Speaker: Victoria Saramago, Assistant Professor of Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Studies, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, The University of Chicago

Victoria Saramago is an Assistant Professor of Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Studies at the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at the University of Chicago. She has a PhD degree from Stanford University, as well as MA and BA degrees from the State University of Rio de Janeiro. Her work covers twentieth- and twenty-first-century Latin American literatures with a focus on environmental studies and studies of fiction and fictionality. Her book, Fictional Environments: Mimesis, Deforestation, and Development in Latin America, is forthcoming in 2020 from Northwestern University Press. Fictional Environments demonstrates that literature can help us make sense of environmental change by showing how novels have inspired conservationist initiatives and offered counterpoints to developmentalist policies, and how environmental concerns have informed novelists' agendas in their work as essayists, politicians, and public intellectuals. She is also the author of O duplo do pai: O filho e a ficção de Cristovão Tezza (São Paulo: É Realizações, 2013), which investigates the autofictional writings of contemporary Brazilian author Cristovão Tezza. Her articles have appeared in Luso-Brazilian Review, Ecozon@: European Journal of Literature, Culture, and Environment, Letterature d’America, Portuguese Literary and Cultural Studies, Nuevo Texto Crítico, and others. She currently serves as a faculty sponsor for the University of Chicago’s Environmental Studies Workshop.

Title: Fictional Environments: Mimesis, Deforestation, and Development in Latin America - Book Presentation

Abstract: Fictional Environments: Mimesis, Deforestation, and Development in Latin America explores how novels can help us make sense of environmental change. It investigates the dynamic relationship between fictional images and real places, as the lasting representations of forests, rural areas, and deserts in novels clash with collective perceptions of changes like deforestation and urbanization. From the backlands of Brazil to a developing Rio de Janeiro, and from the rainforests of Venezuela and Peru to the Mexican countryside, the second half of the twentieth century saw rapid deforestation in Latin America. How do fictional works and other cultural objects dramatize, resist, and intervene in these ecological transformations? Through analyses of work by João Guimarães Rosa, Alejo Carpentier, Juan Rulfo, Clarice Lispector, and Mario Vargas Llosa, Fictional Environments shows how novels have inspired conservationist initiatives and offered counterpoints to developmentalist policies, and how environmental concerns have informed the agendas of novelists as essayists, politicians, and public intellectuals. This book seeks to understand the role of literary representation, or mimesis, in shaping, sustaining, and negotiating environmental imaginaries during the deep, ongoing transformations that have taken place from the 1950s to the present.

About Latin American Studies Seminar Series

The aim of the Latin American Studies Seminar series at UQ is to create a space for independent researchers, post-graduate students and academic staff conducting research on Latin America in the humanities and social sciences in order to share the outcomes of their research.

If you are interested in presenting in our series, please contact either Dr Roberto Esposto or Dr Sol Rojas-Lizana.

Seminars are held regularly and are free to attend. UQ staff and students, staff and students from other universities, and members of the general public are welcome to attend. If you would like to be included on our mailing list, please contact the SLC Events team via email.


We look forward to seeing you at our first seminar of the semester!
 

Venue

Zoom ID number 931 0983 2050
Room: 
Online