CFP: Song & Social Change in Latin America. Edited Collection. Deadline May 15, 2010

full name / name of organization: 
Lauren Shaw/ Elmira College
contact email: 

Song and Social Change in Latin America

Contributions are sought for a collection of essays on song and social change in Latin America during the 20th Century to the present. The projected edited book sets out to explore the connection between social–political movements, upheavals, or crises and the song lyrics of socially engaged musicians in Latin America. Some of the topics that could be addressed are among the following:
o an analysis of a particular social-political issue as
discussed in lyrics;
o the use of humor or irony to address serious social-political
o the effectiveness of a musical genre and its connection to
the culture in question
o the role of music in consciousness raising and/or organizing;
o the relation between the musician and the government in which
s/he lives;
o music and the "voiceless;"
o censorship and venues for live performances, radio broadcasts,
recording labels;
o the role of technology in distribution;
o cries of injustice and/or utopian visions;
o the anecdotal and/or the analytical;
o political rhetoric and ideology vs. human stories;
o an understanding of the social causes of human suffering;
o resignation, resistance and/or reform;
o the poetics of social-political lyrics

Obscure and prominent musicians alike have created socially conscious lyrics that are poetic responses to social injustice, exploitation, repressive political regimes, or the market forces of globalization in the region. In Chile, for example, the "nueva canción" supports Salvador Allende's candidacy and later denounces the oppression of General Pinochet's military dictatorship. In the case of Argentina, rock music speaks out against the abuses of civil liberties during the seventies and eighties. The "tropicalismo" movement responds to Brazil's right-wing dictatorships during the sixties and seventies. Cuban "nueva trova" musicians negotiate between government rhetoric and personal pleas for change while Cuban "raperos" emerge outside of the official cultural life on the island. The "vallenato-protesta" currently chronicles the displacement of Afro-Colombians in El Chocó. Even Salsa is a medium for social-political awareness in the hands of certain Latin American lyricists. Be they poetic or prosaic, direct or indirect discourse, song lyrics have been and continue to be a vehicle for expressing socially and politically conscious messages of solidarity, resistance, and alternatives throughout Latin America.

Essays analyzing this phenomenon in any Latin American country are welcome as are all theoretical perspectives. Collectively SONG AND SOCIAL CHANGE IN LATIN AMERICA seeks to give voice to the diversity and commonalities of the poetic/musical styles and messages during a period in time marked by the effects of extreme social and political experimentation and a strengthening of neo-liberal global policies. If you are interested in contributing a chapter of 7000 words, please send an abstract (500-800 words) your proposed essay, together with a bibliography and a brief CV, to Lauren Shaw ( Deadline for submissions: 15 May, 2010.