Boundaries of nature : national parks and environmental change at the Argentine-Brazilian border, 1890-1990

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"Boundaries of Nature" investigates the creation of the Iguazú National Park in Argentina (1934) and the Iguaçu National Park in Brazil (1939), analyzing the geopolitical reasoning and the spatial practices behind the establishment of these two protected areas. Located at the Argentine-Brazilian border around the famous binational Iguazu Falls, the two national parks were initially envisioned as tools for the nationalization of the border. In Argentina, park proponents innovated by engaging the country's national park service in the promotion of settler colonization in national park lands. The Argentine national park agency traced street grids, parceled and sold lots, and implemented urban infrastructure inside park boundaries. Brazilian officials in turn, partially inspired by the Argentine example across the border, engaged in more modest efforts to use national park policy in the development of their side of the border. Brazil's weak control of public land, however, resulted in thousands of contested settlements inside its own border national park. In the 1960s and 1970s, the consolidation of an international paradigm of national parks as spaces devoid of dwellers and the strengthening of state tools to manage land and people led the military regimes in the two countries to engage in conflictive processes of settler eviction. This study employs space as a crucial dimension in the reconstruction of the history of Iguazú and Iguaçu, showing the spatial practices that helped to define these protected areas: mapping, demarcation, zoning, parceling, patrolling, eviction. It also demonstrates how settlers, poachers, and heart-of-palm harvesters contested the enforcement of national park rules in the space of the parks. The result was the establishment of landscapes of protected nature that were socially and politically constructed through spatial processes.


Type of resource text
Form electronic; electronic resource; remote
Extent 1 online resource.
Publication date 2016
Issuance monographic
Language English


Associated with Santos Soares de Freitas, Frederico
Associated with Stanford University, Department of History.
Primary advisor Frank, Zephyr L, 1970-
Thesis advisor Frank, Zephyr L, 1970-
Thesis advisor White, Richard
Thesis advisor Wolfe, Mikael
Advisor White, Richard
Advisor Wolfe, Mikael


Genre Theses

Bibliographic information

Statement of responsibility Frederico Santos Soares de Freitas.
Note Submitted to the Department of History.
Thesis Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2016.
Location electronic resource

Access conditions

© 2016 by Frederico Santos Soares de Freitas
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).

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