URBAN IMAGINARIES IN NATIVE AMAZONIA ed. by F. Santos-Granero & E. Fabiano (2023)

Urban Imaginaries in Native AmazoniaUrban Imaginaries in Native Amazonia

Tales of Alterity, Power, and Defiance

Edited by Fernando Santos Granero and Emanuele Fabiano

The University of Arizona Press, 2023

Urban Imaginaries in Native Amazonia explores how urban life has long intrigued Indigenous Amazonians, who regard cities as the locus of both extraordinary power and danger. Modern and ancient cities alike have thus become models for the representation of extreme alterity under the guise of supernatural enchanted cities. This volume seeks to analyze how these ambiguous urban imaginaries—complex representations that function as cognitive tools and blueprints for social action—express a singular view of cosmopolitical relations, how they inform and shape forest-city interactions, and the history of how they came into existence.

Featuring analysis from historical, ethnological, and philosophical perspectives, contributors seek to explain the imaginaries’ widespread diffusion, as well as their influence in present-day migration and urbanization. Above all, it underscores how these urban imaginaries allow Indigenous Amazonians to express their concerns about power, alterity, domination, and defiance.

This book is a result of the Panel “Urban Imaginaries in Native Amazonia“, during the XII Conference of SALSA (Vienna, 2019).

The University of Arizona Press

Hardcover ($65.00), Ebook ($35.00). 30% OFF with code AZFLR


  • Natalia Buitron
  • Philippe Erikson
  • Emanuele Fabiano
  • Fabiana Maizza
  • Daniela Peluso
  • Fernando Santos-Granero
  • Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen
  • Robin M. Wright


“This edited volume provides a nuanced approach to urban imaginaries in Amazonia and its implications for self-determination and sovereignty of Indigenous peoples. Drawing attention to the importance of considering Indigenous worldviews and livelihoods in the face of settler colonialism, this volume complicates what we understand by cityscapes in Latin America. This book is for anyone interested in better understanding urban ecologies and landscapes in Amazonia.”
Laura Zanotti, author of Radical Territories in the Brazilian Amazon.

About the Editors

Fernando Santos-Granero is a senior staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. He is the author of Slavery and Utopia and the editor of Images of Public Wealth or the Anatomy of Well-Being in Native Amazonia and The Occult Life of Things.

Emanuele Fabiano is a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Social Studies at the University of Coimbra in Portugal and lecturer at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru.

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