Call for Reviews: CROLAR Vol. 7(1): "Intellectual and Cultural Production and Political Power in Latin America: Revisiting Historical Tensions and Recent Debates"



Throughout Latin America’s history, cultural production – which, following Raymond Williams (2005), includes works as well as practices – has been characterized by narrow ties with political and state elites. Since the colonial lettered man (A. Rama, 2004) until contemporary experts (lawyers, intellectuals, artists and scientists), cultural and intellectual functions emerge and act in this region underneath political power(N. Miller, 1999). It is thus possible to assert that cultural and knowledge production is an important factor in the comprehension of Latin America’s political history.


Social upheaval during the sixties, and its consequences in the years of ‘exile and death’ of the seventies, represented a period in which cultural and intellectual producers distanced from, and addressed strong criticisms to, political power. In this context, the emergence of new forms of cultural activities’ politization constituted an important dimension of the general social mobilization. Guided by readings such as Antonio Gramsci’s, many leftist intellectuals analyzed their own political activities by means of the concept of ‘organic intellectual’ (see J. Aricó, 2005; E. De Ípola y L. de Riz, 1985; N. Lechner, [1977]2012). In universities and research centers, activism (militantismo) was a relevant factor in the formation of newer academic practices, in the setting of research programmes – like so-called ‘dependency theory’ (F. Beigel, [2013]2016) or, later, ‘transition to democracy’ (C. Lesgart, 2003) –, as well as in establishing or renovating bridges with artistic vanguards.


More recently, arguments have been oriented to situate social sciences in the public scene (M. Burawoy, 2005), to establishing critical dialogs among social sciences and humanities in order to overcome the epistemological frameworks inherited from colonialism (A. Quijano, 2000; W. Mignolo, 2011), and the denounce of the ‘common senses’ – close to cultural imperialism – instituted in international circuits of cultural works (P. Bourdieu y L. Wacquant, 1998, 1999). Last, but not least, there is the enormous influence of US’s multicultural citizenship policies, adopted by Latin American countries with little or no discrimination on the concrete grounds in which these policies are to be implemented, and which nonetheless play a critical role in the processes of re-ethnicization and redefinition of race relations (e.g., G. Daniel, 2006). These perspectives come thus to suggest a turn of attention towards the politization patterns of cultural activities, with further attention to transnational exchanges and unevenness.


In Latin America, there have emerged perspectives in which intellectual production and artistic-cultural creation are put into dialogue, through attempts to redefine the meaning of ‘Latinamericanism’ (A. Moreiras, 2012) and its commitments with transformation political projects (J. Beasley-Murray, 2010; J. Beverley, 2011).[1] From these and other registers, referred for example to the ‘cultural turn’ or ‘linguistic turn’ for intellectual history (see P. Burke, 2007; F. Dosse, 2004; E. J. Palti, 1998), the crossroads between culture and power provide fruitful frameworks to think once again about historical and contemporary cultural-political imaginaries (J. Kraniauskas, 2012, 2015; F. Schmidt-Welle, 2014), to put into question the logics of transnational production and circulation of cultural goods (D. Mato, 2003), as well as to look into the socio-political – hence historical – grounds of the cultural and intellectual projects that emerged in the region.


CROLAR calls to revisit the political function of cultural and intellectual production. This implies to critically think on the socio-political conditions that influence cultural projects in Latin America, either derived from neoliberal hegemony (e.g., A. Grimson comp., 2007) or from recent experiences of progressive governments in the region. Some of the questions we address in this context are: Have there been changes in the relations between intellectuals and/or cultural producers with elites groups or political power? In which manner have the latter influenced those endeavors? Is there consideration on the relations of cultural producers with political forces; or rather these processes have become naturalized? What are the means (institutions, think tanks, journals and magazines, or other formal and informal means) through which the coalescence of power and culture are channeled?


We invite to contribute with reviews of empirical research, surveys and essays dealing with the relationships of Intellectual and Cultural Production and Political Power in Latin America. It is our aim to receive contributions elaborated from different disciplinary perspectives (social sciences, arts and humanities, public policies, cultural production and management, and many others) as well as diverse conceptual strategies (historical-intellectual reconstruction, cultural critique, decolonizing and cosmopolitical epistemologies, keynote intellectuals’ monographs, etc).


In this volume, we also welcome the elaboration of “review essays” about particular thematic nucleuses. Review essays must comprehend between 3 and 5 books published on recent and relevant debates. Some topics that might be incorporated into the review essays are:


  • Power, the left, and intellectual production in Latin America
  • New indigenous intellectual currents: power and counterpower
  • Cultural production and accumulation of capital: Latin American strategies of representation
  • Local elites, transnational networks, and cultural production and circulation
  • Latin American currents and schools of thought
  • Coloniality and power in the Latin American cultural production


Moreover, we are also interested in reviews of works that transcend the academic boundaries, such as those based on journalism, think tanks, organizations of activists, and artistic fields, all which will be published in the section ‘Interventions’ of the journal. Regarding this section, we suggest the contributors to write on projects like documentary films, blogs, websites and artistic projects –that is, works that are not in book formats.


