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Special Issue of Communication Theory

Special Issue of Communication Theory

“Latin American communication theory today: charting contemporary developments and their global relevance”

Guest Editors: Florencia Enghel (Stockholm University, Sweden) & Martín Becerra (Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, Argentina)

This Special Issue aligns itself with Communication Theory's intention to encourage "authors and editors to highlight the historical, cultural, and political contexts in which theoretical approaches are articulated" (Wilkins, 2016)[1]. Its goal is to address the paucity of Latin American theorization in the journal[2] with a focus on state-of-the-art theoretical contributions beyond the much referred-to "Latin American tradition"[3]. To this purpose, we invite contributions that provide an update of the outstanding theoretical developments produced by Latin American communication scholars in the past ten years (2005-2015) and examine their relevance to the global field of communication studies.    

Contributions from the Global South have been rather absent from communication journals published in English in recent years. Graham, Ojanperä and De Sabbata's (2015) analysis of “the geography of knowledge” reveals that most submissions to SAGE journals in 2014 came from the Global North, and that most countries in the Global South had very low acceptance rates for the small amount of articles submitted.[4] By presenting the region's recent theoretical production and unpacking its critical relevance to transnational debates, we expect that the Special Issue will contribute to de-westernizing communication studies (Waisbord & Mellado, 2014), and in the process expand Communication Theory's coverage to Latin American countries that have been absent from the journal in terms of their theoretical production and/or the affiliation of contributing authors.

The Special Issue welcomes substantial updates of the Latin American contributions to the theorization of communication and media in recent years combining rich descriptions of conceptual advances well-grounded in the wider sociopolitical contexts in which they have developed, with critical analyses of their significance to global debates.  

The Special Issue invites papers that address the following questions:

1.      How has communication theory developed in specific Latin American countries in the past ten years (2005-2015)?
2.      Which lines of research have been in the foreground, and in which ways is their prominence linked to wider country and/or regional sociopolitical trends and events?
3.      To what extent have scholarly agendas been promoted by national research systems, distinct academic units, the private sector, civil society and/or social movements?
4.      To what extent have changes in media technologies impacted the development of new concepts and theories?
5.      What continuities and discontinuities can be observed in comparison with the region's theoretical production in the late twentieth century?
6.      How do theorizations originated in the region in recent years engage with theoretical developments in other parts of the world?
We particularly encourage papers from communication and media scholars based in Latin America, as well as from Latin American scholars affiliated with institutions abroad.
The deadline for submission of full paper proposals is March 1st, 2017.
For submission guidelines, see To submit, go to For queries regarding the Special Issue's theme, please contact Florencia Enghel ( and Martín Becerra (
[1] See Wilkins, K. (2016) “Introduction to editorship 2016” in Communication Theory, Vol. 26, Number 2, 103-105.
[2] See Scholz, 2016; Davis, 2015; Vásquez & Cooren, 2013; Block, 2013; Ceisel, 2011; Sypher, McKinley, Ventsam & Elías Valdeavellano, 2002; Rodríguez, 2001; and Lozano, 1992 for the eight (8) articles that engaged with Latin America in substantial ways between 1992 and early 2016. The search was conducted in the online archive of Communication Theory accessed via The following keywords were used: Latin America(n), Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela, Mexico. The results obtained for each keyword were manually searched in order to identify references to Latin America in titles and abstracts.
[3] See Lie & Servaes, 2015; Mattoni & Treré, 2014; Couldry & Hepp, 2013; Ganesh & Zoller, 2012; Murphy, 2011 for recent contributions to the journal where references to Latin American theory draw on said tradition as represented by Jesús Martín-Barbero, Néstor García Canclini and Paulo Freire
[4] See

Later Event: January 31
I Convocatoria Internacional 2017