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Creaturely Cold War

More-Than-Human Narratives of Revolution and War in Africa and Latin America


This the manuscript I am currently writing. It is under contract with Columbia University Press.

Creaturely Cold War traces more-than-human and creaturely representations of the Cold War, meaning representations that focus strongly on nonhuman life forms and entities, their material and bodily aliveness or death, and on human-nonhuman convivialities in the context of this prolonged multi-sited, global war. The Cold War period is often painted in Manichean terms: a bipolar world engaged in a bitter ideological dispute. The notion of bipolarity brushes over layers and nuances, casts aside the fact that the world of the Cold War was full of places defending or looking for third, or other possible ways and worlds. In an attempt to move beyond Anglo-, Euro-, or Soviet-centric accounts of the period, Creaturely Cold War pays particular attention to literatures in Spanish and Portuguese from Africa and Latin America. The book develops this argument through an original, richly textured South-South comparison of prose fiction from countries that were embroiled in heavy conflict during the Cold War or its afterlives, among them Angola, Cuba, Mozambique, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Colombia, and Mexico. This talk shows how authors develop complex visions of war by incorporating a host of nonhuman actors and entities into the narrative. Forests and animals, in particular, become crucial entities for exploring various ecological, political, and affective dimensions of war.

This research has been supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Fellowship), the National Endowment of the Humanities (Summer Stipend), the School of Humanities and the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality (Feminist Research Seminar), and the School for Global Environmental Sustainability at Colorado State University.

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