Latinx Environmentalisms

Place, Justice, and the Decolonial

Edited by Sarah D. Wald, David J. Vázquez, Priscilla Solis Ybarra, and Sarah Jaquette Ray, With a Foreword by Laura Pulido and an Afterword by Stacy Alaimo
Book Cover

PB: $39.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1667-4
Publication: Nov 19

HC: $115.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-1666-7
Publication: Nov 19

Ebook: $39.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1668-1
Publication: Nov 19

340 pages
6 x 9
16 halftones

Putting the environmental humanities into dialogue with Latinx literary and cultural studies

Read an excerpt from the Introduction( pdf).


The whiteness of mainstream environmentalism often fails to account for the richness and variety of Latinx environmental thought. Building on insights of environmental justice scholarship as well as critical race and ethnic studies, the editors and contributors to Latinx Environmentalisms map the ways Latinx cultural texts integrate environmental concerns with questions of social and political justice.

Original interviews with creative writers, including Cherríe Moraga, Helena María Viramontes, and Héctor Tobar, as well as new essays by noted scholars of Latinx literature and culture, show how Latinx authors and cultural producers express environmental concerns in their work. These chapters, which focus on film, visual art, and literature—and engage in fields such as disability studies, animal studies, and queer studies—emphasize the role of racial capitalism in shaping human relationships to the more-than-human world and reveal a vibrant tradition of Latinx decolonial environmentalism.

Latinx Environmentalisms accounts for the ways Latinx cultures are environmental, but often do not assume the mantle of “environmentalism.”

Contributors: Stacy Alaimo, Shane Hall, Ylce Irizarry, Julie Avril Minich, Paula M. L. Moya, Gabriela Nuñez, Randy Ontiveros, Jennifer García Peacock, Christopher Perreira, Laura Pulido, Richard T. Rodríguez, and the editors


“This is a vital book in every sense—essential and life-giving. The essays and interviews provide a compelling, teachable engagement with a robust field within environmental studies.”
Rob Nixon, Currie C. and Thomas A. Barron Family Professor of Environmental Humanities at Princeton University and author of Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor

“This brilliant, generative set of essays and interviews, Latinx Environmentalisms, challenges a whole host of received assumptions coursing through ecopoetics, the environmental humanities, animal studies, and interdisciplinary studies more broadly. From born again and queer animals to radical conceptions of goodlife writing, these essays open forward the complex Latinx spatial-social relations that bloggers, novelists, essayists and poets engage, thereby confounding the mainline ecocritical narratives that have too frequently ignored the extraordinary contributions of Latinx environmentalisms writ large.
Mary Pat Brady, Associate Professor of English at Cornell University and author of Extinct Lands, Temporal Geographies: Chicana Literature and the Urgency of Space

"(T)his collection underscores the formative value of the environmentalist (or not) stances of the writers we study.... As the expansive and nuanced work of Wald, Vázquez, Ybarra, and Ray in assembling and framing Latinx Environmentalisms shows, together we begin to nurture the work of critique, exposing a panoply of texts for analysis and understanding, and constructively creating the environmentalisms—and 'environmentalists'—we urgently need."
American Literary History

Table of Contents



PART I Place: Racial Capital and the Production of Place
2. Greenwashing the White Savior: Cancer Clusters, Supercrips, and McFarland, USA | JULIE AVRIL MINICH
3. The National Park Foundation’s “American Latino Expedition”: Consumer Citizenship as Pathway to Multicultural National Belonging | SARAH D. WALD
4. “A Story Is a Physical Space”: An Interview with Héctor Tobar | SHANE HALL
5. Speculative Futurity and the Eco-cultural Politics of Lunar Braceros: 2125–2148 | CHRISTOPHER PERREIRA
6. Sun Ma(i)d: Art, Activism, and Environment in Ester Hernández’s Central Valley | JENNIFER GARCIA PEACOCK
7. “An Organic Being in the Middle of Chicago”: An Interview with Ana Castillo | PRISCILLA SOLIS YBARRA AND SARAH D. WALD

PART II Justice: Expanding Environmentalism
8. Environmental Justice and the Ecological Other in Ana Castillo’s So Far from God | SARAH JAQUETTE RAY
9. “We Carry Our Environments within Ourselves”: An Interview with Helena María Viramontes | DAVID J. VÁZQUEZ, SARAH D. WALD, AND PAULA M. L. MOYA
10. “Between Water and Song”: Maria Melendez and the Contours of Contemporary Latinx Ecopoetry | RANDY ONTIVEROS
11. “Justice Is a Living Organism”: An Interview with Lucha Corpi | GABRIELA NUÑEZ

PART III The Decolonial: Alternative Kinships and Epistemologies of Futurity
12. Memory, Space, and Gentrification: The Legacies of the Young Lords and Urban Decolonial Environmentalism in Ernesto Quiñonez’s Bodega Dreams | DAVID J. V.ZQUEZ
13. Postcards from the Edges of Haiti: The Latinx Ecocriticism of Mayra Montero’s In the Palm of Darkness | YLCE IRIZARRY
14. “Against the Sorrowful and Infinite Solitude”: Environmental Consciousness and Streetwalker Theorizing in Helena María Viramontes’s Their Dogs Came with Them | PAULA M. L. MOYA
15. Oedipal Wrecks: Queer Animal Ecologies in Justin Torres’s We the Animals | RICHARD T. RODRÍGUEZ
16. “The Body Knows and the Land Has Memory”: An Interview with Cherríe Moraga | PRISCILLA SOLIS YBARRA
Afterword: What Is Absent; Fields, Futures, and Latinx Environmentalisms | STACY ALAIMO


About the Author(s)

Sarah D. Wald is an Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and English at the University of Oregon and author of The Nature of California: Race, Citizenship, and Farming since the Dust Bowl.

David J. Vázquez is Associate Professor of Literature and Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies at American University in Washington, DC. He is the author of Triangulations: Narrative Strategies for Navigating Latino Identity.

Priscilla Solis Ybarra is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of North Texas and author of Writing the Goodlife: Mexican American Literature and the Environment.

Sarah Jaquette Ray is an Associate Professor and Program Leader of Environmental Studies at Humboldt State University and author of The Ecological Other: Environmental Exclusion in American Culture.