Call for Papers – CENTRO Journal



Celiany Rivera Velázquez, PhD

Research Associate 

Center for Puerto Rican Studies (CENTRO) 

Hunter College, City University of New York

Carlos Ulises Decena, PhD 


Latino and Caribbean Studies & Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Rutgers University

This is a call for contributions for a special issue of CENTRO Journal titled Caudal to gather contemporary feminist and queer/cuir perspectives of cultural, social and political phenomena from the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico and their global diasporas. Submissions do not need to be comparative in approach as writers may choose to focus more on either Puerto Rican or Dominican identities, insular or diasporic experiences, feminist or queer perspectives. Nevertheless, contributions that make the connections between Dominican and Puerto Rican experiences are welcomed and encouraged.

Rasanblaj is a Kreyòl word that means “assembly, compilation, enlisting and regrouping of ideas, things, people, or spirits”, like what happens in a gathering, a ceremony or a protest, as proposed by Haitian cultural anthropologist Gina Ulysse (2015). Our intent for this Special Volume is to rasanblaj our collective critical thinking in articles, essays, ethnographic studies, book or media criticism of either or both countries and their global diasporas.

The word caudal in Spanish is a noun that alludes to the voluminosity of a large body of water that flows from a spring or fountain. It could also refer to voluminous riches and fortunes. In English, the word caudal is an anatomical adjective that describes interconnected body parts that lie away from each other. Considering that joyful flows can coexist with dangerous undercurrents, this special issue interconnects feminist and queer Puerto Rican and Dominican contributions in all their subversive and excessive exuberance. Our usage of caudal mines the theoretical, activist, and creative ferment of generations of bridge-building among feminists and queers/cuirs in the two islands and their diasporas. Like the Canal de la Mona, the strait of water that not only connects the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico but is also one of the points where the Atlantic and Caribbean meet within the Greater Antilles, this issue is inspired by the submarine mountain range that makes up and connects the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico, but also to the broader Atlantic/Caribbean. We build on the Spring 2018 Centro special issue “Critical Perspectives on Puerto Ricans and Dominicans in the U.S ” by extending this conversation from the diaspora to the Caribbean archipelago, which is always inextricably connected to a larger Caribglobal experience (King, 2014).

To this end, we are looking for writers who are willing to “rock the boat” of national insularity to highlight the region’s deep connective tissues. The very insularity of the Dominican Republic–as a shared territory with Haiti–and Puerto Rico’s neocolonial relationship with the United States create complex, and often troubling, intimacies across all these national contexts. In examining Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic through a rasanblaj methodology, this issue refuses to pick from here nor there, and instead brings together feminist and queer approaches to spotlight the connectedness of our practices of joy, resistance and survival in the face of racist, patriarchal, capitalist, misogynist, homophobic and transphobic Caribbean politics and maneuvers in the 21st century.

Topics for this issue may include, but are not limited to the following manifestations in Puerto Rico and/or the Dominican Republic:

  • Abolitionist thought and praxis
  • Antiracist movements and praxis
  • Arts & Cultural creation
  • Colonial debts, coloniality and/or insularity
  • Community health matters (reproductive justice, HIV,COVID-19, Monkeypox, etc.)
  • Decolonial feminism thought and praxis
  • Disaster capitalism
  • Dominican and Haitian relations within an insular/globalcontext
  • Dominican migrants and Puerto Ricans of Dominican descent in Puerto Rico
  • Femicides and Gender-based Violence analyses inclusive of trans and nonbinary experiences
  • Foundational or contemporary feminist and queer/cuir figures
  • Gender justice organizing thought and praxis
  • Haitian migrants in the Dominican Republic and Dominicans of Haitian descent in the DominicanRepublic
  • Healing & Language justice thought and praxis
  • Insular and/or diasporic literary thought and praxis
  • Intra-Caribbean and/or diaspora networks and solidarity
  • Media, Culture & Communication analyses
  • Mona Passage and the U.S. Coast Guard, Puerto RicoPolice, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol Agents
  • Mona Passage as a trope of success or death for undocumented Haitian or Dominican migrants
  • Movement-building strategies and analyses
  • Music and queer relationality / representation
  • Narratives of joy, decadence, excess or exuberance
  • Popular culture and feminism(s) or queer/cuir analyses
  • Popular education & experiential learning
  • Post disaster relief in the region (hurricanes, earthquakes,and floods)
  • Queer/cuir and/or feminist performances
  • Queer/cuir literature, media and/or creative activisms
  • Racialized discourses and/or racism in national and/or social media
  • Sex Work and the Queer Community
  • State failure
  • Vieques and Culebra as Puerto Rico’s municipalities
  • Women’s Rights & Feminist analyses inclusive of trans and nonbinary experiences 

The deadline for submitting a 500-word abstract is December 15, 2022. Selected authors will be notified by January 30, 2023. The deadline for full manuscript submission (maximum 25 pages) is May 30, 2023. The publication of this special volume (v. 37, n. 2) is scheduled for Summer 2024.

Papers can be from a range of disciplinary fields and will be sent for anonymized peer review. Abstracts will be evaluated in terms of relevance in relation to the call; the strength of the theoretical framework or contextualization; the strength of its critical analysis; the clarity and coherence of its proposed arguments; and its scholarly originality and contribution to existing knowledges. Submissions will be accepted in English or Spanish.

Audiovisual, alternative, experimental scholarship, as well as hybrid literary/media treatments, will also be considered for supplementary publication on CENTRO’s and the Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice’s websites under the same theme. Please send a 250-word description of your proposed entry and how it should be displayed online. There might be opportunities for a couple of on-site exhibits or performances.

For submission guidelines, go to CENTRO Journal’s webpage.

For more information contact: Celiany Rivera Velázquez ( Carlos Decena (