The Environmental Humanities International Research Group

The Environmental Humanities International Research Group is a multi-disciplinary cluster of scholars aimed at facilitating faculty study of complex eco-cultural issues, supporting graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, and collaborating with international experts, academic institutions, and scholarly associations working in the field. Based in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures and Modern Cultures, it creates a broad study network that includes a number of humanities scholars, in individual departments and programs, already working on environmental issues, with the purpose of sharing resources, contacts, works-in-progress and mentoring responsibilities.

Called to creatively respond to the cultural, social and natural challenges of the ecological crisis, the Environmental Humanities form a crucial debate that encompasses emerging new branches such as ecological literary criticism (ecocriticism), postcolonial studies, ecolinguistics, biosemiotics, all the environment-related forms of literature, film, theatre, aesthetics, ethics, visual arts, architecture, as well as traditional disciplines such as history, sociology, geography, philosophy, anthropology, pedagogy, religious studies, political sciences and economics.

Globally established as an academic field, the Environmental Humanities emerge as an indispensable area of learning in the world’s most prestigious institutions. In spite of this, such a study field seems to receive limited attention in the Italian academia. Our International Research Group has as its main target to fill this very gap. Composed of literary scholars, geographers, philosophers, anthropologists, historians and linguists motivated by the urge to contribute to the interdisciplinary discussion about environmental sustainability from their specific fields of expertise, the Environmental Humanities International Research Group started its activities in 2013. We are working to organize conferences, seminars, and international connections.

A particularly promising project, namely, a bilateral exchange with the Elite-Studienprogramm “Ethik der Textkulturen/Ethics of Textual Cultures” at the Universität Augsburg will inaugurate in 2015 with the support of the Alexander-von-Humboldt Stiftung. Conducted by Serenella Iovino and Hubert Zapf, it will include symposia, joint-mentorships of PhD students, and student exchanges.

Other activities are under planning.



International research partners:

  • Joni Adamson, English and Environmental Humanities, School of Letters and Sciences, Director, Environmental Humanities Certificate, Senior Sustainability Scholar, Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Co-PI and Co-Director, West Cluster, "Humanities for the Environment," Andrew W. Mellon-Funded CHCI Grant. (
  •  Marco Armiero, Director of the Environmental Humanities Laboratory, Royal Academy of Technology, Stockholm (
  • Stefania Barca, Senior Researcher and Vice-president of the Scientific Council at Center for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal.  (
  • Angela Biancofiore, Professor of Italian Literature, Centre de recherche LASI Littératures arts et société en Italie, Université de Montpellier 3, France. (
  • Margarita Carretero-González, Professor of English Literature, English and German Department, Universidad de Granada, Spain. (
  • Jeffrey J. Cohen, Professor of English, Director, GW Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute (, George Washington University, Washington DC. (
  • Gabriele Dürbeck, Professor of Literary and Cultural Theory, Institut f&#