CFP: Rethinking Contemporary Latin American Art (Arts Special Issue)

Guest Editors: Lesley A. Wolff (Texas Tech University); Gabriela Germana (University of South Florida)

As today’s fleeting spectacles of art fairs, biennials, and NFTs increasingly shape a global consensus of contemporary Latin American art, so, too, does multicultural neoliberalism promote an essentialized notion of Latin American cultural heritage. These mutable spheres—Latin American art and heritage—are deeply entangled through the gendered, racialized, and ecological contours of the “colonial matrix of power.”

Deadline: 14 Feb 2022

Argentine activist and scholar Rita Segato suggests that the “cosificación del patrimonio” [reification of heritage] conditions a colonial and racist gaze that negates the dynamism, fluidity, and sovereign qualities of object-making and creativity that are afforded to so-called fine art. Indeed, while 19th and early-20th century nationalism once served as the backdrop against which heritage was staged across the Américas, these performativities have today been reinscribed onto the globalized contemporary art market. Together, art and heritage construct values via negotiated cultural possessions and dispossessions—a process that, in the words of scholar Rick López, reifies the “ethnicization of the nation.” 

Building upon the intersections of heritage studies, art history, visual culture, and performance studies laid by scholars such as Rick López, Terry Smith, Adriana Zavala, Rita Segato, Diana Taylor, and David Joselit, among others, this Special Issue of Arts seeks contributions that critically map the co-constitutive dynamics among art and heritage in contemporary Latin America. This may include essays dedicated to Latin American art in terms of: markets and globalization; critical examinations of maker categories (i.e. “folk art”) and Latin American positionality; dynamics among intangible heritage (i.e. foodways, spiritual rituals, dance) and visual artistic production; expressions of urban-rural or South-South artistic relationships; negotiations of indigeneity, indigenisms, craft, or vernacular making in contemporary art; the impact of migrations, mobility, and diasporic identities; gender parity and artistic “tradition” or labor; and/or object-centered museal and institutional practices as acts of constituting or resisting definitions of contemporary Latin American art and/or heritage.

Interested authors are encouraged to submit an abstract (maximum 250 words) and CV via email to Lesley Wolff ( and Gabriela Germana ( Abstracts are kindly requested no later than February 14, 2022.

Invited authors will be expected to submit their final manuscripts for review no later than December 31, 2022. Due to journal restrictions, articles must be submitted in English. 

For more information about Arts and this Special Issue: