting, the 2012 Ralph Henry Gabriel Prize for the best dissertation in American studies, the 2012 Lora Romero First Book Publication Prize, the 2012 John Hope Franklin Best Book Publication Prize, the 2012 Mary C. Turpie Prize for outstanding teaching, advising, and program development in American studies, the 2012 Bode-Pearson Prize for outstanding contributions to American studies, and the inaugural Angela Davis Prize for outstanding public scholarship.

8:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Presidential Address: Where We Stand: U.S. Empire at Street Level and in the Archive

Puerto Rico Convention Center Ballroom A


Matthew Frye Jacobson

Nearly twenty years have passed since the publication of Cultures of United States Imperialism, the landmark volume edited by Amy Kaplan and Donald Pease. That collection served as the state-of-the-field brief on methodologies and orientations within American Studies for many years, and proved a highly generative call for work that would set imperialism at the center of the field and its formulations. In the intervening years, however, U.S. Imperialism itself has not exactly sat still while these scholars have toiled: military interventions in this period include massive wars and smaller-scale landings and strikes from Iraq and Afghanistan, to Haiti, Bosnia, Yemen, Rwanda, and Libya—upwards of twenty interventions abroad since the appearance of Cultures (leaving aside the 700 military bases still maintained in countries around the world; the ongoing U.S. hold over territories like Puerto Rico; or the quietly multiplying "Offices of Security Cooperation" in the name of counterterrorism across Africa). These years have witnessed the rise of a wholly new set of national security structures and practices in response to 9/11; so have they witnessed the deepening power and influence of super-national (but still imperial) structures, including multinational corporations and neoliberal financial institutions like the WTO—behemoths fashioned and unleashed by the nation-state, perhaps, but now in some cases its rivals.

Ours is a strangely bifurcated world of state power and state powerlessness. The post-9/11 national security state represents a gathering of power and a means for its global projection that go beyond even the Cold War's extraordinary norms. Arthur Schlesinger's "imperial president" seems positively quaint in the age of black sites and drone attacks. But when it comes to individual rights and social protections in the face of corporations or of the GATT/WTO system, on the other hand, one might be forgiven for wondering, where is the nation-state when you need it? This address offers a meditation on American Studies scholarship and contemporary imperialism and anti-imperialism, articulating both an urgent role for interdisciplinary inquiry and a new imperative to defend imperiled democracy by naming and analyzing the marauding forces currently arrayed against it. It addresses as well the irony and special challenge inherent in launching such inquiries from within the twenty-first century university, an institution already partially disfigured by reigning neoliberal paradigms—enlisted in imperial aggrandizement on the one side ("the global university") and eviscerated by neoliberalism's retrenchments on the other (the politics of "austerity").

9:30 pm – 11:00 pm

ASA President's Reception

Puerto Rico Convention Center Ballroom A–B Foyer

Featured Sessions & Activities

Friday, November 16, 2012

8:00 am – 9:45 am

Dimensions of Empire and Resistance: The Corporation

Puerto Rico Convention Center 103A

Christopher J. Newfield, Amanda Ciafone, Miguel Tinker Salas, Dara Orenstein, Laura E. Lyons, Purnima Bose

10:00 am – 11:45 am

Dimensions of Empire and Resistance: Speculation, Futurity, New Materialisms

Puerto Rico Convention Center 103A

Tavia Nyong'o, Jayna Brown, Dana Luciano, José Esteban Muñoz

12:00 pm – 1:45 pm

Dimensions of Empire and Resistance: Environmental Justice

Puerto Rico Convention Center 103A

Ashley Dawson, Eddie Yuen, Lizabeth Paravisini-Gerbert, Rob Nixon

2:00 pm – 3:45 pm

Dimensions of Empire and Resistance: A Conversation on the Past, Present, and Future of U.S. (Un)Equal Rights

Puerto Rico Convention Center 103A

José Fusté, Meg Wesling, Tom Romero II, Matthew Guterl

4:00 pm – 5:45 pm

Dimensions of Empire and Resistance: Roundtable on When Jesus Came, the Corn Mothers Went Away

