ECOCUIR AESTHETICS: GENDER, ECOLOGY AND FORM IN LATIN AMERICAN FICTION

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This dissertation examines the intersection of gender and ecology in contemporary literature from Mexico, Colombia and Argentina. From a cuir and ecological perspective that seeks to dismantle binaries such as masculine/feminine and the human/non-human and nature/culture divides, the texts I analyze revisit moments in which colonial images of Nature are sedimented. By rewriting foundational texts, historical scenes or engaging directly with literary traditions that carry forward this imagery, these contemporary works take the human body beyond the individual subject and place it in relation to land and other non-human entities, and advocate for a cuir decolonial critique of extractivist projects. Putting in conversation queer and cuir theory with environmental humanities, indigenous feminist, and plant theory, I argue that these texts propose alliances between humans, plants, animals and minerals to underline the violence of colonial classifications. They do so through strategies of what I call the declassification of gender and genre, transfers of power and unexpected affective responses. Gabriela Cabezón Cámara’s Las aventuras de la China Iron (2017) revisits the epic genre and the consolidation of the Argentine nation state in the mid-nineteenth century through the so-called Conquista del Desierto. Juan Cárdenas’ short story Volver a comer del árbol de la ciencia (2017) returns to the banana export age in Colombia to question the linearity of the modern/colonial project through rhizomatic narrative structures, and Maricela Guerrero’s El sueño de toda célula (2020) and Dolores Dorante’s Estilo (2016) respond to the strengthening of neoliberal policies in Mexico in the 1990s by collectivizing the poetic voice and embodying cuir affects. These works recover nature as a cuir space where non-genital, non-reproductive and non-heteronormative pleasures and intimacies take place.
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204 pages
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2022-08
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Paz-Soldan, Edmundo
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Chang, Julia Haeyoon
Castillo, Debra Ann
Degree Discipline
Romance Studies
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Ph. D., Romance Studies
Degree Level
Doctor of Philosophy
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dissertation or thesis
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