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Hispanic Ecocriticism


Edited By José Manuel Marrero Henríquez

Hispanic Ecocriticism finds a rich soil in the main topics of environmental concern in the literature of Latin America and Spain, not only as a source for renewing critical analysis and hermeneutics, but also for the benefit of global environmental awareness. In a renewed exchange of transatlantic relationships, Hispanic Ecocriticism intermingles Latin American ecocritical issues of interest — the oil industry; contamination of forests and rivers; urban ecologies; African, Andean, and Amazonian biocultural ecosystems — with those of interest in Spain — animal rights and the ecological footprints of human activity in contemporary narratives of eco-science fiction, in dystopias, and in literature inspired by natural or rural landscapes that conceal ways of life and cultures in peril of extinction.

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Jorge Marcone: Towards an Amazonian Environmental Humanities

Towards an Amazonian Environmental



Jorge Marcone

Abstract: For more than a decade now, one of the preferred areas of study of the then emergent field of ecocriticism in Latin American literature has been the novela de la tierra and the novela de la selva, or the Regionalist novel, for short. A variety of serious studies has focused on two central themes. The first one is the intervention of international capitalism and the national state in the Amazon. In this case, ecocritical approaches have called our attention to the fact that, in the Regionalist novel, the Amazon is a site of neo-colonialism associated with the extractivist industries that started with the Rubber Boom in 1880. Secondly, the scholarship has extensively studied how in these fictions the Amazon and its denizens become the ultimate Other for the European or criollo traveler or entrepreneur stressed to the limit by the tropical environment. To a great extent, this ecocritical scholarship is an indirect comment, and even resistance, to the current scenario of a renewed extractivism in the Amazon. Nevertheless, the current resistance by indigenous peoples and small farmers on the ground to this extractivism sponsored or supported by the national states suggests new leads for further understanding Amazonian literatures. “Amazonian”, for the purposes of this chapter, is understood very broadly: indigenous or nonindigenous narratives, written by scientific travelers or state officials; or focusing on subsistence farmers or poor immigrants in search of fortune. In sum, we suspend for a moment the distinction between literature written by...

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