Thursday, February 09, 2006

Call for Entries: Critical Perspectives on Reggaeton


Reading Reggaeton: Historical, Aesthetic and Critical Perspectives

An anthology of scholarly articles, critical essays, interviews and creative writings on reggaeton

Edited by Raquel Z. Rivera and Deborah Pacini Hernández

Deadline for abstracts: March 31, 2006

Deadline for submissions: June 15, 2006

While reggaeton has received a great deal of attention in the media, it has yet to receive scholarly attention commensurate with its musical and cultural importance. The first volume of its kind to address this rich and relatively unexplored field of inquiry from a diverse set of disciplinary and methodological approaches, it will begin posing questions, proposing hypotheses, and identifying further areas of research. The editors are seeking theoretical and/or ethnographically grounded essays from the humanities, social sciences, and interdisciplinary studies examining reggaeton from the perspectives of production, dissemination, consumption and performance, which can include considerations of history, musical aesthetics, discourse and images, dance, technology, as well as other related issues such as transnational migration and media globalization. We are particularly interested in ethnographic studies that engage with reggaeton as lived practices. In-depth interviews, oral histories, relevant visual art (photographs, graffiti or otherwise), poetry, and fiction will also be considered.

We invite submissions that address (but need not be limited to) the following issues:

•What are the musical aesthetics that mark reggaeton as a genre? How have those changed over time?

•What is the relationship between reggaeton and other popular Latino/Latin American-identified music genres? What has been the history of the integration of “popular” and “traditional” Latino/Latin American musical styles into reggaeton?

•What is the nature of its links to its principal Spanish-language precursors: Puerto Rican underground and Panamanian reggae en español? How different was the Panamanian reggae tradition from what eventually became known as reggaeton in Puerto Rico?

•How is reggaeton connected to U.S. hip hop and Jamaican dancehall reggae? What is the relationship between hip hop and reggaeton in Latin America, elsewhere in the Americas and beyond? Is reggaeton better understood as a subgenre of hip hop and/or dancehall, or a genre unto itself?

•What do reggaeton aesthetics, images, dance styles, patterns of consumption, etc. tell us about race and ethnic relations, identity formation, gender constructions and gender relations, nationalism and transnationalism?

•What are the intersections between dance, gender and sexuality in reggaeton?

•What is the history of women's participation in reggaeton?

•What can previous studies of reggae, hip hop and other forms of Latino/Latin American popular music contribute to reggaeton? Should reggaeton have a space within the emerging field of Hip Hop Studies, and if so, what should it be? What do previous studies of salsa and other Latino/Latin American popular music contribute to our understanding of reggaeton? How, for example, do the arguments regarding reggaeton’s origins parallel arguments over salsa’s origins and issues of cultural ownership?

•How does reggaeton articulate with the global consumption of Latino/Latin American music?

•How does reggaeton fit into a music industry segmented by (perceived) racial/ethnic markets? What is reggaeton’s connection to the development of new media and technologies?


•Abstracts and subsequent submissions should be sent by email attachment to: with cc to

•Abstracts should be no less than 150 words and no more than 250 words. A short biography should be submitted along with the abstract. The editors will select abstracts based on originality and quality of proposed content, clarity of presentation, and contribution to the volume as a whole, and invite authors to submit their full-length essays by June 15. The editors will use the abstracts in the process of soliciting a publisher, but acceptance of abstracts does not constitute acceptance of the final paper.

•Scholarly articles should be no less than 5000 words, and should not exceed 8000 words. The length of other submissions may vary. We encourage authors to make the writing style of their submissions accessible to as wide a readership as possible, without sacrificing scholarly depth.

•The editors’ goal is to publish this volume in as timely a manner as possible. Since obtaining permission to quote popular song lyrics or to reproduce images of musicians or CDs is time-consuming and, often, cost-prohibitive, we want to avoid last-minute problems that can hold up production, so authors must have obtained permission to quote song lyrics and/or reproduce images at the time of submission. Securing permissions, and if necessary, making payment, is entirely the author’s responsibility. If obtaining permission proves to be difficult or impossible, we encourage authors to paraphrase lyrics (and/or limit their quotes only to short phrases, i.e. 1 line) rather than quote songs directly; or to cite lyrics that have been previously published.


Raquel Z. Rivera is the author of New York Ricans from the Hip Hop Zone and Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Sociology, Tufts University.

Deborah Pacini Hernandez, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Latino Studies Program at Tufts University, is co-editor of Rockin’ Las Americas: The Global Politics of Rock in Latin/o America and author of Bachata: A Social History of a Dominican Popular Music.


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