Puerto Rico Convention Center 202A

Pablo Mitchell, Ramón Gutiérrez, Ernesto Chávez, Arturo Madrid, María E. Montoya

4:00 pm – 5:45 pm

Dimensions of Empire and Resistance: Sugar and the Narration of Commodities

Puerto Rico Convention Center 208A

Gail Hollander, Kathleen Donegan, Julie Kim, Daniel Rood

Saturday, November 17, 2012

8:00 am – 9:45 am

Dimensions of Empire and Resistance: Sport

Puerto Rico Convention Center 202B

Rob Ruck, Theresa Runstedtler, Lara Putnam, Daniel Gilbert, Jennifer Doyle

10:00 am – 11:45 am

Dimensions of Empire and Resistance: The Nineteenth Century Prison

Puerto Rico Convention Center 103B

Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Mary Ellen Curtin, Daniel S. Chard, Lee Bernstein, Talitha L. LeFlouria, Emahunn Raheem Ali Campbell

10:00 am – 11:45 am

Dimensions of Empire and Resistance: Language Ideologies, Spanish in the U.S., and Latinidad

Puerto Rico Convention Center 202B

Ana Celia Zentella, Frances R. Aparicio, Lourdes Maria Torres, Jonathan Daniel Rosa, Lillian Gorman

12:00 pm – 1:45 pm

Dimensions of Empire and Resistance: Medicine and Markets

Puerto Rico Convention Center 104B

Susan M. Reverby, Thuy Linh Tu, Dorothy Roberts, Samuel Roberts, Martin Summers

12:00 pm – 1:45 pm

Dimensions of Empire and Resistance: Slavery's Past Lives and Afterlives

Puerto Rico Convention Center 202B

Stephanie Smallwood, Saidiya Hartman, Lisa Lowe, Jennifer Morgan, Alys Weinbaum

2:00 pm – 3:45 pm

Dimensions of Empire and Resistance: Global Health

Puerto Rico Convention Center 104B

Mona Domosh, Gregg Mitman, Anne-Emanuelle Birn, Matt Sparke, Laura Briggs

2:00 pm – 3:45 pm

Dimensions of Empire and Resistance: Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans

Puerto Rico Convention Center 202B

Mérida M. Rúa, Francisco A. Scarano, Carlos Alamo-Pastrana, Irmary Reyes-Santos, Gina M. Pérez

Site Resources Activities

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Time: 7:00AM

La Esperanza Tour

The bus will leave the Caribe Hilton at 7:00AM sharp, to arrive at La Esperanza at 8:30AM.

Hacienda La Esperanza Nature Reserve (HLENR) was one of the largest sugar plantations in Puerto Rico in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Currently owned by the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico (CTPR), the Hacienda La Esperanza is located in the municipality of Manatí, on the northern coast of Puerto Rico, and offers visitors the opportunity to explore trails exposing visitors to several distinct ecosystems, as well as some of the island’s colonial and contemporary history. CTPR has arranged a special price of $45.00 for the tour of the ecosystems and the historic site, which includes annual membership to the CTPR. The membership supports the Trust’s conservationist efforts and also provides discount prices to their other sites on the island. Lunch will be paid separately and served on site at a reasonable price (more detailed information on lunch arrangements will be provided as we approach the date of the tour). Special considerations regarding food will need to be notified in advanced to Jorge L. Giovannetti, who is coordinating the tour. Participants must sign up for the tour in advance at the ASA registration website where they will be charged a $10 fee for transportation. The $45 tour fee will be paid to the CTPR upon arrival at the Hacienda.

For more information on the Hacienda La Esperanza and other CTPR sites, check their webpage: For more information or questions regarding the tour please contact Jorge L. Giovannetti at: Please write ASA Esperanza Tour in the subject line.

Coastal Trail
The coastal trail familiarizes visitors with the biodiversity of the region, including coastal forests, wetlands, cemented dunes, and different types of beaches. Visitors will be able to observe some of the native and migratory birds, like the local pelicans and fishing eagles.

Wetlands Trail
The wetlands trail involved submerging into muddy waters to your ankles while interacting with the rich biodiversity of the area. The Reserve has various types of wetlands, including the estuary and saltpeter deposits, as well as the four varieties of mangroves existing in the island. This tour includes the visit to the historic site of the Hacienda La Esperanza (Manor House and Sugar Mill dating to the years of slavery) as well as the estuary of Caño Boquilla connecting different water systems.

Karst Trail
This trail includes one of the geological formations characteristic of the Karst in the south of the HLENR, including a walk among the chain of mountains of the Karst formation of the North. The underwater systems that nourish the Valley are revealed along with the fauna and vegetation of this ecosystem: different types of birds and local trees are shown during the tour.

