The Environment in Brazilian Culture: Literature, Cinema and the Arts


The Environment in Brazilian Culture: Literature, Cinema and the Arts
Edited by Patrícia Vieira

The Brazilian natural environment has been key to defining the country’s identity from the colonial period to the present. Starting with Pêro Vaz de Caminha’s description of a lush nature in his 1500 letter to the Portuguese king, through the texts of chroniclers and historians who mentioned the abundance of the local flora and fauna, colonial writers praised the region’s natural riches both to value the crown’s overseas territories and to draw settlers to the new land.

After independence, the nation’s lavish nature demarcated Brazil from Europe, a separation that played a central role both in Romanticism and, in the early twentieth century, in Modernism. Contemporary social and political debates about environmental degradation have once more brought nature to the limelight in Brazil. The rapid destruction of rainforests throughout the country and, especially, in the Amazon River Basin, to give way to large-scale agrobusinesses has attracted widespread condemnation
both within the country and internationally.

This edited book aims to explore the centrality of the environment in shaping Brazilian culture. How have different Brazilian cultural productions depicted nature? In which ways has the environment determined Brazilian literature, cinema, and the arts? How have disparate geographical regions—the Amazon, the Northeast, etc.—been portrayed in
Brazilian texts, films and other artworks? What are the Brazilian contributions to current debates on critical plant and animal studies, post-humanism and, more broadly, the environmental humanities?

The Environment in Brazilian Culture seeks submissions, among others, on the following topics:

• ecocritical readings of literature, cinema and the arts;
• critical animal and plant studies in Brazil;
• Indigenous views on the environment;
• Posthumanism in Brazilian culture;
• Environmental concerns and the Brazilian imaginary: droughts; flooding; forest fires; pollution, and so on;
• The environmental crisis in Brazilian culture;
• Regional biomes in Brazilian cultural productions: the Amazon River Basin; the Northeastern “caatinga;” the Pantanal, etc.
• Interdisciplinary approaches to the relation between Brazilian nature and cultural productions, including environmental history, environmental philosophy, anthropology and cultural studies;
• The intersection between the environmental humanities, postcolonial studies, race and gender studies in Brazil.

To submit a chapter proposal for the book, please e-mail the editor
( by February 15, 2020 with: a chapter title; chapter abstract (300- word maximum); and your name and institutional affiliation. Complete chapters are due November 15, 2020.

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