- Multispecies storytelling
- Biocultural diversity
- Future fictions from Latin America and the Caribbean
- Future climate scenarios in literature and visual art
- Techno-nature-culture entanglements
- Environmental humanities
- Feminist posthumanist and new materialist methods
Azucena Castro studies multispecies relationality in Latin American and Caribbean future fictions for sustainability thinking from environmental humanities perspectives
Castro is a postdoctoral researcher at the centre and a visiting researcher at materia, Department of Iberian and Latin American Cultures, Stanford University (mid-2022-mid-2024) leading the 36-month, international postdoc project “Multispecies futuring. Biocultural diversity in Latin American and Caribbean future fictions” funded by the Swedish Research Council.
Multispecies Futuring analyses future-making practices involving multispecies worlds in Latin American and Caribbean future fictions from the end of the twentieth century, when biodiversity loss entered global environmental discourses, to works inspired in the present COVID 19 zoonotic pandemic.
By combining feminist posthumanism, literary studies, and environmental humanities in a transdisciplinary framework, this project investigates relations of these future fictions with the biodiversity crisis to contribute new critical vocabulary to sustainability scholarship. It decenters the field from its predominant human focus. It reshapes Western imagination by including diverging environmental futures enriching the field.
Castro holds a PhD in Spanish with orientation in Latin American literature and culture from Stockholm University, an MA in Spanish with orientation in literary studies from the University of Lund and a BA in English from the University of Córdoba, Argentina.
Working with ecopoetry and postnatural poetics in her PhD education, she developed analytical and conceptual skills in the environmental humanities, ecocriticism and posthumanism.
Before coming to the SRC, she was a visiting scholar at the University of Pittsburgh, USA, Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures and a postdoc (2020-2021) at the Institute of Geography, University of Buenos Aires, where she is a member of the Nature, Culture, Territory Study Group.
Her doctoral dissertation deals with postnatural aesthetics entailing strange ecologies and queer natures in contemporary Latin American ecopoetry that emerges in the context of the Anthropocene. Furthermore, her dissertation sheds light on the diverse currents of Latin American poetry that have engaged the environment and the geographical landscape from literary and cultural perspectives.
Castro's major research topics include cultural studies, environmental humanities, ecocriticism, art-science, feminist posthumanism, new materialism, environmental justice, Afro-indigenous environmentalisms, history of climate change and Anthropocene in the Global South.
Her interdisciplinary research aims at bridging the gap between humanities and natural science as well as academia and local knowledges. She is a member of to the network Red Iberoamericana de Investigación en Humanidades Ambientales RIHUA, and associated researcher in the Focal Group Cultura, Naturaleza, Territorio, Institute of Geography, University of Buenos Aires.
Together with Dr. Andrea Casals Hill from Facultad de Letras, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and Dr. Nuno Marques from Environmental Humanities Lab, KTH, Sweden, as associated researcher to the Nordic Institute of Latin American Studies, Castro will be teaching the PhD course “Critiques and Practices of Sustainability: Environmental Humanities Perspectives on Chilean and Swedish Ecocultures of Water, Land, and Air” as part of the ACCESS agreement (co-financed by STINT) in the spring semester 2022. Find out more and enroll here.
Awards and achievements
- Högskoleföreningen Stockholm dissertation award from the Faculty of Humanities, Stockholm University (2020) as “distinguished scientific achievement" for dissertation “Ecologías extrañas: Lecturas postnaturales de poemas extensos latinoamericanos del siglo XXI (Roxana Miranda Rupailaf, Daniel Samoilovich y Luigi Amara)”.
Castro, Azucena and Prádanos, Luis. “Post-Development Aesthetic Challenges: Counter-Extractivist Imaginaries and Post-Fossil Futures in Andean Cultural Media.” In Post-Global Aesthetics: 21st Century Latin American Literatures and Cultures (prel.), eds, Gesine Müller and Benjamin Loy. Berlin: De Gruyter (in press, 2022): https://www.degruyter.com/document/isbn/9783110762143/html?lang=en
Castro, Azucena. “Thinking with Toxic Plants ‒Unruly Herbaria, Nuclear Imagination and Eco-Materialism in the Art-book The Chernobyl Herbarium: Fragments of an Exploded Consciousness.” In Compost Reader I, Institute for Postnatural Studies (eds). Madrid: Cthulhu Books, Vol. 1 (2021): https://instituteforpostnaturalstudies.org/Cthulhu-Books
Castro, Azucena. “Umbrales del hedor: diálogos ecoculturales entre la poesía de Teresa Orbegoso y la filosofía americanista de Rodolfo Kusch.” In Tekoporá. Latin American Journal of Environmental Humanities and Territorial Studies, edited volume: “Environmental writing, landscape and territory: Ecocriticism and cultural studies in Latin America”, eds. Allison Mackey and Victoria Lembo, 3:1, 2021: 409-429: https://revistatekopora.cure.edu.uy/index.php/reet/article/view/127
Castro, Azucena. “At the Biocultural Borderland: The Unfolding of Multispecies Encounters in Latin American Bioart.” In 452ºF. Revista de Teoría de la literatura y Literatura Comparada, edited volume: “Environmental Humanities: Ecocriticism and Cultural Decolonization”, ed. Luis I. Prádanos, 21, 2019: https://452f.com/at-the-biocultural-borderland-the-unfolding-of-multispecies-encounters-in-latin-american-bioart-azucena-castro/
Gómez, Leticia and Castro, Azucena. “Shrieks from the Margins of the Human: Framing the Environmental Crisis in Two Contemporary Latin American Movies.” In Ecozon@. European Journal of Literature, Culture and Environment, 10:1, 2019: 177-195: https://ecozona.eu/article/view/2657
Publications by Castro, Azucena
Vernacular sustainabilities—multispecies stories and life-death entanglements of the sertão nordestino in contemporary Brazilian futurisms (the film Bacurau and the sertãopunk comic Cangaço Overdrive)
Journal / article | 2022
In northeastern Brazil, a region with extreme droughts and the smallest rainfall index in the whole country, water sources are crucial to ensure the survival of humans and nonhumans in this semi-arid region, known as sertão nordestino. Since the mid-twentieth century, classical cultural expressions focusing on this area have emphasized poverty in a desert of dry vegetation. Unlike romanticized portrayals of the backland in the...