This interdisciplinary symposium seeks to explore the ways in which crime and violence are represented in Latin America and the Caribbean. It will bring together scholars from the social sciences and humanities who study cultural expressions of these pressing concerns. Focusing on popular culture and literature, speakers will analyze the various cultural strategies employed throughout the region to interpret and frame the impact of crime and violence. When can such representations be seen as everyday coping strategies for dealing with the experience of living with these phenomena? How do specific forms of popular culture, such as the baile funk music of Brazilian favelas or the dancehall parties of Jamaican ghettos, serve to legitimate the authority of criminal leaders and gangs? How are processes of aestheticizing and poeticizing violence and illegality fed by commercial interests? The seminar will address these and other issues through analysis of popular music, video clips, film, literature and visual culture.