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Hispanic Ecocriticism

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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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Gisela Heffes: Exclusive Natures: Latin American Cities in Urban Ecocritical Perspectives

Exclusive Natures: Latin American Cities in

Urban Ecocritical Perspectives*

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Gisela Heffes

Abstract: Today, the problem of contamination and destruction as well as the preservation of natural resources concern us all because as the world is growing increasingly smaller, the elements that harm the environment are becoming increasingly more globalized: just a few examples range from the emission of toxic gases to the pollution of aquifers, either by means of the increasingly frequent use of chemicals in the agriculture industry or the disposal of these components in rivers and oceans. However, the debate concerning ecological sustainability takes on a different dimension when read from those cultural constellations that create dialogue, implicitly or explicitly, with diverse means of conceptualizing the planet’s future, posing related questions that have to do with the necessary balance and harmony between the use and preservation of natural forces as well as available resources. This chapter is focused on a wide range of texts as well as documentaries and films, works of art, and urban performances that take place in the city. From an urban ecology perspective, I will examine how urban life is represented vis-à-vis the development of urban environments and/or environmental spaces, spanning from the image of the city as an immense biological organism (Ross and Bennett 1999) to broader issues that include both movements concerned with making cities green as well as works that deal with the distribution of wealth, racial segregation, or waste management in Latin America.

Keywords: Urban Nature, City, Latin American Studies, Ecocriticism

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