CPF Autumn 2025 "Vegetal Humanities in the Amazon"


Guest Editor: Patrícia Vieira, Center for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal 

Plants have emerged in the past few decades not only as biological, but also as historical, social and political beings that can potentially subvert entrenched notions of agency, mind, modes of being in the world and the very frontiers that delimit the concept of humanity. Research in biology has shown that plants display forms of behavior and abilities that had hitherto been ascribed only to animals, including volition, memory and even intelligence. At the same time, critical plant studies, which spans disciplines such as literary and film studies, philosophy, history, anthropology, archeology and ecology, among others, has shown the relevance of plants for discussions on (post-/de-)colonialism, race and gender issues, the environmental crisis and environmental justice. In Latin America, the increasingly significant political role of Indigenous, Maroon and other traditional communities from the Amazon with close ties to the vegetal world has led to new perspectives on plant life and its connection to human existence in academia and in environmental debates.

This is the background to a discussion of the concept of Vegetal Humanities in the Amazon in this Special Issue. The Amazon, a region known for its sociobiodiversity and in which plants are central to the cosmovisions of Indigenous, Maroon and riverine peoples, is the point of departure for a multi-species reflection about the vegetal world. The Special Issue seeks to dialogue with the relational ontology of Amazonian peoples, for whom many plants are beings with specific points of view, just like humans. How are the interactions between plants, humans and other entities in the Amazon River Basin shaped? What are the contributions of Amazonian thought to the Environmental Humanities? What (alternative) images of humanity do plants reveal? These are some of the questions that inspire this Special Issue.

Vegetal Humanities in the Amazon welcomes essays with a strong component on textual and cultural analysis on topics such as:

  • Amazonian Indigenous and other traditional communities' views on plants
  • Medicinal Amazonian plants;
  • Entheogenic Amazonian plants;
  • Plant domestication and cultivation in the Amazon;
  • Plant expression in Amazonian cultural productions (literature, cinema, arts);
  • Plants and the ontological turn;
  • Historical accounts of Amazonian plants’ circulation in non-Amazonian contexts;
  • Extractivism of Amazonian plant life;
  • Plant monocultures vs plant diversity in the Amazon;
  • De-colonial approaches to Amazonian plants;
  • Plants and the environmental crisis.


We invite contributions in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian and German.  Please email a 300-word abstract to the editor by September 1, 2024 (pilmvieira@gmail.com)

Final essays for the research article section should be between 6,000 and 8,000 words (including abstract, keywords, and bibliography). Completed manuscripts are due Jan 15, 2025 via the Ecozon@ website, which also provides a style guide.