Las Hermanas Conference

Call for Papers

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2015 UIW College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences Symposium Call for Papers

Las Hermanas:  The Struggle is One

An Interdisciplinary Symposium
March 19-21, 2015
University of the Incarnate Word

Sponsored by the Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences, UIW Office of Mission & Ministry, and The Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word

This interdisciplinary symposium  will honor the history, development, and legacy of Las Hermanas, a grassroots Latina movement formed 40 years ago to challenge and change the church and its role in society.  We encourage papers that will explore Las Hermanas and parallel religious-political movements, examining how they drew from the resources of both Catholicism and their larger cultural contexts to promote social justice within the church and beyond.  More broadly, we welcome contributions that address the question of how religious traditions and other institutions are embodied, challenged, and transformed.  In the words of biblical scholar Fr. Carlos Mesters,  “We may start from different points, but we arrive together.  The struggle is one struggle.”  

Possible topics include  (but are not limited to):

  • Latinas in US religious history
  • The relationship between female agency, women’s empowerment, and social change
  • The sociological development of resistance movements
  • The liberative praxis, or reflective action, that grounds Latina/o theology
  • The role of narrative and/or lo cotidiano in Latina/o theology
  • Ecumenical perspectives on Latina/o theology
  • The central role of activism within liberation theology
  • The turn to “immediate history” and the changing role of cultural memory
  • The legacy of Las Hermanas
  • Art and music celebrating and deepening concepts

Paper proposals from all interested participants are welcome.  Alternative presentation formats are also encouraged (incorporating art, movement, audience participation, etc.).  Proposals should be approximately 350 words in length, and include a summary of the paper’s purpose, themes, and relationship to existing scholarship.    Please submit your proposal  and a copy of your CV by email to Adrienne Ambrose ( by January 30, 2015.  Authors will be notified of acceptance by February 9, 2015.  Due to the tight schedule, submission deadlines are firm.

General Information

The University of the Incarnate Word is located in San Antonio, and is the largest Catholic university in Texas.   The school was founded in 1881 by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, and its continued commitment to educate men and women who will become concerned and enlightened citizens with values developed in a Judeo-Christian tradition is a tribute to the enduring spirit of the sisters.

Questions can be addressed to members of the 2015 Las Hermanas Symposium Committee:

Adrienne Ambrose, Ph.D. (chair)

Horacio Vela III

Sr. Martha Ann Kirk, Th.D.