Manatí River Trail
This trail familiarizes visitors with the history of the Great River of Manatí, one of the longest rivers in the island, starting in the island’s interior (Barranquitas) through the island’s central mountains until reaching the Atlantic Ocean. The river’s location in the west side of the HLENR allowed for its central role in the history of the sugar plantation, especially related to transportation. The ecological, economic, historic, and cultural importance of the river is highlighted, along with the impact of vegetation and local fauna in it.

Facilities for alter-abled people are limited on all the trails. Therefore, it is important that visitors are capable of walking without assistance for long periods in open space and uneven terrain.

It is advised that visitors bring their own water supply. Take into account that the CTPR is committed to preserve and promote environmental conservation and is very strict about their eco-friendly policies within the plantation. The use of non-disposable containers of water will be appreciated.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Pre-Conference Reception for ASA Conference Participants and Attendees at El Museo de Historia, Antropología y Arte/Museum of History, Anthropology and Art located at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras

La Universidad está localizada entre la Avenida Barbosa y la Avenida Ponce de León en San Juan/The University is located between Barbosa and Ponce de León Avenues in San Juan.

This museum's archaeological and historical collection covers the Native American influence on the island and the Caribbean, the colonial era, and the history of slavery. There's also a small collection of Egyptian antiquities. Art holdings include a range of Puerto Rican popular, graphic, folk, and fine art. Another important attraction is the painting "El Velorio"/"The Wake" (1893) by the nineteenth-century artist Francisco Oller (1833–1917), considered one of the most important paintings in Puerto Rico's art history. In addition, the museum houses important historical documents. The space serves as an exposition hall for contemporary art from local artists as well. The admission is free of charge. The museum stands just in front of the University's main library. Museum hours: Mon.–Tues. and Thurs.–Fri. 9 am–4:30 pm, Wed. 9 am–8:30 pm, and Sun. 11:30 am–4:30 pm.

The UPR museum may be accessed by taxi. Alternately, those interested may take a taxi from the Convention Center to the Sagrado Corazón train station where they can take the southbound train (towards Bayamón) to the stop called "Universidad" on Avenida Ponce de León. The train leaves you at the university gates.

Museum telephone: 787-763-3939; University Main switchboard: 787-764-0000, Ext. 5852. Contact: Carmen Haydée Rivera, 787-764-0000, ext. 3828.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

4:00 PM

Film Screening: Documentary, Más de 800 Razones/More than 800 Reasons. Premiere. Director Osvaldo Budet. 2012. Documentary. Duration about an hour. Subtitled.

Puerto Rico Convention Center 206

On the watershed April 2010 University of Puerto Rico strike that shut down 10 campuses serving nearly 65,000 students for two months over increased costs, cuts and privatization. Followed by Q&A with cinematographer Carlos Pérez afterwards. For a trailer preview and more information, go to:

Friday, November 16, 2012

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Bomba Percussion and Dance Workshop

Puerto Rico Convention Center Terrace

Led by Rafael Maya, Desde Cero, and Pablo Luis Rivera, Restauración Cultural.

Led by two important cultural workers in the bomba urbana movement in Puerto Rico, this workshop will provide an overview of the musical vocabulary, the basic drum rhythms and dance steps of the oldest musical genre on the island. Dance and music are uniquely linked in this embodied music-making as the dancer's steps are directly interpreted by the lead drummer. Historically a form of expression and resistance that evolved from the conditions of sugarcane plantations, Afro-Puerto Rican bomba continues to be a live cultural art that is practiced in various contexts throughout the island and the diaspora. No musical or dance experience necessary to participate.

Friday, November 16, 2012

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Mía Argentina. Director Javier Van de Couter. 2011. Feature/Drama/ Transgender theme. 105 minutes. Subtitled. From The Puerto Rico Queer Film Fest.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Time: 8:30am to 10:30am and 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Walking Historical Tour of Viejo/Old San Juan by Edwin Quiles Rodríguez, author of San Juan Tras la Fachada: Una Mirada Desde Sus Espacios Ocultos (1580–1900) (San Juan: Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, 2002)


Award-winning architect Edwin Quiles Rodríguez, known as the "arquitecto del barrio y de la gente a pie," will guide an urban tour that traces the historiography of the underprivileged and hidden sectors of San Juan that have greatly contributed to and formed a rich and constantly changing city. His philosophy of communal involvement and empowerment through the development of architectural proposals influences initiatives that counteract urban community displacements and offers revitalization of social spaces.

