Marcos Colón is a dissertator in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and a Graduate Student Associate of the Center for Culture, History, and Environment (CHE) of UW-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. He is the writer, director and produced of the film documentary Beyond Fordlândia (2017, 75 min). The film presents an environmental account of Henry Ford’s Amazon experience decades after its failure. His research focuses on the representation of the Amazon in 20th-Century Brazilian literature from an environmental studies perspective. In particular, he is examining a variety of viewpoints from the post-rubber era Amazon through written texts, oral reports, and films; observing changes in the region, its nature and its people.
Considering the binomial culture / nature, Colón’s scholarship uses the post-rubber era as a springboard for re-envisioning the region in a “relational” way. His investigation argues that the invention, literature, and politics of the region require an ecological understanding of new relationships between human and non-humans, which redefine the role of the environment in regional, national, and global discourse. This approach fosters a wider, more nuanced understanding of the Amazon by resituating this unique bio-zone within the cultural, social, economic, and environmental networks of a hybridized Amazonian society.