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Ecological Crisis and Cultural Representation in Latin America

Ecocritical Perspectives on Art, Film, and Literature

Edited by Mark Anderson and Zelia Bora - Contributions by Juanita C. Aristizábal; Ana Avalos; Mirian Carballo; Ida Day; Sharae Deckard; Diana Dodson Lee; Simão Farias Almeida; Juan Carlos Galeano; Adrian Kane; Jeremy Larochelle; Diego Mejia-Prado; Kerstin Oloff; Abigail Pérez Aguilera; Marcela Reales; Herman Vladimir Ruíz Abecasis; María Victoria Sanchez and Lesley Wylie

Worldwide environmental crisis has become increasingly visible over the last few decades as the full scope of anthropogenic climate change manifests itself and large-scale natural resource extraction has expanded into formerly remote areas that seemed beyond the reach of industrialization. Scientists and popular culture alike have turned to the term "Anthropocene" to capture the global scale of environmental and even geological transformations that humans have carried out over the last two centuries. The chapters in Ecological Crisis and Cultural Representation in Latin America examine the dynamics and interplay between local cultures and the expansion of global capitalism in Latin America, emphasizing the role of art in bearing witness to and generating awareness of environmental and social crises, but also its possibilities for formulating solutions. They take particular care to draw out the ways in which local environmental crises in Latin American nations are witnessed and imagined as part of a global system, focusing on the problems of time, scale, and complexity as key terms in conceiving the dimensions of crisis. At the same time, they question the notion of the Anthropocene as a species-wide "human" historical project, making visible the coloniality of natural resource extraction in Latin America and its dire effects for local people, cultures, and environments.
Taking an ecocritical approach to Latin American cultural production including literature, film, performance, and digital artwork, the chapters in this volume develop a notion of ecological crisis that captures not only its documentary sense in the representation of environmental destruction (the degradation of the oikos), but also the crisis in the modern worldview (logos) that the acknowledgment of crisis provokes. In this sense, crisis is also the promise of a turning point, of the possibilities for change. Latin American representations of ecological crisis thus create the conditions for projects that decolonize environments, developing new, sustainable ways of conceiving of and relating to our world or returning to old ones.
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Lexington Books
Pages: 362Size: 6 3/8 x 9 1/4
978-1-4985-3095-8 • Hardback • October 2016 • $110.00 • (£75.00)
978-1-4985-3096-5 • eBook • October 2016 • $104.00 • (£70.00)
Mark Anderson is associate professor of Latin American literatures and cultures at the University of Georgia

Zélia M. Bora is professor of Brazilian and comparative literature at the Universidade Federal de Paraiba
1. Latin America in the World-Ecology: Origins and Crisis - Sharae Deckard
3. Anthropomorphism and Arboricide: The Life and Death of Trees in the American Tropics - Lesley Wylie
6. The Grounds of Crisis and the Geopolitics of Depth: Mexico City in the Anthropocene - Mark Anderson
8. The Languages of Ecological Crisis in Brazilian Documentary and Fiction - Zélia M. Bora
Section III: Decolonial Ecologies
11. Ecological Crisis and the Re-enchantment of Nature in Jaime Huenún’s Reducciones - Ida Day
13. Hippopotami, Humans, and Habitat: Ecological Crisis and Posthuman Subjectivities in Mempo Giardinelli’s Imposible equilibrio - Diana Dodson Lee
15. The Nicaragua Canal and the Shifting Currents of Sandinista Environmental Policy - Adrian Kane
16. Tourism, Ecology, and Changing US-Cuban Relations - Marcela Reales
Afterword: The Self as Nonhuman Other - Zélia M. Bora
This volume is exemplary in its composition: it captures the vibrant diversity in the field of ecocriticism and Latin American letters at a critical moment in the evolution of the field of environmental humanities. Its essays expand the field of cultural and literary study in ways that thoughtfully engage past scholarship and point to exciting new areas of research. Ecological Crisis and Cultural Representation in Latin America conveys the rich heterogeneity of cultural engagement with environmental realities in Latin America and is an essential read for scholars and students of ecocriticism.
Laura Barbas-Rhoden, Wofford College

At a moment where humans and non-humans alike are witnessing a worldwide environmental crisis, this far-reaching collection of essays addresses this problem from multiple angles, spanning the origins as well as the potentially disastrous consequences of the current ecological catastrophe. The contributors to this timely collection provide a fantastic account of the trope of crisis in Latin American cultural representations, calling the reader to take an ethical stance vis-à-vis the future of the planet and the continuity of life. This book will be an important aid for both scholars and students that would like to delve into the study of environmental crisis in Latin America.
Gisela Heffes, Rice University

Ecological Crisis and Cultural Representation in Latin America is a substantial and exceptionally thought-provoking collection of essays about Latin America's environmental crises of the past, present and future. Works of classic and contemporary literature, film and journalism are analyzed in the context of critical moments in environmental history, with some surprising results. The selections are impressively researched and theoretically informed. This book should be read by anyone with an interest in contemporary Latin America.
Jennifer French, Williams College