"From Utopia to Dystopia and Back: Utopian Thought in the Age of the Anthropocene," Palgrave Handbook of Utopian and Dystopian Literature. Ed. Peter Marks, Fatima Vieira and Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor. London: Palgrave MacMillan (forthcoming in 2020).
This chapter discusses the turn from utopia to dystopia from the twentieth century onwards in light of current environmental problems. I argue that utopian and dystopian thought has been entangled with valuations of key features of modernity, including a scientific approach to reality, industrialization and the explosion of human population. While the extinction of humanity enabled by modern techno-science has until the past few decades been regarded as dystopian, the vision of a world without humans recently acquired utopian undertones. In the age of the Anthropocene, there is a sense that the planet might benefit from the disappearance of Homo sapiens. The last section of the chapter focuses on Margaret Atwood’s depiction of a world with (almost) no humans in her MaddAddam trilogy, which undoes clear-cut divisions between utopian and dystopian writing.
"Rainforest Sublime in Cinema: A Post-Anthropocentric Amazonian Aesthetics." Hispania. Portuguese Special Issue (forthcoming in 2020).
Aesthetic categories such as beauty and the sublime have often been deployed in portrayals of Amazonian nature. The article seeks to identify key aesthetic elements linked to the Amazonian natural world, including the beauty of pristine rivers and forests or the experience of the sublime when faced with the grandeur of the natural world in Glauber Rocha’s short Amazonas, Amazonas (Amazon, Amazon, 1965), the first color movie and the first documentary by the renowned Cinema Novo (New Cinema) director; and Jorge Bodanzky and Orlando Senna’s Iracema, uma Transa Amazônica (Iracema: An Amazonian Love Affair, 1975). While Rocha goes back to an age-old narrative of economic progress as a response to the natural sublime, Bodanzky and Senna’s rainforest sublimity is more nuanced and chimes in with environmentalist discourses in its firm rejection of unbridled development and in its biocentric approach to the natural world.
“Movies on the Move: Filming the Amazonian Rainforest.” Pushing Past the Human in Latin American Cinema. Ed. Gisela Heffes and Carolyn Fornoff. New York: SUNY UP (forthcoming).
In this chapter, I discuss the ways in which Latin American cinema has portrayed the Amazon river basin, its flora and fauna, in films about voyages. I start with a reflection on Amazonian travel cinema as a variation on the road movie genre and subsequently analyze three films about trips in the region that instantiate different stages in the cinematic representation of the Amazonian environment: Silvino Santos’s In the Land of the Amazons (No Paiz das Amazonas, 1922), Jorge Bodanzky and Orlando Senna’s Iracema: An Amazonian Live Affair (Iracema: Uma Transa Amazônica, 1974) and Ciro Guerra’s The Embrace of the Serpent (El abrazo de la serpiente, 2015). My goal is both to reflect on the evolution of Amazonian iconography and on the different paradigms adopted to portray the natural world of the Amazon in film.
"El Dorado in the Jungle: Migration to the Amazon during the Rubber Boom." Migrant Frontiers: Race and Mobility in the Luso-Hispanic World. Ed. Daniel Silva and Lamonte Aidoo.
In this chapter, I analyze the migratory move to the Amazon river basin during the end of the nineteenth and the first decades of the twentieth century in the wake of the so-called rubber boom in the region. I use Ferreira de Castro’s semi-autobiographical novel A Selva (1930) and the two eponymous movies made as adaptations of this narrative—Márcio Souza’s from 1970 and Leonel Vieira’s from 2002—as a springboard to discuss issues of trans-Atlantic mobility, race and class prejudices.