Sports and Nationalism in Latin America

full name / name of organization: 
Héctor Fernández L'Hoeste
contact email: 

Call for Contributions

Sports and Nationalism in Latin America

Héctor Fernández L'Hoeste, Robert McKee Irwin, and Juan Poblete (Editors)

Sports, as media spectacles and as everyday leisure activities, have often played a crucial role in the configuration and consolidation of national identities throughout the world. Latin America has been no exception. Soccer, boxing, cycling, lucha libre, tennis, Formula 1 racing, baseball, and many other sports have contributed significantly to the way in which many Latin Americans imagine their relationship with constructs of nation and realities of the state, as well as to the images that have come to define Latin American national cultures to the world, while sports stars are often among their best known public figures and icons.
We are seeking original articles for an edited collection on the role of sports within the context of emerging and consolidated nationalism. Within this context, a prime example
is the work of the late Eduardo Archetti on gender and national imaginary in Argentine soccer and polo (see, for example, Masculinidades: fútbol, tango y polo en la Argentina, 2003), along with that of the pioneering Argentine sports studies scholar, Pablo Alabarces, whose CLACSO working group on Sports and Society (Peligro de gol: estudios sobre deporte y sociedad en América Latina, 2003) played an important role in launching this field in Latin America – or Roberto González Echevarría's pioneering work on Cuban béisbol (see The Pride of Havana: A History of Cuban Baseball). While much work to date in this field has focused on soccer (including, for example, studies of the Guerra del Fútbol between Honduras and El Salvador), we are interested in all types of sports (cutting across class appeal and size of a fan base) as well as in a variety of historical periods, covering all types of political, economic, and social processes.
The volume aims at exploring the diverse cultural roles athletic activities play within Latin American contexts. We are therefore open to any of the variety of theoretical approaches employed within the interdisciplinary rubric of cultural studies. The editors are particularly interested in establishing critical precedents for the study of sports in the emergence and consolidation of Latin American national traditions, including issues of representation, participation, reception, distribution, and consumption. The project also seeks to perform a critical examination of current trends in Latin America in terms of the delineation of emerging "postnational" identities. Ultimately, we are interested in the significance of sports in the context of local, national, regional, and transnational cultural production, commercial ventures, material culture, audiences and fan clubs, education, government policy, and community practices.

Potential contributors should send a 500 to 1,000 word abstract, a short bio-bibliography, and complete contact information to Héctor Fernández L'Hoeste ( and Robert McKee Irwin (

Deadline for abstracts: December 1, 2012
Notification of accepted abstracts by Jan 15, 2012
Deadline for complete selected essays: April 16, 2012
Language of submission: English. Style: MLA
Contributors of selected essays must secure permission to reproduce any images.

Héctor Fernández L'Hoeste (Ph.D. in Hispanic Languages and Literature, Stony Brook University 1996) is associate professor at Georgia State University in Atlanta, where he teaches Latin American cultural studies. He is also the director of the Center for Latin American and Latino/a Studies at Georgia State. His publications include Narrativas de representación urbana (Lang, 1998); Rockin' Las Americas (University of Pittsburgh, 2004), the first scholarly anthology of rock in Spanish and Portuguese in the Americas; and Redrawing The Nation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), a collection of essays on Latin/o American comics and graphic novels. His articles have appeared in journals such as Hispania, Chasqui, National Identities, International Journal of Comic Art, Revista Iberoamericana, Revista Latinoamericana de Estudios sobre la Historieta (Cuba), Cenizas (Mexico), and Film Quarterly. He has also authored pieces on Latin American graphic humor, cumbia, and urban transportation in Imagination Beyond Nation (University of Pittsburgh, 1998), Imagining Our Americas: Towards a Transnational Frame (Duke University, 2007), and Cultures of the City: Mediating Identities in Urban Latin/o America (University of Pittsburgh, 2010), respectively.

Robert McKee Irwin (Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, New York University, 1999) is Chancellor's Fellow and Chair of the Graduate Group in Cultural Studies at the University of California, Davis, where he is also Professor in the Department of Spanish. His publications include Mexican Masculinities (University of Minnesota 2003), Bandits, Captives, Heroines and Saints: Cultural Icons of Mexico's Northwestern Frontier (University of Minnesota 2007), Diccionario de estudios culturales latinoamericanos (coeditor: Instituto Mora/Siglo XXI 2009; English edition forthcoming, University Press of Florida 2011), Los 41: novela crítico social (editor: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México 2010), The Famous 41 (coeditor: Palgrave Macmillan 2003), Hispanisms and Homosexualities (coeditor: Duke University 1998), and El cine mexicano "se impone": mercados internacionales y penetración cultural en la época dorada (coautor: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, forthcoming 2010) He is currently working on projects regarding Spanish language culture in the 19th century United States, and sexual diversity among contemporary migrant agricultural laborers.

Juan Poblete, Associate Professor of Latin/o American Literature and Cultural Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz. Author of Literatura chilena del siglo XIX: entre públicos lectores y figuras autoriales (Santiago: Cuarto Propio, 2003), editor of Critical Latin American and Latino Studies (University of Minessota Press, 2003), and co-editor of Andres Bello (with Beatriz Gonzalez-Stephan, IILI, 2009), Redrawing The Nation: National Identities in Latin/o American Comics (with Héctor Fernández-L' Hoeste,
Palgrave, 2009), and Desdén al infortunio: Sujeto, comunicación y público en la narrativa de Pedro Lemebel (with Fernando Blanco, Santiago: Cuarto Propio,
2010). Currently at work on two book projects on forms of mediation between culture and market in Chile and the USA respectively, and a co-edited volume on Cinema and Humor in Latin America (with Juana Suarez). He edited interdisciplinary Special Dossiers on the Globalization of Latin/o American populations and Studies for the journals Iberoamericana (Germany), LASA Forum and Latino Studies Journal.