Lisa Blackmore
University of Essex, UK

Gisela Heffes
Rice University, USA


This dossier brings together four essays that show how recent scholarship, art, and design practice are shaping the emergent field of Latin American Environmental Humanities — a rapidly consolidating discipline that cross-fertilises methods and perspectives stemming from the social sciences, arts and humanities, natural sciences, and Indigenous thought, to critically interrogate environmental histories and confront contemporary challenges. Together, these review essays map a critical renewal of cultural studies that is currently unfolding through recent theoretical-analytical publications, ethnographic work, art practice, and site-specific art and design collaborations. We trace routes through a diverse corpus of emerging environmental scholarship, artistic and situated practice research, and public engagement activities, to show how they respond to the urgent challenge “to think in the presence of ongoing facts of destruction”. The books, artworks, and collaborative fieldwork projects reviewed here problematise the culture/nature dichotomy as constitutive of the current ecological and climate crises, rethink the Western metaphysics of ontology and semiotics, and seed sympoetic experiments and alternate ways of knowing that reach across disciplinary divides.

Keywords: Latin American Environmental Humanities, Indigenous epistemologies, plant thinking, arts practice research, ecocriticism.