Tropical Imaginaries and Climate Crisis: Embracing Relational Climate Discourses




Tropical Imaginary, climate imaginary, climate crisis, Tropics, climate change, rhizomatics, tropicality, relational, more-than-human words


In this Introduction, we set the Special Issue on 'Tropical Imaginaries and Climate Crisis' within the context of a call for relational climate discourses as they arise from particular locations in the tropics. Although climate change is global, it is not experienced everywhere the same and has pronounced effects in the tropics. This is also the region that experienced the ravages – to humans and environments – of colonialism. It is the region of the planet’s greatest biodiversity; and will experience the largest extinction losses. We advocate that climate science requires climate imagination – and specifically a tropical imagination – to bring science systems into relation with the human, cultural, social and natural. In short, this Special Issue contributes to calls to humanise climate change. Yet this is not to place the human at the centre of climate stories, rather we embrace more-than-human worlds and the expansion of relational ways of knowing and being. This paper outlines notions of tropicality and rhizomatics that are pertinent to relational discourses, and introduces the twelve papers – articles, essays and speculative fiction pieces – that give voice to tropical imaginaries and climate change in the tropics.

Author Biographies

Anita Lundberg, James Cook University, Australia

Associate Professor Anita Lundberg is a cultural anthropologist. Her ethnographies – set in Bali, Singapore, Malaysia and Eastern Indonesia – explore the intertwinings of nature and culture through interdisciplinary studies of urban life, the cinematic city, neoliberal knowledge, climate change street art, the material poetics of architecture and a garden of indigenous trees, and a whale hunting village. Anita has won awards and held international fellowships: LIA TransOceanik (CNRS, JCU, Collége de France); The Cairns Institute (TCI); Evans Fellow, Cambridge University, UK; Guest Researcher, Maison Asie-Pacifique, Université de Provence, France; Visiting Fellow, Institute of the Malay World and Civilization, National University Malaysia; and Anthropologist-in-Residence, Rimbun Dahan, Malaysia. She has published extensively in academic journals, editing numerous Special Issues. Anita has curated exhibitions in NY, LA, Paris and Sydney, and her own research has been exhibited at the Australian National Maritime Museum, the National Art Gallery of Malaysia and Alliance de Française. She was a Post-Doctoral Fellow, Cambridge University, UK, she has a PhD in Anthropology, and an MA in Science & Technology Studies.

André Vasques Vital, Evangelical University of Goiás, Brazil

Dr André Vasques Vital is Associate Professor in the Graduate Program in Society, Technology, and Environment (PPGSTMA) at the Evangelical University of Goiás - UniEVANGELICA. He is co-editor of the book Águas no Brasil: Conflitos, Atores, e Práticas (Editora Alameda, 2019) and has published articles in important international journals such as Feminist Media Studies and ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment. His works propose a non-humanist historical perspective, mainly through fantasy and science fiction animations, where waters and non-human animals are understood as active agents in the constitution of the past.

Shruti Das, Berhampur University, India

Dr Shruti Das is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of English and the Associate Director of the Centre for Canadian Studies, Berhampur University, India. She recently won the Prestigious ASLE Biennial Travel Award for 2019. She has written the Foreword for Crisis of Imagination, a book on Ecocriticism, published by the University of Rzeszow, Poland. She has published 11 books and over 60 research articles and creative works in National and International Journals. Her special interests are Critical Theory, Eco-criticism, South Asian Feminism, Postcolonialism, Indian Literature and Aesthetics, Linguistics and ELT.


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How to Cite

Lundberg, A., Vasques Vital, A. ., & Das, S. (2021). Tropical Imaginaries and Climate Crisis: Embracing Relational Climate Discourses. ETropic: Electronic Journal of Studies in the Tropics, 20(2), 1–31.