Advanced registration required at

Participants should take a taxi from the conference site (about 5 minutes) and meet in the Plaza de Colón in Old San Juan, arriving fifteen minutes before the tour is scheduled to begin. The estimated cab fare to the Plaza de Colon from the Convention Center is about $12-$15 dollars and not included in the ticket price. The other alternative is for conference attendees to take a bus to the Plaza, however, there is no set bus schedule. Also the ferry from Cataño to San Juan is 50 or 75 cents and not included in the ticket price. The group will leave from the northwest corner of the plaza on the corner of Calle San Francisco and Calle O'Donnell (across the street from Caficultura). Maximum 15 participants. If you are unable to register for tour due to reaching maximum capacity, or for questions regarding tour please contact Carmen Haydee Rivera at by October 31.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Time: 9am - 1pm

Environmental Justice Tour of ENLACE Caño Martín Peña Project

A Morning Boat and Walking Environmental Justice Tour of ENLACE Caño Martín Peña Project Saturday, November 17, 2012, 9am-1pm. A 4 hour morning boat and walking tour $50 (including $15 transportation) - maximum 22. Participants will be picked up by tour bus at the Caribe Hilton's main entrance, 15 minutes prior to the tour start time. For more information or questions regarding tour please contact José I. Fusté at or 619.400.9004.

Advanced registration required at

Time: 2pm-4pm

An Afternoon Walking Environmental Justice Tour of ENLACE Caño Martín Peña Project.

Saturday, November 17, 2012, 2pm-4pm. A 2 hour afternoon walking tour of communities $25 (including $15 transportation). Maximum 22. Participants will be picked up by tour bus at the Caribe Hilton's main entrance, 15 minutes prior to the tour start time. For more information or questions regarding tour please contact José I. Fusté at or 619.400.9004.

Advanced registration required at

Saturday, November 17, 2012

2:00 pm – 3:45 pm

Blueprints for a Nation: Construction of an Imaginary State—Multi-Media Art Presentation by Adál Maldonado and Mariposa María Teresa Fernández

Puerto Rico Convention Center 103A

In this entertaining multi-media production and discussion, Adál, visual/installation artist, and Mariposa, poet and performance artist, offer a creatively rich and interactive presentation that weaves diverse perspectives on the Puerto Rican Diaspora, the significance of creative expression in fostering new political imaginations, the various cultures and expressions of resistance, and the subversive tropicalization of new environments. Their focus will center on the eventual creation of an imaginary space called "El Puerto Rican Embassy" represented here as an art installation by Adál Maldonado entitled, Blueprints for a Nation, where Nuyorican/New Rican artists define and create a new hybrid identity through their personal creative intentions. This mythological world is conceived both as a world of hard objects as well as a virtual world that exists in cyberspace.

Transcending borders and creatively mocking formal state structures, El Puerto Rican Embassy envisions an unrestricted sanctuary that allows for social surrealist, decolonial realities that ingeniously engages the "sovereignty without territoriality" debate while using art to inspire new political imaginations. An interactive discussion between the audience, session chair, Adál, and Mariposa will follow the multi-media performance portion of this session.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Time: 1:00 pm

Film Screening: Aquel Rebaño Azul (The Blue Herd), 2009. Documentary. 99 min. Spanish with English subtitles.

On the current police brutality crisis in Puerto Rico, recently the subject of an ACLU report and lawsuit. Produced by Puerto Rico's Civil Rights Division, followed by Q&A with the director and past CRD director Dr. Palmira Ríos.

Additional Tours

Click here to download descriptions of the additional tours that Borinquen will have available at their desk which will be set up at the Convention Center:

Additional Tours (download PDF version)



Purchase conference registration, tour, and special events tickets at the ASA Storefront, Even if paying by check, attendees must still register and purchase tickets from the ASA Storefront. After completing the online form and selecting the "pay by check" option, attendees should make checks payable to the American Studies Association and mail them to:

American Studies Association
1120 19th Street NW, Suite 301
Washington, DC 20036

Please do not send hotel registration forms or room payments to this address.

