Now accepting paper proposals for a seminar session entitled “Crisis in the Amazon” at the American Comparative Literature Association conference to be held at Brown University from March 29th to April 1, 2012.
Since Francisco de Orellana became the first European to ply its waters in 1540, the Amazon river and its environs have been depicted in literature, film, and popular culture as an awe-inspiring yet dangerous environment. Writers as diverse as Raleigh, La Condamine, and Carvajal warned that travelers in the area risked battle with fierce female warriors, flesh-eating fish and cannibals, and pernicious jungle-induced fevers. The atrocities of the rubber boom fixed Amazonia as the locus of a humanitarian crisis. Beginning in the late twentieth century, the region was reconfigured in the Western imagination as an ecologically endangered site on the brink of annihilation. In keeping with the theme of the ACLA 2012 conference, this seminar will explore representations of the Amazon as a site of perpetual crisis. How and why has Amazonia been constructed as a perilous and imperiled space? Papers discussing all works, time periods, languages, and cultures of and about Amazonia are welcomed.
Please submit a 250 word abstract with your name, institutional affiliation, and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 15.
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