Ecofiction and Ecorealities: Slow Violence and the Environment in Latin America and the Hispanic/Latino/a/Latinx World

Deadline: November 20
Contact: Elizabeth Pettinaroli, Associate Professor, Rhodes College
Email: pettinarolie@rhodes.edu
Phone: 901-843-3828

We invite proposals for contributions to an edited volume on comparative ecocritical studies of Latin American writing, film and visual art, and performance that address the topic of ecological violence. How do writers, filmmakers, visual, performance artists, and practitioners of other forms of material culture conceptualize, visualize, and describe ecological vulnerability and insecurity? What are their strategies to convey those acts of violence against the environment that, as Rob Nixon explains in his definition of “slow violence”, are all too often invisible because they are “dispersed across time and space”? Which forms of expression are chosen, alongside and beyond conventional genres, to help apprehend ecological destruction and threats? And how do certain vernacular expressions and agencies position themselves in relation to international organizations that operate in the region? The volume will bring together examinations of diverse artistic strategies exploring the precariousness of human‒non-human relationships and the perils of ecocide from a Latin American viewpoint.

We seek critical studies on environmental destruction, during what Edward Said termed “normalized quiet of unseen power,” particularly threats and aftermaths of phenomena that, though occurring gradually over prolonged periods of time and likely unnoticed are catastrophic in effect. Ecocriticism challenges the foundations of modern humanism, and highlights the dense web of material relations in which we are enmeshed. Such a stance has deep implications for perceptions of locale, notions of the self and the other, and cognition (oftentimes envisioned as embodied, collective and relational). Contributions may include theoretical and vernacular approaches to assess the material relations portrayed in the works chosen, specifically in light of existing critical discourses that emerged mostly in the Global North (posthumanist, phenomenological or new materialist studies, queer ecocriticism, and postcolonial thinking, among others) as well as contestations to Western frameworks and worldviews.

This book seeks to assay the breadth of creative imaginings and critical strategies proposed in fiction, film, visual and performative arts from Latin America, including vernacular approaches, to enrich contemporary ecocritical studies during our era of resurgent imperialism. Abstracts (400–500 words) and brief bio should be submitted by November 20 to Ana Maria Mutis (amutis@trinity.edu), Elizabeth Pettinaroli (pettinarolie@rhodes.edu), and Ilka Kressner (ikressner@albany.edu). Please address your communication to all three.

Posted on October 16, 2017