On-Site Rate

ASA member $120.00
ASA member—household income $15,000 or less $ 90.00
ASA student member $ 60.00
Nonmembers $150.00
Nonmembers—household income $15,000 or less $120.00
Nonmember student $ 90.00

Registration Hours

The registration desk at the Puerto Rico Convention Center will be open the following hours:

Wednesday, November 14 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Thursday, November 15 7:00 am – 5:00 pm
Friday, November 16 7:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday, November 17 7:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday, November 18 Closed

Session chairs and participants arriving on the day of their scheduled session must check in at the registration desk thirty (30) minutes prior to the session in order to receive registration materials.

Please note: registration fees are neither refundable nor transferable.

Forfeited registration and ticket fees will automatically transfer to the Baxter Travel Grant Fund. The Baxter Grants provide partial travel reimbursement to advanced graduate students who are members of the ASA and who will travel to the convention in order to appear on the Annual Meeting program.

Carbon Offsets

On the "Event Fees" portion of the registration form for the 2012 Annual Meeting, you will find a category marked "carbon offset." Like all other event fees, this category is optional. There is no obligation to participate. Rather, we have added the category as a useful service that the ASA can provide to our membership: the option to offset carbon emissions that may result from your travel to our annual meeting.

Those interested in purchasing carbon offsets for travel to the annual meeting will no doubt be curious as to what they are actually buying. The plan is to distribute our collective purchase of offsets between two organizations. Climate Trust ( supports wind, energy production efficiency, reforestation, and a range of other technologies. Native Energy ( focuses on wind power development on Northern Plains Indian reservations, and it is majority owned by the Intertribal Council on Utility Policy. Its current projects include wind power and methane remediation on dairy farms. Both of these organizations were highly ranked (among the top eight offset providers) in the most recent evaluation of offset offerings, particularly on the question of "additionality." For that report, see

The cost to purchase Carbon Offset (@ 1 ton) to cover average travel to San Juan, PR is $15.00.


Badges must be presented for admission to all sessions, receptions, and the book exhibit. Badges are obtained through the payment of registration fees and should be picked up on-site at the conference registration desk.


Some special events require tickets. Early reservations are advised because tickets are available in limited quantities. For meal functions, no tickets will be sold after the cut-off dates noted.

Ticketed Events

Thursday, November 15, 2012

12:00 pm – 1:45 pm

International Partnership Luncheon

Puerto Rico Convention Center 103A

The International Partnership Luncheon is an event sponsored by the International Committee of the ASA. It offers the possibility for international and U.S. scholars to meet informally around a nice meal at a discounted price. Over the year, over 600 scholars from over 20 nations have started new projects with U.S. scholars thanks to the luncheon, and many exchange programs have originated there. Please sign up for the luncheon when enrolling for the convention, or onsite when registering. Cost of tickets is $15.00. This event is generously underwritten by a grant from the Fisher Foundation.

Friday, November 16, 2012

8:00 am – 9:45 am

Minority Scholars' Mentoring Breakfast

Puerto Rico Convention Center 202B

Please join us for breakfast in San Juan as we present our first annual Mentoring Award to Professor Richard Yarborough (UCLA) which is named in his honor, in recognition of his extraordinary efforts as founder of the Minority Scholars Committee (MSC), and as a mentor who has helped countless students and junior faculty achieve their full academic potential.

We invite all minority students and faculty, and their allies, to celebrate Professor Yarborough, make new friends, and consolidate existing mentoring networks.

The cost is as follows: senior scholars $20.00, junior scholars $15.00, and graduate students $10.00. Tickets are available for purchase on the ASA registration webpage and a limited number will be available during the convention.

For further information related to the MSC Mentoring Award, please contact

Friday, November 16, 2012

8:00 am – 9:45 am

Networking Breakfast for Program Directors

Puerto Rico Convention Center 204

We invite all program/center directors, heads, and coordinators who are tasked with growing, strengthening, revising, or reinvigorating our constituent and affiliated programs. Cost of tickets is $20.00.

Immediately following the breakfast, the ASA Committee on American Studies Programs and Centers presents a roundtable discussion on Revising and Developing America Studies Curricula/Programs in the Twenty-first Century.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

8:00 am – 9:45 am

Women's Breakfast

Puerto Rico Convention Center 103A


Andrea Smith, University of California, Riverside (CA)
The Gendered Dimensions of Empire and Resistance

Please join us for breakfast in San Juan. We invite all students, faculty, and their allies to listen to our speaker, make new friends, and establish or renew scholarly and mentoring networks.

The cost is as follows: senior scholars $20.00, junior scholars $15.00, and graduate students $10.00. Tickets are available for purchase on the ASA registration webpage and a limited number will be available during the convention.

