Call for Book Chapters: "Italian Ecocriticism: Historic Trajectories and Contemporary Approaches"

As an understanding of reality that is defined and measured by human experience, humanism finds one of its cornerstones in the idea of a harmonious correspondence between microcosm and macrocosm—between man and universe—that has proven as ideologically idealistic as impossible to achieve. However, the specter of a “collapse of nature” and the awareness of the precariousness of human life on earth have always haunted our imagination. In Italian culture in particular, from the Middle Ages to the contemporary period, several thinkers, writers, and artists have eschewed anthropocentric approaches as inadequate to account for the complexity of the relationships between humans and the nonhuman world.

As demonstrated by publications such as edited volumes Thinking Italian Animals (2014) and Italy and the Environmental Humanities (2018) as well Iovino’s monograph, Ecocriticism and Italy (2016), not only Italian  literary and cinematic texts have been recently examined through ecocritical lenses, but Italy has also been increasingly and internationally recognized as capable of providing crucial examples of human/nonhuman relationships. The aim of Italian Ecocriticism: Historic Trajectories and Contemporary Approaches is to explore non-anthropocentric modes of thinking and interacting with the nonhuman world with a more cogent theoretical frame. As the title suggests, our goal is in fact to provide both accounts of how Italian historical records have potentially shaped our environmental imagination and how  contemporary Italian authors are developing approaches beyond humanism in order to raise questions about the role of humans in a possible (or potentially) post-natural world. Ultimately, the volume will offer a critical map of Italian contributions to our contemporary investigation of the relationships between human and nonhuman habitats and communities.

We invite submissions that investigate pre-modern and modern speculations, as well as contemporary theoretical approaches. Topics include but are not limited to: the boundaries and connections between civilization and wilderness, and between humanity and animality; hybridity, metamorphosis, and subjectivity; issues of agency, environmental awareness, and eco-critical activism; environmental ethics and ecological adaptations; nature and technology; notions of temporal continuity or rupture; and anthropocentrism, anthropomorphism, and the biosphere.

Please send a 300-word abstract (in English) and a brief bio to Damiano Benvegnù ( and Matteo Gilebbi ( by July 1, 2020. We will inform authors of acceptance by July 10, 2020.

This proposal is due on July 1st 2020.

Page last updated on June 17th 2020. All information correct at the time, but subject to change.