Welcome to The International Association for the Study of Popular Music UK and Ireland Branch

Routledge Handbook of Music, Culture and Politics in Latin America

Posted: November 1st, 2023 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »

Call for Chapter Proposals
Edited by Christian Spencer-Espinosa and Laura Jordán González
Proposals due: November 23rd, 2023

In recent decades, Latin America has experienced new cycles of political and cultural crisis in which music and sound have played an important role. More and more, allegedly empowered citizens turn sound and musical genres into a means to make cultural criticism and propose new social agendas. At the same time, the transformative potential of music seems to be disavowed when considering both the commodification of political expressions by the market, and their control and co-option as forms of official culture by the state and its institutions.

However, time and again, populations appropriate space and create new symbols that the subaltern classes use and defend. In this context, sound and music are a central locus of enunciation to read and imagine new scenarios and realities for the active and convulsed Latin American societies.

The aim of a Routledge Handbook is to publish a comprehensive, must-have survey of a core sub-discipline which addresses landmarks in the field, but also maps out the emerging critical terrain and is aimed at the library market. This particular handbook seeks to gather a representative set of research-based texts about the relationships between sound, music and conflict. The book will focus on studies across the intersections of culture, music, politics, cultural and sound studies in Latin America, with special attention to those who can establish a dialogue between the local and the global.

The book is motivated by questions that have fostered local and global debate on the development of music and the social crisis on the continent in the last decades, such as:

  • Does the political crisis have specific associated sounds and musics?
  • What type of sound and listening practices have contributed to democracies, dictatorships and/or wars?
  • How has music historically participated in shaping social struggles and political transformations?
  • What is music’s impact on the promotion of social and environmental rights?

The editors invite scholars from different parts of the world to contribute with their research about Latin America, understood as a region geographically divided into islands and continents, with great linguistic diversity, multiple religions, and intense cultural, union and citizen activity. We are especially interested in chapters that can dialogue with decolonial theories, gender issues, cultural objects and artifacts, and contested epistemologies from which the cultural map of the region has been imagined or drawn.


At the moment the Handbook works with some organizational sections that may change later. Considered topics are:

Historical: historical study cases, spanning from pre-colonial times to present.
The national and postnational: national, postnational and transnational debates; populism, indigenism, multiculturalism and diversity policies.
Biopolitics: state, social control, biopolitics and necropolitics.
Space: Geography, territory, space and place across Latin America.
Human rights: Human rights, political detention, peacebuilding, political/physical violence, memory, solidarity and reparation. under/post Latin American dictatorships and wars.
Unionism and workers: forms of organization, music and labor, revolutionary processes.
Social movements and music: Nueva Canción / New Song, Canción Protesta / Protest song, Canto Nuevo, international and transnational song movements outside LA
Activisms, artivisms and performance: musical and social activism, political performances, flash mobs, dance interventions in public spaces, revival and post revival dance in/of the Andean cultures.
Environment: music/sound, environmental struggles and climate change.
Indigenous song movements, recognition, mediation, urban identity, decolonization, anti-Racism and others.
Sound and political crisis: sonic communities, listening, noise, acoustic colonialism and justice, Latin American social outbursts.
Feminisms: feminisms, intersectionality, women and LGBTIQ+ participation and disputes.
Theoretical issues: power, ideology, and political thought, (post)marxism, new versions of structuralism and pragmatics, new issues on the theory of cultural crisis.

Deadlines and other info:

Please send your proposals to [email protected] by November 23, 2023. Keep in mind:

Proposals can be up to 750 words, either in English, Spanish, French or Portuguese, addressing: a) the topic and study case you want to explore, b) methods, theories implied in the proposal and short bibliography of no more than 10 entries.
Include a brief, up-to-date bio of no more than 300 words.

Selected authors will be invited to write a full chapter in English following Routledge Guidelines. The book will most likely be published in 2026 and the selection of chapters will follow the principles of gender parity and geographic representativeness.

Leave a Reply