Fall 2024

Amazonia in International Relations

Listed in: Latinx and Latin Amer Studies, as LLAS-332  |  Political Science, as POSC-432


Manuela Picq (Section 01)


(Offered as POSC 432 and LLAS 332) This class proposes Amazonia as a site to think about world politics. The Amazon, imagined as a place of nature rather than modernity, is invisible in the study of International Relations (IR). Yet, its experiences are deeply interconnected with international dynamics. The modern world has long been influencing Amazonia, and Amazonia has in turn contributed much to forging what we now refer to as the global North. This class identifies international dynamics at play in Amazonia through different historical moments, from shaping western sovereignty in the sixteenth century to the rubber boom of the twentieth century and drug trafficking today. We show how Amazonian peripheries have contributed to forging the political economy of what we refer to as the core of world politics. This class engages with empirical approaches to Amazonia as well as theoretical debates about IR, disrupting the global division of labor in knowledge production and opening fertile grounds to think critically about IR.

Requisite: At least one POSC course. Limited to 18 students. Not open to first-year students. Fall semester. Karl Loewenstein Senior Lecturer Picq.

How to handle overenrollment: Priority first given to senior Political Science majors, then to a balance of sophomores and juniors, randomly determined, followed by 5-college students.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Students should expect to encounter an emphasis on written work, readings, group work, independent research, and oral presentations.

Course Materials


2023-24: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2024