Call for Papers: Narrating Environmental Trauma in Latin America and the Caribbean

ACLA 2012 Annual Conference: “Collapse/Catastrophe/Change”

Brown University, Providence, RI, March 29 – April 1, 2012

Panel Subject: Narrating Environmental Trauma in Latin America and the Caribbean

Seminar Organizer(s): Patricia Ferrer (Marist College), Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert (Vassar College)

This seminar seeks to uncover and explore the ways in which environmental change has been narrated in Latin American and Caribbean cultural production from the time of the first European contact to the present. We especially welcome theoretical approaches to the study of the representation of Latin American and Caribbean environmental degradation and its aftermath in texts, film or any other media. Some of the questions we wish to explore are: Where does environmental trauma reside? How has narrative articulated it? Where can we find foreboding visions of environmental change and what has been the reaction to them? What is the link between environmental trauma and the region’s narrative production? How is one to interpret environmental trauma? Is there such a thing as environmental memory?

Other topics that could be addressed are:

  • Connections between ecological criticism and the theory of trauma that can prove useful in textual interpretation.
  • The portrayal of Latin American and/or Caribbean environmental trauma in popular media.
  • The place of toxic discourse in Latin American and/or Caribbean fiction.
  • The media portrayal of stress, suffering and guilt as consequences of environmental change.
  • Issues of memory in connection to environmental trauma in the area.
  • The narrator as a witness to environmental violence.
  • Ethical implications of the use of the theory of trauma in the interpretation of narratives of environmental degradation in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Panel link:


Please submit papers to: Proposals should be 250 words and include a title (20 words). You will be asked to include a bio of 50 words when submitting your paper proposal.

The paper proposal deadline is November 15th.

All inquiries about the panel should be directed to Patricia Ferrer ( and Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert (

For more art by Kristopher Battles go to

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