Gisela Heffes
Rice University, USA


The objective of this essay is to map the growing number of works that focus on the environmental humanities and to review two important contributions to the ongoing debates that are defining the direction of Latin American and Caribbean cultural studies. In 2019, Héctor Hoyos published Things with a History: Transcultural Materialism and the Literatures of Extraction in Contemporary Latin America, as Elizabeth DeLoughrey published Allegories of the Anthropocene. While the scope of these two works varies in terms of the regional and/or national geographies they cover, as well as the authors and artists they analyzes, both books attempt to contest the nature/culture binary — along with other Modern dichotomies — from very different (perhaps even opposite) positions and angles: while Hoyos calls for a de-allegorization (namely, a “literalization”) of several important Latin American works, DeLoughrey, on the other hand, invites us to reconsider allegory as a way of symbolizing the “perceived disjunction between humans and the planet, between our ‘species’ and a dynamic external ‘nature.’”

Keywords: Latin American and Caribbean cultural studies, environmental humanities, allegory, new materialism, postcoloniality.