Dr. Elizabeth Pettinaroli, director of Latin American and Latinx Studies and associate professor of Spanish, was an invited speaker at the South American Institute for Resilience and Sustainability Studies (SARAS) 2017 Public Conference, held in Maldonado, Uruguay, on December 11. SARAS promotes the scientific development of socio-ecological mechanisms for sustainable long-term use of natural resources and services. The conference’s title, “Environmental Humanities for the 21st Century,” refers to the developing approach in European countries and the United States among humanists and natural and social scientists that argues scientific and economic arguments are not enough to bring about changes in decision-making on environmental issues
This year's conference aimed to facilitate intercultural dialogues and alternative thinking on environmental problems that affect contemporary societies, including an ecological perspective in the study of Latin American literature, cinema, and art. Along these lines, "Environmental Humanities for the 21st Century" brought together speakers with an ecological or environmental vocation and those from fields of study such as literary eco-criticism, environmental philosophy, environmental history, eco-theology, and new political philosophies. Humanists, writers, and national and international natural and social sciences professionals from across South America and the United States were invited to discuss the main trends in this field.
Pettinaroli has co-edited the critical volume Troubled Waters: Rivers in Latin American Imagination, contributed chapters to the History of Colombian Literature, and published in the field of literary criticism in numerous magazines. Her current research projects explore the literary articulation of space at the intersection between texts and cartography; the notion of globality in Latin America; the humanistic study from the Eco-critic perspective; and the cartoneras publishers in the world. Pettinaroli is the founder of Memphis Cartonera, a cooperative publishing house dedicated to the promotion of literature and art in Memphis.