Latin American Digitalities

deadline for submissions: 
September 15, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Catholic University of Portugal

Latin American Digitalities

Main Editors: Patrícia Anzini & Eduardo Prado Cardoso

The next issue of Diffractions pursues an interdisciplinary reflection on the relationship(s) between digitalized identities, arts, and politics in Latin America. Digitalities became famous with Nicholas Negroponte’s 1995 bestseller Being Digital. Used to refer to the condition of living in a digital culture, the concept has since been broadly framed within techno-(dis)utopian contexts and revolves around the idea that everything can be rendered in numeric, encoded, and computable form, including the notion of identity. The fingerprint (digital in Portuguese, huella in Spanish) would, in this context, emerge at the intersection of computer graphics, human communications, and interactive media.

Going beyond the techy ridges and loops of the fingerprint, we read digitalities as modes of social intervention and cultural transformation that impact the conceptualization, translation, materialization, and performance of identities of Latin American countries. The notion of identity in those formerly colonized territories has been up for fruitful debate in and out of academia, much as it has become the main subject in the arts, mass communication, and popular culture. These young democracies have always had to negotiate their cartographies, singularities, and the very idea of Latin America itself (Walter Mignolo) with Europe and USA, thereby facing the challenges proper to a certain cultural periphery (Nelly Richard). Particularly after the 1980s, they likewise gave way to modes of consumption and urbanization that blend in what Beatriz Sarlo aptly describes as “abundance and poverty”. In this sense, technology and the performative potential behind the use of computers have made inequalities in those countries even more visible while helping to spur, subvert, spread, and claim back discussions concerning the fingerprint.

Considering how globalization has challenged Latin American nation states in the way they translate cultural identities (Renato Ortiz), one could think of the horizon of possibilities (Ronaldo Munck) that new media and digital practices have brought to the cultural, social, political and “fingerprint” realms. Have they facilitated a sort of autonomy (Ana Cecilia Dinerstein)? How are the several concepts of identity changing in late modernity, particularly in regard to the use of digital technology and/or interactive media? Are digitalities widening the cultural and political gaps among many Latin American cities? Are they working as alternatives to these ever more difficult times?

We welcome articles that investigate cultural practices of/in Latin American regions and/or have strong connections to Latin American individuals, artists, and collectives. We are interested in assessing how the use or impact of technologies in artistic, informational, political and/or social spheres articulate notions of identity, geographies, hybridizations (Néstor García Canclini), gender, ethnicity, globalization, authoritarianism, etc., particularly from the 1980s on. We value contributions that reflect the linguistic and political disparities encountered in the Latin American space, as well as reflections that might shape the consolidation of a literature and further debates around the idea of digitalities we are proposing here.

We look forward to receiving contributions addressing these or related questions. Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Digitalities as theory, method, and concept;
  • Globalization and modernity in Latin America;
  • Performing digitalities;
  • Digitalities in conflict, violence, and peace negotiations in Latin America;
  • Digital technology, virtual reality, and computational practices in Latin America;
  • Mass media and social media in Latin America;
  • Digitalities in Latin American art – literature, film, music, fine arts, video-games, graffiti and street art, photography, graphic novels;
  • Exile and migration in a digitalized Latin America;
  • Digitalized fingerprints: genders, ethnicities, and races in Latin America;
  • Digitalized queerness and transgender;
  • Digitalities in folklore and indigenous studies and/or practices;
  • Life-writing digitalities;
  • The digitalities of translation;
  • Digitalized religions, spirituality, and Afro-Latin American ritual practices;
  • Education in a digitalized Latin America: pedagogies, methodologies, philosophies;

 

Submissions and review process

The full papers should be submitted by SEPTEMBER 15th, 2021, through the journal’s platform: https://revistas.ucp.pt/index.php/diffractions/about/submissions.

Every issue of Diffractions has a thematic focus but also contains special sections for non-thematic articles. If you are interested in submitting an article that is not related to the topic of this particular issue, please consult the general guidelines available at the Diffractions website   at https://revistas.ucp.pt/index.php/diffractions/about/submissions. The submission and review process for non-thematic articles is the same as for the general thematic issue. All research areas of the humanities are welcome.

References

Canclini, Néstor García. Culturas híbridas. Debolsillo, 2012.

Dinerstein, Ana. The politics of autonomy in Latin America: The art of organising hope. Springer, 2014

Mignolo, Walter. The idea of latin america. John Wiley & Sons, 2009.

Munck, Ronaldo. "Afterword: Postmodernism, politics and culture in Latin America." Cultural Politics in Latin America. Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2000. 185-205.

Ortiz, Renato. “A problemática cultural no mundo contemporâneo.” Política & Sociedade 16.35 (2017): 17-66.

Richard, Nelly. La insubordinación de los signos: cambio político, transformaciones culturales y poéticas de la crisis. Editorial Cuarto Propio, 1994.

Sarlo, Beatriz. Escenas de la vida posmoderna: intelectuales, arte y videocultura en la Argentina. Siglo XXI Editores, 2019.