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The Film Archipelago: Islands in Latin American Cinema

Call for proposals for volume edited by Francisco-J. Hernández Adrián (Durham University) & Antonio Gómez (Tulane University)

Islands are a central aspect of Latin American physical and cultural geographies, economic and political experiences, and ongoing colonial histories. They extend from the large Caribbean islands of Cuba, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico to the lesser-known Colombian and Central American archipelagos, and from the Falklands or Malvinas in the South Atlantic to Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean. Building on a solid tradition of approaches to spaces in Latin American and other transnational cinemas, the proposed collection mobilizes contemporary theories of space and place to focus on the islands and archipelagos of Latin American cinema.

We propose a wide-ranging critical examination of the conceptual field of island environments in film from or about Latin America. As a spatial and conceptual category, the island suggests a range of cultural, geopolitical, economic, and historical processes that are tied to the invention of the Americas. Discursive and imaginative uses of islands have been important in the construction of national consciousness across Latin America, contributing to the development of transnational filmic imaginaries in the course of the 20th and 21st centuries. Through a sustained critical effort, we envision an edited volume that charts, explores, and questions the diverse politics and traditions, aesthetic positions and current cinematic practices that surround Latin American island visualities.

We welcome essays that explore visual representations of islands in Latin America, study imaginary spaces of insularity in Latin American feature or documentary films, and contribute to the conceptualization of the island as a topographical, political, and theoretical approach to Latin American cinema.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • archipelagic and island visualities in Latin American regional, national and transnational cinemas
  • carceral island narratives
  • colonial encounters and subversions of encounter narratives
  • creolization and post-creolization
  • documentary and ethnographic approaches to Latin American islands
  • environmental, ecological and ecocritical approaches to island filmmaking
  • experimental island films
  • genre approaches to Latin American islands
  • Global South approaches to island films
  • historical perspectives on island films
  • Hollywood in Latin American island imaginaries
  • imaginaries of the delta and other river islands
  • islands as spaces of utopia and dystopia
  • Latin American islands in Hollywood imaginaries
  • the politics of small island dependence and emancipation
  • posthuman and animal studies approaches to Latin American island films
  • precarity and vulnerability of small island spaces
  • sex, sexuality and gender in island environments
  • shipwreck and castaway narratives

The Film Archipelago call for proposals (.pdf)

Please email a title, short proposal (max. 300 words) and biographical note (c. 200 words) by 21 January 2018 to: 

For further enquiries contact: &