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The Latin American Ecocultural Reader
edited by Jennifer French and Gisela Heffes
contributions by Father Antonio Ruiz de Montoya, André Joao Antonil, Father Jacinto Morán de Butrón, Georges Louis Le Clerc, José Martín Félix de Árrate y Acosta, Francisco Javier de Clavijero, Juan Ignacio Molina, Simón Bolívar, Andrés Bello, Simón Rodríguez, Johann Rudolf Rengger, José María Heredia y Heredia, Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, Domingo F. Sarmiento, José María Samper, José Martí, Baldomero Lillo, Horacio Quiroga, José Eustasio Rivera, César Uribe Piedrahita, Christopher Columbus, Juan Marín, Graciliano Ramos, Ramón Amaya Amador, Julián del Casal, Rafael Barrett, Manuel González Prada, Pierre Quiroule, Oswald de Andrade, Rubén Darío, Alfonsina Storni, Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés, María Luis Bombal, Pablo Neruda, Juan Rulfo, Lydia Cabrera, José María Arguedas, Esteban Montejo, Clarice Lispector, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Rigoberta Menchú, Chico Mendes, Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, Octavio Paz, Juan Carlos Galeano, Fernando Contreras Castro, Gioconda Belli, Subcommandant Marcos, Eduardo del Llano, Esthela Calderón, Homero Aridjis, José Emilio Pacheco, Mayra Montero, Gaspar de Carvajal, Jaime Huenún, Samanta Schweblin, Berta Cáceres, Pope Francis, Eduardo Chirinos, Jean de Léry, José de Acosta and Garcilaso de la Vega, El Inca
translated by Idra Novey, Charles A. Perrone, Ann Wright, Chris Whitehouse, Anthony Stanton, James Kimbrell, Rebecca Morgan, Rose Schreiber-Stainthorp, George McWhirter, Margaret Sayers Pedan, Edith Grossman, John Bierhorst, Megan McDowell, J.M. Cohen, Nina M. Scott, Sandra Ferdman, Bertram T. Lee, Janet Whatley, Frances M. López-Morillas, Delia Goetz, Sylvanus G. Morley, Grady C. Wray, Harold V. Livermore, Paul J. Kaveney, Timothy Coates, Frederick H. Fornoff, Elizabeth Kieffer, G. J. Racz, Kathleen Ross, Esther Allen, Steven Dolph, J. David Danielson, John Charles Chasteen, Patricia González, Ralph Edward Dimmick, Arthur Dixon, Leslie Bary, Andrew Hurley, Greg Simon, Steven F. White, Orlando Ricardo Menes, Lucia Cunningham, Richard Cunningham, Jack Schmitt, Ilan Stavans, Harold Augenbraum, Frances Horning Barraclough and W. Nick Hill
Northwestern University Press, 2021
eISBN: 978-0-8101-4265-7 | Paper: 978-0-8101-4263-3 | Cloth: 978-0-8101-4264-0
Library of Congress Classification PN849.L292L38 2021
Dewey Decimal Classification 808.803272


The Latin American Ecocultural Reader is a comprehensive anthology of literary and cultural texts about the natural world. The selections, drawn from throughout the Spanish-speaking countries and Brazil, span from the early colonial period to the present. Editors Jennifer French and Gisela Heffes present work by canonical figures, including José Martí, Bartolomé de las Casas, Rubén Darío, and Alfonsina Storni, in the context of our current state of environmental crisis, prompting new interpretations of their celebrated writings. They also present contemporary work that illuminates the marginalized environmental cultures of women, indigenous, and Afro-Latin American populations. Each selection is introduced with a short essay on the author and the salience of their work; the selections are arranged into eight parts, each of which begins with an introductory essay that speaks to the political, economic, and environmental history of the time and provides interpretative cues for the selections that follow.

The editors also include a general introduction with a concise overview of the field of ecocriticism as it has developed since the 1990s. They argue that various strands of environmental thought—recognizable today as extractivism, eco-feminism, Amerindian ontologies, and so forth—can be traced back through the centuries to the earliest colonial period, when Europeans first described the Americas as an edenic “New World” and appropriated the bodies of enslaved Indians and Africans to exploit its natural bounty.

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