This special issue brings together cultural studies of media with current themes in Caribbean studies and anthropology. The papers were part of an interdisciplinary conference panel focused upon Caribbean Media Worlds. At the outset, we wanted to demonstrate that there are several specific reasons why the Caribbean makes a particularly interesting case study for examining the cultural practices, relationships, micro-political encounters and identities that surround the distribution and use of media technologies. The collection here examines media in interaction with the world of which it is part — in this case, that world is imagined as `the Caribbean'. The main goal of this introduction is to contextualize the studies by presenting key ideas within Caribbean research as a backdrop against which the conceptual and analytic frameworks which emerge in the contributors' articles can be better understood.