Narrating Violence and Environments in Latin America (NeMLA 2021 Panel)

deadline for submissions: 
October 11, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Kevin Ennis / Brown University
contact email: 

In After Nature: A Politics for the Anthropocene (2015), Jedediah Purdy describes what he calls the "environmental imagination," which comprises “how we see and how we learn to see, how we suppose the world works, how we suppose that it matters, and what we feel we have at stake in it. It is an implicit, everyday metaphysics, the bold speculations buried in our ordinary lives” (6-7). Amidst the gravity of the Anthropocene today, Purdy examines the linkages between environmental imagination and “ways of acting, personally, politically, and legally, that have shaped the world in concrete ways” (7). In this panel, we interrogate a plurality of Brazilian and Spanish American environmental imaginations—particularly those focused on spaces where vulnerable populations live and on human involvement in their degradation, preservation, and development. These environments may include Indigenous peoples’ deforested and violated lands, peripheral urban communities such as favelas and villas miserias, and plant and animal habitats suffering from effects of pollution accelerated by climate change.

This panel engages with the following questions, especially in the context of literary studies: How are humans engaged in violence against certain environments, and what—or who—survives there? In what ways does literature from Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking Latin America respond to Anthropocenic crises of violence in natural and manmade environments? What is the relationship between literature, beliefs, and behaviors when broaching human and non-human rights in both environmental and Anthropocenic contexts?

Submissions in Portuguese, Spanish, and English are welcome. Please submit at this link by October 11, 2020:

Please note that NeMLA 2021 will be held virtually. Please contact Kevin Ennis ( or Jordan Jones ( with any questions.