CfP: [Romero: Memory]: Activating Heritage of International Solidarity

Call for papers, deadline 1 July 2019


The assassination of the Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero (1917-1980) made him a martyr for millions of Latin Americans. Worldwide, Romero’s commitment and his legacy had a strong catalyzing effect on the recognition of the Roman Catholic Church as a genuine partner in societal resistance against injustice in Latin America, and hence, in the pluralization of civil society movements in general worldwide. Romero’s impact was felt particularly strong in Leuven (Belgium), where the university had developed into an international focal point for left-wing progressive Catholicism and liberation theology. Hundreds of Flemish activists and scholars within and beyond the university community mobilized on behalf of the cause of the murdered archbishop in the course of the 1980s, strengthening and intensifying the existing solidarity movement with El Salvador and other Central American countries. This generated a significant body of material and immaterial heritage. Today, this heritage is insufficiently appreciated, valorized, and shared with the relevant groups in and beyond Leuven.

Hence, a group of scholars linked to various centers and faculties at KU Leuven developed [Romero:Memory], a one-week multidisciplinary academy to confront our own understandings of Romero and his significance for the solidarity movement with Latin America and El Salvador with those of scholars, activists, writers, etc. from the Global South. They want to generate a polyphonic and co-creative understanding that goes beyond Eurocentric approaches and want to invite participants for an intensive one-week academy to present and discuss the impact and imprint of Romero’s legacy on the works, actions and ideas of people, groups, communities, societies (or the participants themselves) in the present as well as in the past. We invite scholars, activists, journalists, writers, artists, as well as other profiles to participate and present their work. The deadline for submissions is July 1st 2019.