Plant Humanities in Amazonia

October 13 and 14, 2022

Room 1, CES-Coimbra + Online


In recent decades, different disciplinary fields have undergone a profound reorganization motivated, on the one hand, by the worsening climate and environmental crisis and, on the other, by the claims of anti-colonial and anti-racist movements around the world. In the Latin American context, in particular, the growing prominence of indigenous peoples, quilombolas and other traditional communities in the political arena, as well as in the academic sphere, configure a decisive factor in view of new approaches to the socio-environmental issue. In this scenario, the so-called “Environmental Humanities”, by bringing together studies from literature, cinema, philosophy, history, anthropology, archaeology and ecology, among others, demonstrate the relevance of different approaches to the complex relationship between humans and non-humans. At the centre of these debates, plants have gradually emerged as not only biological, but also historical, social and political beings, with the potential to subvert entrenched notions about agency, intelligence, ways of being in the world and, ultimately, the very boundaries that delimit the notion of humanity. At the same time, from a disciplinary point of view, plant studies question disciplinary boundaries and the historical process of scientific specialisation, predicated on the opposition between the natural sciences and the human and social sciences.

From this framework derives the proposal to discuss the concept of "Plant Humanities" from an interdisciplinary perspective and in the broader context of the exponential growth of the Environmental Humanities in the last decade. The Amazon, a region known for its sociobiodiversity and in which plants play a central role in the cosmovision of indigenous peoples, quilombolas and riverside dwellers, constitutes the starting point for a multi-species reflection on plants. In this colloquium we will seek to establish a dialogue with the relational ontology of Amazonian peoples, for whom many plants are beings that, like humans, have their own specific points of view. How are the interactions between plants, humans and other entities configured in the Amazon basin? What are the contributions of Amazonian thinking to the Environmental Humanities? What (alternative) images of humanity do plants reveal? These are some of the questions that will serve as a motto for the colloquium.

Event within the project ECO: Animals and Plants in Cultural Productions about the Amazon River Basin (2022-2026) (ERC - GA 101002359)

Featured Photo: Leto Saraiva Rocha/Embrapa


This activity will be provided through Zoom platform and does not require registration. Participation is limited to the number of places available. >  | ID: 885 5285 1041 | Password: 428225

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