The deadline for the reception of collaborations is September 30, 2017. The reviews can be written in Spanish, English, Portuguese or German. Ideally, the review shall be written in a language different from the one of the reviewed work or project. Please found CROLAR’s formal requirements in the website:


We look forward to reading your proposal! If you are interested in writing a review, or you have some suggestion or question, please get in touch with the volume’s editors: Felipe Lagos ( y Luis Emilio Martínez (




Aricó, José. La cola del diablo: itinerario de Gramsci en América Latina. Buenos Aires: Siglo XXI, 2005.

Beasley-Murray, Jon. Posthegemony: Political Theory and Latin America. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010.

Beigel, Fernanda.  The Politics of Academic Autonomy in Latin America. London-New York: Routledge, ([2013]2016).

Beverley, John. Latinamericanism after 9/11. Durham NC: Duke University Press, 2011.

Bourdieu, Pierre and Louis Wacquant. ‘Sur les ruses de la raison impérialiste’. Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, 121(1), 109–118, 1998.

-----------------------. ‘On the Cunning of Imperialist Reason’. Theory, Culture and Society 16(1): 41-58, 1999.

Burawoy, Michael. ‘Provincializing the Social Sciences’. In Steinmetz, G. The Politics of Method in the Human Sciences: Positivism and Its Epistemological Others. Durham: Duke University Press, 2005.

Burke, Peter. “La historia intelectual en la era del giro cultural”. Prismas, revista de historia intelectual 11, 159-164, 2007.

Daniel, G. Reginald. Race and Multiraciality in Brazil and the United States: Converging Paths? University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2006.

De Ípola, Emilio and Liliana de Riz. ‘Acerca de la hegemonía como producción histórica’. In Labastida, J. Hegemonía y alternativas políticas en América Latina: Seminario de Morelia. México: Siglo XXI, 1985.

Dosse, François. “La historia intelectual después del linguistic turn”. Historia y grafía 23, 17-54, 2004.

Grimson, Alejandro (comp.). Cultura y Neoliberalismo. Buenos Aires: CLACSO, 2007.

Kraniauskas, John. Políticas literarias: Poder y acumulación en la literatura y el cine latinoamericanos. México D.F.: FLACSO, 2012.

-----------------------. Políticas culturales: Acumulación, desarrollo y crítica cultural. México D.F.: FLACSO, 2015.

Lechner, Norbert. ‘La teoría y la práctica de la política. Sobre los programas de posgrado en ciencia política‘. In Norbert Lechner: Obras I. Estado y derecho. México: FCE-FLACSO, ([1977] 2012).

Lesgart, Cecilia. Usos de la transición a la democracia: ensayo, ciencia y política en la década del ’80. Rosario: Homo Sapiens, 2003.

Mato, Daniel. “Prácticas intelectuales latinoamericanas en cultura y poder”. Revista Iberoamericana LXIX(203), 389-400, 2003.

Mignolo, Walter. The Darker Side of Western Modernity. Durham: Duke University Press, 2011.

Miller, Nicola. In the Shadow of the State: Intellectuals and the Quest for National Identity in Twentieth-century Spanish America. London: Verso, 1999.

Moreiras, Alberto. The Exhaustion of Difference. The Politics of Latin American Cultural Studies. Durham NC and London: Duke University Press, 2001.

Palti, Elías José. ‘Giro lingüístico’ e historia intelectual: Stanley Fish, Dominick Lacapra, Paul Rabinow y Richard Rorty. Buenos Aires: Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, 1998.

Quijano, Aníbal. ‘Colonialidad del poder, eurocentrismo y América Latina’. In Edgardo Lander (comp.), La colonialidad del saber: eurocentrismo y ciencias sociales. Perspectivas latinoamericanas (201-246). Buenos Aires: CLACSO, 2000.

Rama, Ángel. La ciudad letrada. Santiago de Chile: Tajamar, 2004.

Schmidt-Welle, Friedhelm (coord.). La historia intelectual como historia literaria. México: D. F.: El Colegio de México, Centro de Estudios Lingüísticos y Literarios, 2014.

Williams, Raymond. Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.


[1]           The most well-known examples are Ernesto Laclau and his relationship Argentinean Kirchnerismo, as well as the involvment  of Spaniard Podemos’ future leaders (the majority of whom were intellectually guided by Chantal Mouffe) in Venezuela’s, Bolivia’s, and Ecuador’s governments.

Posted: 2017-03-09