"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 2021.
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.
What Future for the Future? Utopian Lessons from a Global Pandemic.” Historical Understanding Today. Ed. Zoltán Boldizsár Simon and Lars Deile. New York: Bloomsbury. Forthcoming in 2021.
In this chapter, I discuss the notion of the future in the context of the social crisis triggered by the covid-19 pandemic. I go back to the notion of the utopia and reflect upon its relevance in the present.
“Emigration, Anarchism and Ecology in Ferreira de Castro’s Emigrants.” Migrant Frontiers: Race and Mobility in the Luso-Hispanic World. Ed. Daniel Silva and Lamonte Aidoo. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, forthcoming in 2021.
In this chapter, I analyze Ferreira de Castro’s novel Emigrants (1928) from na ecocritical point of view by showing how nature determines the articulation of political anarchism in the novel. I suggest that an extractivist view of the natural environment, regarded as a mere object at the service of humans, precludes the development of mutual aid between dispossessed emigrants and the flourishing of the anarchist values of fraternity and social justice.
“Olive Tree — Olea Europaea,” The Mind of Plants. Ed. Patrícia Vieira, Monica Gagliano and John Ryan. forthcoming in 2021.
This chapter narrates the author’s relation to the olive tree (Olea europaea), describing the tree’s history and impact on Portuguese culture, as well as the contemporary production of olive oil.
“Plant Art from the Amazon: Vegetal Expression in the Work of Frans Krajcberg.” Performing Plants, a special issue of Performance Philosophy. Ed. Prudence Gibson and Catriona Sandilands. forthcoming in 2022.
This article examines plant performance in the work of naturalized Brazilian artist Frans Krajcberg (1921-2017). Krajcberg saw his art as a way to give voice to forest plants that are being systematically destroyed through fires and logging, to give way to agribusiness ventures. He used burnt trunks of Amazonian trees he collected after forest fires to create a series of sculptures that denounced the environmental crimes taking place in the region. I resort to biosemiotics, New Materialism and Indigenous, peasant and riverine Amazonian thought as possible theoretical frameworks to interpret Krajcberg's sculptures as a human/plant collaboration that questions species divides and even the boundaries between living and non-living matter. The import of his pieces is clear: the bodies of the dead and charred trees are given a new life in Krajcberg’s work that incorporates them and turns them into art. I argue that his artworks are a fusion between the bare physically of the dead trees that speak to us through their materiality and the artist’s craft. The trees are very clearly inscribed into the sculptures that allow them to speak from beyond their grave, as it were, and to become living symbols of the destruction of the Amazon rainforest.
“An Anarchist Rainforest: Cooperation in Ferreira de Castro’s The Jungle.” Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies. forthcoming in 2022.
This text discusses Ferreira de Castro's novel The Jungle taking the author's anarchist leanings into account. I argue that the transformation of the main character throughout the text from an elitist to an egalitarian is due to his observation of examples of cooperation in the rainforest. I discuss the thought of Russian anarchist Petr Kropotkin as a key inspiration for the representation of an anarchist Amazonia in Castro's text.