Zoophytographia: Ecocritical Approaches to Writings on the Amazon

 

In this project I examine texts depicting Amazonian nature from the perspective of ecocriticism. I begin by analyzing the accounts of travels in the area by early Spanish and Portuguese explorers and missionaries; I subsequently turn to portrayals of the region by North European naturalists, who emphasized the scientific significance of local fauna and flora; I then discuss the so-called “jungle novel,” which flourished during the first half of the 20th century; in the end of the study, I examining portrayals of the territory from the mid-20th century onwards by authors who were heavily influenced by environmentalist thought. The project aims to assess what texts on the Amazon reveal about the Western relationship towards the environment from early Modernity to our days. 

 

 

Perpetual Peace: A History of the Future

 

This book uncovers the theological and literary underpinnings of the notion of “perpetual peace.” It traces a genealogy of this idea going back to Classical Antiquity with the myth of the Golden Age, to the Christian vision of a Millenarian Kingdom of peace and to the utopias of the Renaissance. It then explores philosopher Immanuel Kant’s essay on perpetual peace and its aftermath, addressing topics such as the End of History, the relationship between Peace and Trade and Perpetual Peace and Ecology. The project will end by assessing the relevance of this intellectual history in the twenty-first century. What can a multipolar world comprised of distinct power blocks learn from the vision of universal peace? Can this promise become not only a normative ideal but also a concrete blueprint for a new world order, so desperately needed today?

 

 

The Poetic Phenomenology of Fernando Pessoa (co-written with Michael Marder)

 

This project analyses the texts of Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa as an example of "post-metaphysical writing", in tune with the phenomenological method of reduction intended to move beyond a theoretical and metaphysical sedimentation that atrophies thought.