Understanding the celebration

Carnival is one of the most important traditional festivals in Uruguay. On an artistic and creative level and in terms of the number of people, events and structures involved, its significance for Uruguayan culture and society is undeniable. Diverse in its essence and forms, the 40-nights-long Uruguayan carnival is a complex and heterogeneous phenomenon that generates a multiplicity of disciplinary and interdisciplinary research approaches.

The first ever Interdisciplinary Academic Conference on Uruguayan Carnival (CAICU by its Spanish acronym) presents a space for dialogue and encounter between researchers from different disciplines who study the multiple facets of Uruguayan carnival, with the aim of producing and promoting interdisciplinary academic knowledge on the subject. The conference, which takes place 5-8 September 2023, is aimed at researchers at different stages of their academic training from all institutes and departments of the University of the Republic (Udelar) -Uruguay's only public university- and other educational institutions in Uruguay and the rest of the world, as well as those who are interested in researching the Uruguayan carnival. We welcome cross-disciplinary proposals as well as artist/scholar collaborative interventions.

Topical Axes

The conference is structured around four interdisciplinary axes that seek to organize a multiplicity of positions and perspectives on the subject. Each theme is inclusive of different approaches to the variety of elements and aspects that make up the Uruguayan carnival. Each proposes a guide for approaches or topics for the presentation of papers. Descriptions are suggestive rather than prescriptive. We welcome all proposals falling under these broad categories.

Carnival and Art

This axis includes discussions that consider the links between carnival and art, including proposals that investigate theatricalities and corporealities on stage, as well as reflections on the musical, sonic, poetic, choreographic or visual knowledge and aesthetics of carnival, among others.

Organisational Structures and Carnival

This axis may include reflections on carnival and work, public policies associated with the celebration, meetings, cooperative processes, and the different forms of organisation that facilitate and emerge from the Uruguayan carnival.

Carnival as Social Practice

This section brings together reflections on the social imaginaries of the Uruguayan carnival, its categories, communities and ensembles. Also debates on the cultural representations of carnival, the question of the popular, and the territorial anchoring of the celebration, as well as views on representations of carnival in the media and other associated processes.

Change and continuity

This axis considers the historical evolution of Uruguayan carnival, the ways in which it is documented and archived, as well as possible analyses of carnival discourse. It includes reflections in terms of diversity, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, race, nationhood and intersectionality relating to different phenomena that make up the Uruguayan carnival; debates on the politicisation and partisanship of carnival, and on the question of carnival humour and its limits (humour and political commentary are both recognised features of Uruguayan carnival).


Steering Committee

  • Milita Alfaro, coordinator of the UNESCO Chair for Carnival and Heritage
  • Gustavo Remedi, Professor of the Humanities and Education Sciences Faculty, of the University of the Republic (Udelar)

Program and Evaluation Committee

  • Cecilia Carriquiry - Higher Institute on Physical Education, Udelar
  • Dorothée Chouitem - Sorbonne University (France)
  • Luis Ferreira - Arts Faculty, Udelar
  • Marcos González Pérez - International Network of Researchers in Festival, Nation and Culture Studies (Colombia)
  • Mónica Maronna - Information and Communication Faculty, Udelar
  • Lucía Naser - Arts Faculty, Udelar
  • Julio E. Pereyra - Afro-Latinamerican Studies Collective, Udelar
  • Fernando Rius - Information and Communication Faculty, Udelar
  • Martín Rocamora - Engineering Faculty, Udelar
  • Gianela Turnes - UNESCO Chair for Education of Youth and Adults

Organizing committee

  • Ivan Meresman Higgs - Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music (France)
  • Chiara Miranda Turnes - Information and Communication Faculty, Udelar

All organisers are based in Uruguay unless mentioned.

Organising Institutions

Logos de Organizadores del CAICU


Logos de Apoyos al CAICU

For general inquiries please contact us at [email protected]