First Advisor

Enrique Cortez

Term of Graduation

Spring 2020

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Spanish


World Languages and Literatures




Agriculture in literature, Agriculture -- Mexico -- Chiapas, Traditional ecological knowledge



Physical Description

1 online resource (ii, 134 pages)


Literatura Viva reflects the links between agriculture and literature in Chiapas, Mexico, demonstrating how the ways of knowing the environment which are culturally expressed through literature and the practices of sustainable agriculture are deeply linked. It argues that the experience of the agricultural working class is central not just to a physical movement towards tangible agricultural change but to a society's ability to understand its socio-cultural and natural environment. The thesis first explores indigenous literature, then agricultural practices and finally educational movements which seek to express pluriversal understandings and ways of interacting with the planet. It argues that these understandings apply not only in contexts from which they emerge such as Chiapas but here in Oregon and internationally as we find our species in an era of global environmental, social and spiritual crisis. This cross disciplinary approach intentionally breaks rules of both ecological and agricultural study and literary analysis to show how ways of knowing do not follow the rules of genre. Though it evades a simple definition, living literature is the stories that grow like seeds, passed down through generations and expressed not just verbally or in written form, but through agricultural and social actions. Literatura Viva argues that this inclusive and explicitly morally charged form of interdisciplinary study is crucial for future educational agricultural and literary paradigms.


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