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  Amanda M. Smith

Amanda M. Smith

Associate Professor

831-459-2704 (Office)


she, her, her, hers, herself

Humanities Division

Literature Department

Associate Professor


Spanish Studies
Latin American & Latino Studies
Dolores Huerta Research Center for the Americas
Critical Race and Ethnic Studies

Regular Faculty


Humanities Building 1

On leave AY 2023-2024

Humanities Academic Services

PhD, The Johns Hopkins University

MA, Michigan State University

BA, Michigan State University


Languages: Spanish, Portuguese, French, Quechua

20th- & 21st-century Latin American literatures and cultures, Indigenous studies, Amazonia, Environmental Humanities, Liquid Humanities, Spatial Humanities, Sound Studies, Comics, Archival Preservation & Digital Research Infrastructure

For prospective graduate students: The UCSC Literature Department is unique in that it brings together faculty members who at most other US institutions would work in different departments. What this means for our graduate program is that students can design bold and imaginative projects that build on diverse areas of expertise. We are particularly strong in Latin American literary and cultural studies, with faculty members Juan Poblete, Zac Zimmer, and myself; as well as hemispheric Americanists such as Kirsten Silva-Gruesz and Susan Gillman; and a close relationship to the Department of Latin American and Latino Studies. I am currently accepting students working in contemporary Latin American literature and cultures, especially those interested in the Environmental Humanities and Sound Studies.

Professor Smith's research explores relationships among space, ecology, decoloniality, and development in Latin American and Latinx cultures. Her book, Mapping the Amazon: Literary Geography after the Rubber Boom (Liverpool University Press, 2021), examines how stories told about the Amazon in canonical twentieth-century novels have shaped the way people across the globe understand and use the region. Her next book project, The Nature of Conflict, examines, through contemporary art, culture, and politics, the complexities of considering nature as a juridical victim with rights in the wake of Colombia's armed conflict. Smith is co-founder of the Latin American Sound Studies Working Group with Tamara Mitchell and is working with Mitchell on a special issue on Latin American literary sound studies for the Revista de Estudios Hispánicos. Professor Smith's work has appeared in The Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies; The Journal of West Indian LiteraturesReVista: Harvard Review of Latin America; A contracorriente; Chiricú Journal: Latina/o Literatures, Arts, and Cultures; and Ciberletras. She also co-edited the provocative graphic novel, United States of Banana.



  • Roundtable: "Latin American Ecocriticism: What's Next?" MLA, Philadelphia (virtual session), January 7, 2024.
  • Keynote Address: "Fluvial Forms of Care: The Magdalena River as Tomb and Teacher," Impending Catastrophes through the Ages: Literature and the Arts in the Context of Doom, Department of French, Hispanic, and Italian Studies, University of British Columbia, October 26, 2023.
  • "Research and the Infrastructure of Extractivism: Digitizing the Biblioteca Amazónica of Iquitos, Perú," University of Chicago, May 17, 2023.
  • Keynote Address: "Vías extractivas y flujos amazónicos: ecología de la infraestructura de la investigación en Iquitos, Perú." Laboratories of Future Worlds: Ruptures, Futures, and Possibilities, Department of Hispanic Studies, Brown University, April 8, 2023.
  • "La digitalización de las bibliotecas," Feria Internacional del Libro de Iquitos, Loreto, Peru, May 21, 2022.
  • "Queering Lima’s Urban Ecology in Islas (2010) by Rodrigo La Hoz," XXXX International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association, May 5-8, 2022.
  • "Extractivism in Iquitos: From the Rubber Boom to Ayahuasca Literature." SPAN 535 Environment and Extractivism in Latin American Culture, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, December 1, 2021.
  • "La vorágine 100 años después." Departamento de Filosofía, Universidad de Caldas, Colombia, November 19, 2021.
  • "Imagining Amazonia Cartographically," Amazon Lab, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Duke University, November 17, 2021.
  • "A Book and Dissertation Writing Workshop," Amazon Lab, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Duke University, November 17, 2021.
  • "Sounds Like New Values: Decoloniality and Sonic Unintelligibility in United States of Banana: A Graphic Novel (2021) by Giannina Braschi and Joakim Lindengren," XXXIX International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association, May 26-29, 2021.
  • "Cartografías literarias amazónicas," Coloquio de Spanish Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz, May 24, 2021.
  • "Queer Ecology in Islas by Rodrigo la Hoz," SPAN 550 - Porn Lit: Critical Approaches to Erotic Literature in Latin America and Spain, Department of French, Hispanic, and Italian Studies, University of British Columbia, March 12, 2021.

Please see Google Scholar for a complete list of publications.

LIT 80Q: Jane the Virgin
LIT 124B: Contemporary Latin American Short Story
LIT 160F: Mapping Fictions: Geocritical Approaches to Cultural Studies
LIT 167I: The Environmental Humanities: Latin American Perspectives
LIT 188R: Las humanidades ambientales: perspectivas latinoamericanas
LIT 189B: El siglo XIX en América Latinas: cultura, política y sociedad
LIT 189I: Literatura e indigeneidad
LIT 288Z/231A: 20th- and 21st-century Latin American Commodity Narratives
LIT 288Y: Indigeneidad contemporánea en América Latina
LIT 251/288Y: The Environmental Humanities: Latin American Perspectives

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