This presentation focuses on LatinX life––LatinX beings––in light of new paradigm shifts vis-à-vis the LatinX ethnoracial and political descriptor as well as ecological degradation. X’s indefinite quality impacts a major concern of our time: the unthought-of scale and impact of environmental destruction, paired with new forms of LatinX displacements and transitions. The intensity and uncertainty of global climate systems are explored to comprehend ecological crises through extreme LatinX currents including border fortification, rising sea levels, Central America’s drought, disintegrating bodies and landscapes, and Mesoamerican mobilities. The slow accretions and modifications of what comes into and goes out of existence––our own managing to eke out a living through “contaminated survival”––encourages us to think expansively about unpredictable LatinX turning points. “The X Corridor: Environmental Degradation and Central American Migrations” discusses how the topsy-turvies of the present are throwing us headlong into LatinX’s ubiquitous and unfolding patterns, alongside a conceptual language trying to register the new nature of things.
Claudia Milian is Associate Professor of Romance Studies and Director of the Program in Latino/a Studies in the Global South at Duke University. She is the author of Latining America: Black-Brown Passages and the Coloring of Latino/a Studies (University of Georgia Press, 2013) and the forthcoming monograph, LatinX: Present Tense and Tensions (University of Minnesota Press, 2019).