SCMS panel: Building and Contesting the Nation in Cold War Latin America Cinema

deadline for submissions: 
August 15, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Society for Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference
contact email: 

Building and Contesting the Nation in Cold War Latin America Cinema


This panel explores the relationship between Cold War imaginaries, popular cultural expressions, and national ideology in Latin American cinema. Our goal is to complicate existing approaches to Latin American film and show elisions within recurring narratives of the Cold War by focusing on neglected texts and overlooked histories. We seek papers that examine the role of film in mediating the complex geopolitical dynamics of the period. In other words, how did film explicate the effects of the Cold War on the peoples of Latin America and the Third World? What role did the internationalist and Third Worldist dimensions of Latin American cinema play in imagining or questioning national projects during this period? We are especially interested in work that considers how Latin American filmmakers engaged with state discourse and Cold War rhetoric while often leveling an internal critique of dominant ideologies and showing fissures in the domestic context of these countries. What are the formal grammars that allow these films to perform such critiques? What industrial and production contexts enable these strategies of dissent in Latin American film? How did Latin American filmmakers make use of official resources, cultural and institutional networks in order to posit a critique of the state? How do films of the period deal with otherness as they project particular images of the nation? In addition, we welcome papers that explore visions of Latin America or specific Latin American nations in international cinema during the Cold War years. We welcome a range of methodological approaches to the topic from historical to theoretical perspectives.


Please send any inquiries and paper proposals to Laura Jaramillo ( and Bianka Ballina ( by August 15, 2018. Proposals should include a title (max. 120 characters), abstract (max. 2500 characters), 3-5 bibliographic sources, and a bio (max. 500 characters).