23 Apr 2009 - 25 Apr 2009 All day CRASSH Seminar Room, 17 Mill Lane


Registration is now closed.  

Geoffrey Kantaris, Centre of Latin American Studies
Rory O'Bryen, Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Popular culture in Latin America has always represented a fulcrum within social, anthropological and cultural discourses within the region. It has often been imagined as inhabiting interstitial and heterogeneous spaces that have represented a challenge to the dominant cultural paradigms of the 'lettered city' since at least Colonial times, and has repeatedly been mapped out onto political, economic and even libidinal boundaries – between the country and the city, between the folk and the street, between the 'masses' and élite national/political structures. Yet at the turn of the 21st century, concepts of the 'folk', the 'popular' and the 'mass' have exploded in the face of new cultural and informational technologies, with cinematic, televisual, narrative, musical and cybernetic manifestations of popular culture at the forefront of social processes which mediate between the national and the global in a see-sawing climate of neo-liberal economic ideology and profound crises marked by new and intensified social problems.
Cinema, television and the Internet are reconfiguring the face of cultural production in the continent, yet in academic terms we are largely stuck with a polarized set of analytical discourses which align themselves with 'modern' or 'post-modern' theoretical paradigms for understanding the relationship between the personal, the cultural and the social. New work is urgently needed to understand what happens to concepts of 'folk', 'popular' and 'mass' culture in the light of the emergence of massive diasporic populations, de-territorialized economies and 'negative' globalization, to name but a few of the social transformation which have profoundly affected the region. This conference aims to bring together a range of exciting contemporary thinkers on Latin American popular culture, combining theoretical approaches with innovative work on specific cultural forms from the 20th and 21st centuries, in the hope that new approaches can be aired and existing paradigms can be nuanced.

Keynote Speaker:
Alberto Moreiras (University of Aberdeen)

Other Speakers:
Abilio Estévez (Cuban writer)
Alberto Fuguet (Writer and filmmaker)
Stephen Hart (University College London)
Lorraine Leu (University of Bristol)
Chandra Morrison (University of Cambridge)
Andrea Noble (University of Durham)
Francisco Ortega (Universidad Nacional, Colombia)
Joanna Page (University of Cambridge)
Edmundo Paz-Soldán (Cornell University)
Lúcia Sá (University of Manchester)
Erica Segre (University of Cambridge)
Claire Taylor (University of Liverpool)


Centre of Latin American Studies
Department of Spanish and Portuguese



Administrative contact: Anna Malinowska, CRASSH


Tel: +44 1223 766886
Email enquiries@crassh.cam.ac.uk