Encyclopedia of Contemporary Latin American and Caribbean Cultures - Vol. 1

Encyclopedia of Contemporary Latin American and Caribbean Cultures - Vol. 1

Encyclopedia of Contemporary Latin American and Caribbean Cultures - Vol. 1

Encyclopedia of Contemporary Latin American and Caribbean Cultures - Vol. 1


This vast three-volume Encyclopedia offers more than 4000 entries on all aspects of the dynamic and exciting contemporary cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean. Its coverage is unparalleled with more than 40 regions discussed and a time-span of 1920 to the present day. "Culture" is broadly defined to include food, sport, religion, television, transport, alongside architecture, dance, film, literature, music and sculpture. The international team of contributors include many who are based in Latin America and the Caribbean making this the most essential, authoritative and authentic Encyclopedia for anyone studying Latin American and Caribbean studies.Key features include:* over 4000 entries ranging from extensive overview entries which provide context for general issues to shorter, factual or biographical pieces* articles followed by bibliographic references which offer a starting point for further research* extensive cross-referencing and thematic and regional contents lists direct users to relevant articles and help map a route through the entries* a comprehensive index provides further guidance.


Culture is concerned with networks and connections-what Raymond Williams called 'structures of feeling'. Despite the existence of innumerable histories of Latin American and Caribbean art, literature and music, for example, their development is not and cannot be seen in isolation from one another, or indeed from any of the multiple behaviours and practices through which human beings apprehend, make sense of, organize, and represent the world. Every cultural act-and by that we understand everything from making a painting to building a house, or speaking about either activity-is an event which relates to other practices, whether previous or contemporary, and in turn shapes and frames every successive such act. So at whatever point we enter that complex of relations, we will encounter or at least become aware of the presence of other objects, acts and relationships. This whole is what we call culture.

This work is in our view the first serious attempt to trace those interconnections in the cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean without being captive to artificial internal divisions and exclusions, which often obscure those networks. Thus, we can quite happily acknowledge the different forms, genres, movements, spaces and institutions in which cultural activity takes place without an impulse to placing them in a hierarchical relation to one another and thus give differential weight to the many manifestations of that activity of understanding and representing the world. Therefore, without apology we include within the cultural sphere, which we have set out to map in these volumes, the whole range of 'structures of feeling' and material practices that constitute the contemporary culture of the many countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. This embraces 'the arts'-literary, visual and performative-but also forms of social organization; expressions of collective experience, ritual, religious or political; mass culture, both as patterns of consumption and forms of resistance; material culture, including food, drink, sport, and the other rituals of daily life; and of course the historical frame in which all of this takes place.

Our cultural mapping of this complicated and contradictory region has to accomplish two things at the same time: on the one hand, tracing lines of connection that link events and structures that co-exist at any one time, and on the other, understanding their relationships through time and their particular and shared histories. So the ambitious task we have set ourselves is to attempt to locate important cultural events, sites and moments, while at the same time seeing them as parts of a whole series of different constellations. So, any single cultural act can belong within a class of such acts-writing, performing, organizing, making, for example-while occurring within a space-national, urban or rural, interior or exterior, limited or open-which will equally give the act its meaning. It will also be bounded by the social origins and location of its participants, shaped by gender, race, class, sexuality and ethnicity, and as such also participate in their desires, hopes and aspirations. These in turn will give entirely legitimate descriptive terms like 'utopian', 'realist', 'adaptive', 'cooperative' or indeed 'revolutionary' a specific reference in time and space, as well as a disciplinary function that has to do with ordering and representing.

The format of this work is alphabetical, which of course highlights the accidental ordering of the material that follows. However, the 'keywords' that are the titles of our entries function as nodes in a

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