CALL FOR PAPERS! Association of Mexican American Educators (AMAE) Journal Special Issue


Association of Mexican American Educators (AMAE) Journal Special Issue

Complicating the Politics of Deservingness:

A Critical Look at Latina/o Undocumented Migrant Youth

Guest Editors: Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales  (University of San Francisco), Leisy Abrego (University of California, Los Angeles) and Kathleen Coll (University of San Francisco)

The separation of marginalized people into categories of deserving/undeserving, civil/uncivil, and worthy/unworthy is not new; yet it took on a new dimension when, in the summer of 2014, tens of thousands of Central American refugee children crossing the U.S.-Mexico border made headlines. Although the migration and settlement of Mexican and Central American children has a long history, for the first time, the public saw images of children packed into bare rooms, sleeping on the floor, in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. The collective, if short-lived, outrage was later followed simultaneously by angry protests that blocked buses of children from entering towns and supporters who welcomed them. Protesters considered them dangerous invaders while supporters invoked notions of innocent childhood. The media coverage and competing actions opened the space for conversations about what is now very clearly a “broken” U.S. immigration system tied to violently consequential foreign policies in the region. Indeed, undocumented youth in the immigrant rights movement have been mobilizing to put an end to the reprehensible immigrant detention and deportation system that makes them and their families vulnerable.

In this special issue, we aim to highlight the complex and important ways in which the experiences and institutional interactions of refugee children, undocumented youth, and young immigrants are both distinct and interconnected. Challenging notions of deservingness that distinguish between “good” versus “bad” immigrants, we solicit contributions informed by a structural analysis of childhood and youth as it has played out in the discourse about the lived experiences of immigrant youth and their families. Our goal is to open the space for a critical immigration scholarship that grapples with the production of illegality, citizenship as a commodity, and a disruption of the deserving/undeserving immigrant narrative. We invite pieces that complicate the contemporary conversation about undocumented young people as well as those that problematize the myth of a U.S. context that protects childhood and families of color.

The special issue will bring together conversations about “DREAMers,” unaccompanied migrant children, and grassroots struggles working to transform the current immigration system and end the institutional violence it engenders. Together, submissions will acknowledge U.S. intervention, global capitalism, geopolitics, and racism in this multi-layered migration regime. We are particularly interested in manuscripts that are interdisciplinary and that engage with the complexity of these dynamics and the nuances in the broader field. We welcome manuscripts that offer theoretical perspectives; research findings; innovative methodologies; pedagogical reflections; and implications related to (but not limited to) the following areas:

Political subjectivities of “DREAMers” & unDACAmented youth

The unaccompanied child migrant “crisis”

Grassroots activism around immigrant rights

Deportation, detention, and the state

The politics of a divide between “deserving” children and “undeserving” adult immigrants

Undocumented children and the educational system

Legal services provision and due process for youth

Local and municipal responses to federal policies

The relationship between immigration debates and the welfare and carceral systems

Submissions suitable for publication in this special issue include empirical papers, theoretical/conceptual papers, historical work, essays, book reviews, and poems. It is important to note that the special issue is interested in the broader Latina/o experience and not solely focused on the experiences of Mexican Americans (per the title of the journal).

The selection of manuscripts will be conducted as follows:

  1. Manuscripts will be judged on strength and relevance to the theme of the special issue.
  2. Manuscripts should not have been previously published in another journal, nor should they be under consideration by another journal at the time of submission.
  3. Each manuscript will be subjected to a blind review by a panel of reviewers with expertise in the area treated by the manuscript. Those manuscripts recommended by the panel of experts will then be considered by the AMAE guest editors and editorial board, which will make the final selections.

Manuscripts should be submitted as follows:

  1. Submit via email both a cover letter and copy of the manuscript in Microsoft Word to: Dr. Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales ( ).
  2. Cover letter should include name, title, short author bio (100 words), and institutional affiliation; indicate the type of manuscript submitted and the number of words, including references. Also, please indicate how your manuscript addresses the call for papers.
  3. Manuscripts should be no longer than 7,000 words (including references) and have an abstract of 200 words or less. Please follow the standard format of the American Psychological Association (APA). Include within the text all illustrations, charts, and graphs. Manuscripts may also be submitted in Spanish.

Deadline for submissions is April 15, 2015. Please address questions to Dr. Genevieve Negrón-Gonzales ( ) or Dr. Patricia Sánchez ( ). Authors will be asked to address revisions to their manuscripts during the summer months of 2015. This special issue is due to be published in December 2015.

Association of Mexican American Educators (AMAE) Journal

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