Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society

Breadcrumb Navigation

Antoine Acker

Dr. Antoine Acker



Rachel Carson Center
Leopoldstr. 11a, 4. OG, 421
80802 Munich

Antoine Acker is an environmental historian working on Brazil and Latin America’s global connections in the age of the Anthropocene. He has a PhD from the European University Institute, Florence (2014), and has researched and taught in eight different European universities. He is currently a senior lecturer at the history department of the University of Zurich, where he arrived in 2017. His first monograph, Volkswagen in the Amazon: The Tragedy of Global Development in Modern Brazil, analyzes a transnational ranching project which started in the early 1970s in the Brazilian rainforest. This study unveils the entwinement of the Amazon’s transformation into a modern export region and its rise to a global socio-environmental cause. At the Rachel Carson Center, he will work on the transnational circulation of ideas, practices, and people involved in the building of a continent-wide regime of oil production and ownership in Latin America. In particular, he will study the entwinement of energy and environmental topics in the process of nationalization of resources which accompanied the construction of post-colonial Latin American nation states, and evaluate the impact of these transformations for energy transitions at a global level. This project is a contribution to an emerging academic and popular reflection about the role of the so-called Global South in the shaping of fossil globalization and the Anthropocene.

RCC Research Project: AnthropoSouth: Latin American Oil-Based Futures in the Development Century (1920-1975)

Selected Publications:

  • “A Different Story in the Anthropocene: Brazil’s Postcolonial Quest for Oil (1930-1975)” Past & Present 249, no. 1 (2020), 1-45 (forthcoming).
  • edited with Georg Fischer. Varia Historia 34, no. 65 (2018) (special issue on Brazil in the Great Acceleration)
  • edited with Olaf Kaltmeier and Anne Tittor. Forum for InterAmerican Research 9, no. 2 (2016) (special issue on Negotiating Nature in the Americas: Imaginaries and Interventions between Preservation and Exploitation).
  • with Nathalia Capellini. “Tales of the Transamazonian: Hopes and Disillusion on a Route of Ecological Migrations”, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment 24, no. 2 (2017): 306-324.