Visiting Editors:

Ignacio Sarmiento, State University of New York at Fredonia

Mauricio Espinoza, University of Cincinnati

Photo by Félix Méndez

In 1984, Óscar Benítez Martínez, a Salvadoran migrant and writer living in California, published Inmortales, considered the first novel of the Central American diaspora in the United States. Today, with over 5 million Central Americans living in the US, dozens of writers of Central American origin—like Javier Zamora, Héctor Tobar, Carolina Rivera, Víctor Montejo, Ilka Oliva Corado, William Archila, Claudia Castro Luna, Roy G. Guzmán and Leticia Hernández Linares, among many others—are publishing, in both English and Spanish, in the American market and, in some cases, in their home countries. This phenomenon has challenged the hegemony and visibility of other Hispanic groups, and has also opened a new discussion within Latinx studies. 

In recent years, authors such as Arturo Arias, Yajaira Padilla, and Maritza Cárdenas, to name a few, have begun to explore the notion of Central American-Americans as a newly emerging political identity. This notion, albeit open to discussion as any other identitarian category, has shaped some of the current discussions regarding the Central American diaspora. 

But the discussion is not restricted to the geographic limits of the United States. In recent years, for example, several Mexican authors have published works of literature and visual culture regarding the Central American diaspora, like Rafael Ramírez Heredia’s La mara, Emiliano Monge’s Tierras arrasadas, and Balam Rodrigo’s Libro centroamericano de los muertos. This issue has also been discussed, albeit with less frequency, by Central American authors. Examples of the latter are Claudia Hernández’ Olvida uno and El verbo J, and Mendez Vides’ El leproso

This special issue of Label Me Latina/o seeks to explore literary and cultural representations of Central American migration to the United States. We approach this complex topic from a panoramic perspective, aiming to build a bridge between different spaces and languages of production. Thus, we look for articles that analyze any cultural production produced in Mexico, Central America, or the US, written in English, Spanish, or any native language, that tackles the current wave of migration from Central America to the United States.

Among other topics, the editors invite critical and creative manuscripts to discuss some of the following themes (although not restrictively):

  • The building of a Central American-American canon and its counter-narratives
  • Central American-American identity
  • Common discourses across different productions
  • The existence of dominant tendencies in these works
  • The role of Mexico in the Central American migration
  • Decolonization in the diaspora
  • Indigenous peoples in the Central American diaspora
  • Gender and migration
  • Representations of the state and the police
  • Representations of ethnic diversity
  • Narratives of the returnees
  • The ‘border’ or ‘wall’ as subverted symbols 
  • Representation of childhood and youth
  • Undocumented writers

All scholarly articles must be written in English or Spanish and should be between 12-30 pages, double-spaced, 12 point font following the MLA Style Manual. Please use End Notes rather than Footnotes and place page numbers in the upper right-hand corner. Scholarly articles under consideration should not be submitted elsewhere.

We especially welcome the creative work of Central Americans, Central American-Americans, or any other Latinxs writers whose work deals with specific Central American themes. We do accept simultaneous submissions of creative works. Creative poetry, essays, and short fiction should not exceed 30 pages, 12 point font, double-spaced. These texts can be written in English, Spanish, and Spanglish.

Original, unpublished submissions in Microsoft Word (PC compatible format) should be sent electronically to the co-editors Ignacio Sarmiento Panez  and Mauricio Espinoza as well as to Lorna Pérez and Michele Shaul

Please put Submission for Cultural Representations of Central American Migration to the US in the subject line of the email.

Deadline for the Summer 2022 Special Issue: January 29, 2022

Please include the following information in the body of the email:

  • Full name
  • Institutional Affiliation
  • Telephone number
  • Email address
  • Regular mail address
  • Title of the submission
  • A brief biography to be included with publication should your submission be selected.

Please make sure that the actual manuscript bears no reference to the author’s name or institution.

Label Me Latina/o is an online, refereed international e-journal that focuses on Latina/o/x Literary Production in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The journal invites scholarly essays focusing on these writers for its biannual publication. Label Me Latina/o also publishes creative literary pieces whose authors self-define as Latina, Latino or Latinx regardless of thematic content. Interviews of Latino, Latina or Latinx authors will also be considered. The Co-Directors will publish creative works and interviews in English, Spanish or Spanglish whereas analytical essays should be written in English or Spanish.

Label Me Latina/o is an academic journal and as such follows the parameters of definitions set by the academic community. In that community when we refer to Latina/o/x Literature, we are referring to writers of Latin American heritage that live and write in the United States. These can be first generation Latina/o/x or fifth but they live and work here in the U.S. Some of these writers write in Spanish, others write in Spanglish like the Nuyorican poets and many of them write in English with a little Spanish thrown in (or not). Scholarly essays should address the work of these writers. The authors of these scholarly essays may be of any ethnicity or nationality. Creative works should be authored by writers who self-define as Latina/o/x and live and write in the United States.

Label Me Latina/o is indexed by the MLA International Bibliography, is listed in the MLA Directory of Periodicals and is a member of Latinoamericana: Asociación de revistas académicas en Humanidades y Ciencias Sociales. Our articles are discoverable on EBSCOhost research databases. ISSN 2333-4584