Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

Pedro Mandagará - Native Brazilian Literatures and Ecocriticism

Monday, October 22, 2018

11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

George Monteiro Conference Room, 159 George Street, Providence, RI

When Western cultures represent indigenous peoples, they usually use some clichés. A favorite one is that native peoples live “in harmony” with “Nature”. Cultural perception usually begs the question of what this harmony means or of what “Nature” is. In this lecture I will investigate what “Nature” and related concepts mean in the thought of four Native Brazilian authors: Graça Graúna, Kaká Werá, Ailton Krenak e Davi Kopenawa. All of them write and speak politically, defending positions we could call “ecological”. However, their “ecological” visions presuppose different versions of the relations between humans and the several natural worlds. This lecture presupposes a current debate on the role of “Nature” that goes on in the fields of ecocriticism (in authors such as Timothy Morton) and anthropology (Viveiros de Castro and Phillippe Descola, among others).

Pedro Mandagará is a Professor of Brazilian Literature in the Department of Literary Theory and Literatures at the University of Brasilia.

Brazil Initiative