Immediately following the breakfast, the ASA Women's Committee presents the session Televisual Empires: Interrogating the Black Female Body in Television.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

8:00 pm – 11:30 pm

Social Gathering of Center and Program Directors

The American Studies Programs and Centers Committee informal network and social gathering. Meet at Caribe Hilton lobby bar at 8 pm followed by 9 pm departure for salsa dancing in Old San Juan. No ticket is required.

Professional Development Sessions

The Council has charged its standing committees with organizing professional development panels.

Committee on American Studies Programs and Centers

The ASA Committee on American Studies Programs and Centers will offer the workshop Revising and Developing American Studies Curricula/Programs in the Twenty-first Century and the poster session "Best Course Ever!" Dynamic and Engaged Undergraduate American Studies Courses.

Committee on Graduate Education

The ASA Committee on Graduate Education will offer the workshops Digital Dimensions of Graduate Education in American Studies (co-sponsored by the Digital Humanities Caucus and ASA Students' Committee) and Globalizing American Studies.

International Committee

The ASA International Committee is pleased to offer the talkshop feature pioneered several years ago and successfully carried out during the last eight ASA annual meetings. Each Talkshop event begins with a very brief frame-setting presentation by international panelists, each of whom will then facilitate parallel discussions among participants gathered at small roundtables. Toward the end of the session, each group will report briefly on the discussion and present comments on each table's dialogue by the facilitator or a selected reporter.

The 2012 talkshops include Teaching Puerto Rico, The Politics of Transnational Publishing, and Inter-American Studies Outside the U.S. Kindly consult the program for details.

Students' Committee Breakfast Forums

Puerto Rico Convention Center 102A

The ASA Students' Committee is pleased to announce the eighth year of the popular Breakfast Forums. These forums will take place on Friday and Saturday and provide an opportunity for students to meet with outstanding scholars who champion the integration of junior scholars into American studies. In addition, a buffet breakfast will be available on Friday and Saturday to students gratis courtesy of the association. All events are first come, first admitted.

The ASA 2012 forums include 180 in Progress: Lightning Shorts from the Next Generation, Beyond the Classroom: Collaborative and Full-Time Work in American Studies, Mock Job Interview Workshop, and Results from the ASA Students Survey. The Students and Regional Chapters Committee session will co-sponsor What's Next?: A Discussion with Student ASA Regional Award Winners. Kindly consult the program for details.

K–16 Collaboration Committee Workshops

This year's annual meeting will explore the creating opportunities of K–16 collaboration—the partnership of K–12 teachers with college and university teacher-scholars—that are offered within the ever-renewing field of American studies. K–16 collaboration is an education initiative that has been growing dramatically over the past ten years, expanding into broadening areas of public humanistic practice in museums, libraries, theaters, and other community centers. Both K–12 and college/university teachers are invited to participate in these sessions.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

8:30 am – 9:30 am

Welcome Breakfast for K–16 Collaboration Teachers

Puerto Rico Convention Center 207

This year's annual meeting welcome breakfast will be an opportunity for panelists, partnering organizations, college/university and K–12 teachers to discuss the ways in which they enact social justice pedagogy in their local struggles as youth organizers, food educators, and teachers. Through sharing local contexts, we will explore possibilities for K–16 collaboration.

Immediately following the breakfast in the same room the committee will offer its sessions Food Justice; Decolonization, Self-determination, Autonomy, and Sovereignty in Education; and a screening and discussion of the film Precious Knowledge. Kindly consult the program for details.

Book Exhibit

The Convention book exhibit will be held within the Puerto Rico Convention Center. Admission will be by registration badge only. Hours of the book exhibit are:

Thursday, November 15, 2012 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Friday, November 16, 2012 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday, November 17, 2012 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday, November 18, 2012 8:30 am – 11:00 am

Childcare Information

The ASA will provide an open space for supervised children to play near meeting and session rooms at its annual conference. The greenroom space that is in the back of Ballroom A has been assigned as the childcare space. Member-parents, guardians, or sitters are welcome to bring toys to share and to help contribute to making the space fun and safe for all kids to play. This space is supported by conference registration fees and will be available during all meeting hours. There will be no professional childcare provided.

Please contact the convention services director at your hotel or the Puerto Rico Convention Center for professional care referrals. Check the hotel's website online or call for information.

