Pushing Past the Human in Latin American Cinema

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Carolyn Fornoff

Over the past decade, film studies has increasingly taken up the question of the environment and climate change (Rust, Monani, Cubit; Narine; Pick and Narraway). However, the question of “nature” has yet to be comprehensively theorized from the perspective of Latin American cinema. This edited volume proposes to begin to fill this gap by bringing together scholarship that explores Latin American films (from any time period) that foreground the nonhuman. We are specifically interested in thinking about why the past decade has generated an unprecedented boom in ecologically oriented films (both documentaries and fiction) throughout Latin America. How do these films dialogue with or push back against broader theories in ecocriticism? Contributions to this edited collection will think through how environmentally engaged cinema of Latin America stages environmental crisis, captures local fauna, or performs nostalgia for imagined sustainable pasts. We are interested in analysis of documentaries or feature films that disclose the interpenetration of nonhuman matter with questions of indigeneity, postcoloniality, and vulnerability. We invite contributions that touch on a range of topics, from nonhuman agency, to the Anthropocene, to visualizations of inequity.


Possible topics of exploration include, but are not limited to:

  • Representations of landscapes, nonhuman animals, or “nature” on screen
  • Environmental challenges in Latin America
  • Latin American cinema and the posthuman
  • Fictional and non-fictional responses to the Anthropocene
  • Visualizing ecology and environmental crisis
  • Intersections between race, class, gender and environment
  • Environment and inequity
  • Aesthetics of ruin, disaster, waste, degradation, climate change
  • Documenting or imagining forms of resistance and adaptation
  • Nonhuman animals on screen
  • Precarity, vulnerability, biopolitics in times of environmental crisis
  • Critiques of the visual politics of nature, preservation, sustainability, mitigation
  • Ethics of documenting/aestheticizing crisis
  • Nonhuman or inhuman narratives
  • Media ecologies
  • Material culture
  • Apocalyptic or utopian narratives


Please submit abstracts of 400 words or less by September 30, 2017 to Carolyn Fornoff (carolyn.fornoff@gmail.com) and Gisela Heffes (gisela.heffes@rice.edu). Abstracts should be accompanied by a short bio of approximately 150 words. Notification of acceptance will be given by mid October. Completed essays (written in English) will be expected by February 28, 2018.