Call for papers #43 - 2021 Special issue: Communication and Popular Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean


Comunicación y Medios journal


Call for papers #43  - 2021

Special issue:

Communication and Popular Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean

Submissions are due on September 30, 2020

The special issue will be published on June 2021


Guest editors #43: 

Chiara Sáez, Instituto de la Comunicación e Imagen, Universidad de Chile, 

Christián Spencer, Centro de Investigación en Artes y Humanidades, Universidad Mayor, Chile,

Antonieta Vera, Universidad Academia de Humanismo Cristiano, Chile,



This CFP of Comunicación y Medios invites to submit original articles tracing, problematizing, and theorizing the interplays between communication and popular culture in Latin America and the Caribbean. Historical as well as contemporary accounts are welcomed. 

We encourage to submit empirical research contributing to identify, to analyze, and to review the political, economic, and cultural perspectives under which popular cultures, players, and practices have been disregarded or dismissed, downplaying their potential and importance. When unveiling such operations blurring the relevance of popular culture, ground breaking research could shed light to the political role culture and communication play in broader social transformations. 

In particular, we call for recent and original works discussing the relationship between communication and culture in Latin America and the Caribbean combining empirical studies and macro-theoretical frames about culture. This special issue welcomes refreshing insights helping out to better understand cultural and political resistances embraced by social players traditionally marginalized in Latin America and the Caribbean. New clues, innovative historical thinking, intersectional, and feminist approaches, as well as a decolonial perspectives are key in providing new insights (cf. Crenshaw 1991, Dorlin 2005, Kergoat 2009, Viveros 2016, Mignolo 2010). Understanding social interaction as a communicative action also shapes this CFP (cf. Habermas 1981, 2002, Negt & Kluge 1993, Fraser 1997).



Culture is a making-sense practice. As such, it operates within daily, social, action, entangled with cultural producers’ actual material conditions. Within that frame, popular cultures are result from an uneven material and cultural conditions comparing hegemonic and marginalized populations. Indeed, such inequality expresses itself through material and symbolic forms and productions incarnating lifestyle conditions that differ radically from elites’ cultural formas and practices.  

Then, very distinguished social interactions, labor experiences, and community and family practices shape popular cultures, including their own ways of expression and knowledge (García Canclini, 1989). If we understand communication as a process creating, modifying, and transforming culture (Carey 2009), popular culture becomes a matrix of, for instance, radical and alternative media (Downing, 2001) because it is located in the margins. 


In the Latin American context, Guillermo Sunkel is one of the key authors capturing the interplays of communicaiton and culture, particularly in his work Razón y pasión en la prensa popular (1985). In that book, Sunkel argues that contemporary popular culture contains three overlaped cultures: The “represented” popular culture, dominated by labor culture and its Enlightment ideals; the “non-represented” popular culture, and the “subjugated” popular culture. The restrained and the non-represented elements within popular culture can be conceptualized as an “absent popular culture” (Sáez, 2019). Such absent popular culture considers individuals, spaces, and practices that have been invisibilized by expressions and communications coming from the “represented” popular culture. Indigenous, black, marginalized, no-binary, and anti-patriarchial practices and experiences are examples of overlooked popular cultures.   


A political dimension driven by modernization processes inhabits individuals, places, and practices within the absent popular culture. In other words, popular actors adopt strategies to occupy and, at the same time, skip hegemonic Modern and Enlighted structures and practices imposed upon them. Such a process of cultural negotiation is particularly remarkable in Latin American and Caribbean societies, in which historical trajectories mobilizing Modernity has a series of divergent features comparing to societies at the core of capitalist accumulation, such as the whole process of the European colonization and exploitation over indigenous populations and territories; the European-African-Indigenous miscegenation as a consequence of slavery, and the emergence of an estamental society and strong class structures working at the same time that the processes of independence, among others (Larraín, 2005).


Topics on Communication and Popular Culture include, but they are not limited to:


  • Contemporary theoretical frameworks about popular culture
  • Popular subject and strategies of cultural resistance in the urban landscape
  • Gender, sexualities, and popular culture: Intersectionality’s frameworks.
  • Handicrafts and skills
  • Agricultural heritage
  • Indigenous and Black bodies
  • Cultural dimension of migration
  • Popular music
  • Dance, coreographies, and performatic uses of bodies within popular culture
  • Popular spiritualities
  • Popular festivals and holidays
  • Communication and mass culture
  • Communication and digital culture
  • Alternative, community, and popular culture


Original papers in English and Spanish are welcomed. Check author guidelines available in (in Spanish).


Carey, J. (2009). Communication as Culture. Routledge: Nueva York.

Crenshaw, K. (1991). “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color.”Stanford Law Review, vol. 43, no. 6, 1991, pp. 1241–1299. 

Downing, J.D.H. (2001). Radical Media. Rebellious Communication and Social Movements. California: Sage Publications.

Dorlin, E. (2005). "De l'usage épistémologique et politique des catégories de sexe et de race dans les études sur le genre."  Cahiers du Genre 39 (2):85-107.

García Canclini, N. (1987). Las culturas populares en el capitalismo. México: Nueva Imagen.

Habermas, J. (1962/1981). Historia y crítica de la opinión pública. Barcelona: Gustavo Gili.

Habermas, J. (1990/2002). Historia y crítica de la opinión pública. Prólogo a la nueva edición alemana de 1990. Barcelona: Gustavo Gili.  

Kergoat, D. (2009) "Dynamique et consubstantialite des rapports sociaux." En Sexe, race, clasee Pour une epistemologie de la domination. Paris: PUF.

Larraín, J. (2005). ¿América Latina moderna? Globalización e identidad. Santiago: LOM Ediciones

Mignolo, W. (2010). Desobediencia epistémica. Retórica de la modernidad, lógica de la colonialidad y gramática de la descolonialidad. Signo, Buenos Aires, 2010.

Negt, O. & Kluge, A. (1972/1993). Public Sphere and Experience. Toward an Analysis of the Bourgeois and Proletarian Public Sphere. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 

Sáez, C. (2019). El concepto de cultura popular ausente y su aplicación al caso chileno desde una perspectiva histórica. Comunicación y Medios, (39), 64-76. 

Sunkel, G. (1985/2016). Razón y Pasión en la prensa popular. México: ILET 

Viveros, M. (2016) “La interseccionalidad: una aproximación situada a la dominación”. Debate Feminista, Vol.52. Disponible en: (acceso: 24/08/2017). 


Comunicación y Medios is indexed in Clarivate (ISI) - ESCI; SciELO-Chile; DOAJ; ERIH PLUS; Latindex; Dialnet; REDIB; CLASE; MIAR; Latinoamericana; LatinREV


General Editor: Tomás Peters

Editor: Claudia Lagos Lira