Disabled Persons

The Puerto Rico Convention Center complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, its regulations, and guidelines. So that the hotel can better assist persons with special needs, individuals should indicate their specific needs when making a reservation. In addition, they should make their reservations as early as possible, and no later than November 5, 2012. For additional assistance, please contact either the hotel or the ASA Office of the Executive Director at

Convention Headquarters

The 2012 Convention Headquarters for the American Studies Association Annual Meeting is: The San Juan Puerto Rico Convention Center — where all sessions and events take place.

Headquarters Hotel

Caribe Hilton
1 San Geronimo Street
San Juan, PR 00901

Overflow Hotels

Courtyard By Marriott San Juan Miramar
801 Ponce de Leon Avenue
San Juan, PR 00907

The ASA guestroom rate is sold out at the Caribe Hilton and the Courtyard Miramar.

ASA has arranged 3 additional hotel options for ASA attendees:

Radisson Ambassador Plaza Hotel & Casino
1369 Ashford Avenue
San Juan PR 00907

ASA discounted rate at Radisson is $145 plus tax and tariff (no resort fee).

Conrad Condado Plaza
999 Ashford Avenue
San Juan PR 00907

ASA discounted rate at Conrad Condado Plaza is $165 plus tax and tariff.

San Juan Beach Hotel
1045 Ashford Avenue
San Juan, PR 00907

ASA discounted rate at San Juan Beach Hotel is $95 plus tax and tariff.

Please make your reservation PRIOR to the cut off date. After the cut off date, all sleeping rooms will be sold on a space available basis and will NOT be subject to the group discount. Please mention you are attending the ASA annual meeting to receive the discounted room rate. Availability of rooms at the group rate after the cut-off date is subject to availability. If the group room block fills up before the cut off date, you may be closed out of the conference hotel at the group rate. All rates are subject to tax.

Click to view Map

Click to view Floorplans
   Level 1
   Level 2
   Level 3


Luis Munoz Airport, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Airport to Caribe Hilton:

Airport to Courtyard By Marriott San Juan Miramar:

Airport to Radisson Ambassador Plaza Hotel and Casino:

Caribe Hilton to Convention Center:

Courtyard By Marriott San Juan Miramar to Convention Center:

Radisson Ambassador Plaza Hotel and Casino to Convention Center:

San Juan Taxi/Shuttle information

Taxi from airport to ASA hotels: Approximately $20
Taxi from ASA hotels to Convention Center: Approximately $7

Complimentary Bus Service

ASA will provide bus transportation between the ASA hotels and the Puerto Rico Convention Center during the meeting, November 15–18, 2012.

Thurs Nov.15 7:00am-11:00am 5:30pm-9:30pm
Fri Nov. 16 6:30am-10:30am 6:00pm-11:00pm
Sat Nov. 17 6:30am-10:30am 5:00pm-9:00pm
Sun Nov. 18 6:30am-10:30am 2:00pm-6:00pm

There will be shuttle service between the following hotels and the Convention Center:

Caribe Hilton
San Juan Beach
Radisson Ambassador
Courtyard Miramar

Access Guidelines for Session Organizers and Panelists

The ASA is committed to making arrangements that allow all association members to participate in the conference. Therefore, we request that all session organizers and presenters review the information below and take the necessary steps to make their sessions accessible to attendees with permanent or temporary disabilities. These guidelines are designed to provide access for attendees with disabilities but will benefit all convention participants.

Room Setup

There is space for two wheelchairs in each meeting room. Please keep this area, the door, and the aisles clear for persons using wheelchairs, canes, crutches, or motorized vehicles.

People who are deaf or hard of hearing and who use sign language interpreters or read lips should sit where they can see both the speakers and the interpreter. The interpreter may stand close to the speaker within a direct line of sight that allows the audience to view both the speaker and the interpreter. Speakers should be aware of the location of interpreters and attempt to keep this line of vision clear.

Papers, Handouts, and Audiovisuals

Speakers should bring five copies of their papers, even in draft form, for the use of members who wish, or need, to follow a written text. Speakers who use handouts should prepare some copies in large-print format (14- or 16-point font size) and briefly describe all handouts to the audience. Avoid colored papers. Speakers should indicate where to return their papers and handouts.

Allow ample time when referring to a visual aid or handout or when pointing out the location of materials.

When not using an overhead projector, turn it off. This reduces background noise and helps focus attention on the speaker.

Communication/Presentation Style

Speak clearly and distinctly, but do not shout. Use regular speed unless asked to slow down.

