Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2013

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Merino, Ana

Second Advisor

Lewis, Thomas E

First Committee Member

Martín-Estudillo, Luis

Second Committee Member

Méndez-Rodenas, Adriana

Third Committee Member

Rodríguez Rodríguez, Ana M


My dissertation explores the ways in which writers and artists from Spain and Latin America create works of art in which the environment plays a central role. My purpose is to reflect the variety of perspectives and modes of expression that the ongoing environmental crisis generates in these artists. I propose a more concrete approach to the concept of ecopoetics, one that is not limited to literary works but is also concerned with a more ample spectrum of cultural imagination and reflection, as well as on how artists can impact their communities through their work.

I formulate a more precise notion of the concept of ecopoetics, one which is based on the particular genre or art form creators use to express themselves. This approach combines both the traditional notion of poetics as the variety of elections made by an author in terms of subject, composition, style, etc.; and the perception of a new type of sensibility that centers on the relationships between human beings and the environment. I argue that this concept of ecopoetics, as it is integrally related to the choices made by artists in terms of genre, mediums used, vision of the world and modes of expression, allows me to explore the diversity of viewpoints and artistic possibilities produced in the Luso-Hispanic area. The broad area I chose to work in also allows me to explore the connections among these texts and works of art in order to look for shared images and motives that all show a growing awareness of the ecological crisis. This kind of analysis is integrated with social, cultural, racial and gender perspectives.

My research also explores how the ethical commitment to the environment assumes a variety of perspectives. That is the reason I include works from poetry, narrative, comics, documentary, installations and sculptures. I center my analysis on authors such as Jaime Quezada (Chile), Jorge Riechmann and José María Merino (both from Spain), Julio Ramón Ribeyro (Peru) and Rubem Fonseca (Brazil). I also work with comic artists Miguelanxo Prado and Francesc Capdevila (Max) from Spain, as well as Mexican comic artists Jis and Trino and Edgar Clément. I analyze the documentary Waste Land (2010), by Lucy Walker, which follows the work of Vik Muniz in Jardim Gramacho, the biggest dump in the world; and the Cuban artist Héctor Gallo, who builds his sculptures and installations in a marginal neighborhood in Havana.


comic, ecocrítica, ecopoética, medioambiente, performance, transatlántico


vii, 260 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 244-260).


Copyright 2013 Tania Perez-Cano