Special Issue of the Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies

Guest-edited by Patrícia Vieira

This special issue explores the representation of the Amazon River Basin in Latin American culture, including literature, cinema and the arts. Spanning nine countries, Amazonia is a key element of the South American natural environment, whose influence can be felt throughout the continent and even in other areas of the globe. Its size, diverse flora and fauna, and relevance in terms of the earth’s biosphere have turned it into an emblem of the natural world. In recent years, the destruction of the rainforest by forest fires, logging, mining, agrobusiness and other extractivist industries has attracted widespread condemnation both within Latin America and abroad. This special issue aims to analyze cultural representations of Amazonia, paying particular attention to evolving depictions of the natural environmental and their impact on our views of the region. Going beyond existing scholarship, potential contributors are encouraged to draw on insights from ecocriticism and, more broadly, from the environmental humanities, to discuss the ways in which portrayals of the Amazon reveal underlying views on nature and, in turn, impact human behavior towards the natural world.

This collection examines the representation of the Amazon from the beginning of the twentieth century onwards in different cultural productions, including Indigenous narratives, regional folktales and art, fictional texts, films and artworks, travel writings and cinema, and so on. The goal is to identify different paradigms for portraying the Amazon and their evolution in recent history, as well as to reflect upon the role of the arts, broadly understood, in shaping our perception of the region. Contributions about cultural productions that address the depredation to which Amazonia has been subjected and that give voice to environmental concerns are particularly welcome. Studies that focus on early twentieth- century literature, cinema and the arts would ideally reflect upon the impact of this cultural history on current configurations and constellation in the area.

The special issue accepts submissions, among others, on the following topics:
• Indigenous cosmologies and artistic productions;
• The contrast between Indigenous and Westerns views of the Amazon (as described in the work of Eduardo Viveiros de Castro and Philippe Descola, among others);
• Riverine cultural productions, including folktales, songs, and so on;
• Rubber boom literature and its aftermath;
• Utopian and dystopian depictions of the Amazon;
• Narratives of immigration into the Amazon River Basin;
• Representations of Amazonian flora and fauna;
• Post-humanist portrayals of the Amazon;
• Environmentalism in Amazonian cultural productions;
• The environmental crisis in Amazonian literature, cinema and the arts.

To submit a paper proposal for the special, please e-mail the guest editor

( by February 15 with: an article title; article abstract (300-word maximum); and your name and institutional affiliation. Complete articles are due July 1st 2020.

Articles will go through a peer-review process and publication is subject to editorial approval.

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