Because microphones often fail to pick up voices in the audience, speakers should always repeat questions or statements made by members of the audience. In dialogues or discussions, only one person should speak at a time, and speakers should identify themselves so that audience members know who is speaking.

Avoid speaking from a darkened area of the room. Some people read lips, so the audience should have a direct and clear view of the speaker's mouth and face.

ASL Interpretation

The ASA will provide ASL interpretation for panels with hearing-impaired presenters.

The ASA will also provide sign interpreting services to registered members in attendance as follows:

In order to make the necessary arrangements, hearing-impaired members who will need sign-interpreting service at the ASA annual meeting must notify the Office of the Executive Director (OED) and register for the meeting at least one month in advance of the meeting (September 18, 2012). After reviewing the program, but not later than one month in advance of the meeting (September 18, 2012), members who have made such requests should inform the OED of the sessions they plan to attend. The OED will then, with the assistance of the Site Resource Committee and the Registry of Interpreters, secure the services of appropriate interpreters. The ASA will assume the cost for up to nine hours of interpreting service or a maximum of $400 per member, whichever is less.

ASA Guidelines for Interviewing

The ASA discourages interview activities in hotel bedrooms. The ASA strongly advises that a parlor suite rather than a sleeping room be used and that a third person always be present in the room with the candidate. Interviewers using such facilities bear sole responsibility for establishing an appropriate, professional atmosphere and should take special care to ensure that all interviews are conducted courteously and in a proper manner.

ASA Guidelines for Recording Presentations

The papers and commentaries presented during this meeting are intended solely for the hearing of those present and should not be tape-recorded, copied, or otherwise reproduced without the consent of the authors. Recording, copying, or reproducing a paper/presentation without the consent of the author(s) may be a violation of common law copyright and may result in legal difficulties for the person recording, copying, or reproducing.

Health Information

ASA is aware of the current dengue epidemic in Puerto Rico and is actively monitoring the situation. However, registrants should feel safe in travelling to the island, as there has been no indication to the contrary. The government-run Puerto Rican Tourism Company has issued an official statement (pdf) reassuring visitors to the island that the risk of contracting dengue remains minimal. Q&A about dengue fever (pdf)

Also, be aware that the incidence of hemorrhagic dengue, which is the more severe strain of the virus, is appearing in significantly smaller numbers than the other less devastating strain that results in flu-like symptoms. Nonetheless, it is important to take extra precautions to reduce this risk overall. Please see below for more information.

U.S. Center for Disease Control information on dengue (the CDC Dengue Branch devoted to the study of dengue is in actually in San Juan)

The above link includes a map that you can click on to get the most updated information regarding the incidence of dengue on the island.

Information regarding use of insect repellents:

Also, please download the relevant documents from the Puerto Rican Tourism Company.

This is to remind attendees to bring clothes, such as long sleeve shorts and sweaters, appropriate for the very cold air-conditioning that the Convention Center is likely to have.

ASA-San Juan Restaurant Guide (download PDF version) (NEW)

ASA-San Juan Offsite Activities (download PDF version) (NEW)

Audio-Visual Equipment

The ASA will supply all session rooms with a Digital Equipment Package. Included: LCD/multimedia data projector, with speakers, laptop (MS Powerpoint, CD, & DVD capable, PC but MAC compatible), screen, and on site technical support. Not included: live internet connection. If you want additional digital equipment, WIFI, or live internet connection you will have to rent it at your own expense. If you want to use analog equipment such as an Overhead Projector, Slide Projectors, or TV/VCR/DVD’s, you will have to bring your own equipment or rent it at your own expense.

We have been asked about the possible use of Skype to accommodate individual panelists who do not attend the meeting in person. This is NOT an option. Skype is a very unsatisfactory medium for video-conferencing with a group. The picture quality when blown up to a necessary size for a group is very poor, and the speaker at the remote location will not be able to identify questioners.

Internet access in the convention center? On the 1st floor of the Convention Center, near the main entrance, there is Business Center and a Cyber Cafe. Internet is complimentary in each of these areas.

Internet access in the meeting rooms? The convention center charges $400 for the 1st internet connection in the meeting room, and $50 for each additional connection. The internet would need to be ordered through PSAV: Presentation Services Audio Visual (PSAV) Luis Resto - Director of Audiovisual Services 100 Convention Blvd. San Juan, Puerto Rico 00907 Tel: (787) 641-7722 Email: