Modern and Current Environmental Crises in Italy (Panel)


Italian / Interdisciplinary Humanities

Giordano Mazza (Sewanee: The University of the South)

Now more than ever it is important to interrogate the impact and discourses of the modern and contemporary environmental crises afflicting the world. This panel takes an interdisciplinary approach in order to explore the meaning of such key terms as “environment,” “ecology,” “nature” within the Italian context. More specifically, the panel examines how the impact of environmental crises and the discourses on current dilemmas in the Italian peninsula are integrated into the critical analyses of key Italian literary and cinematic texts. The panel draws on the lessons learned from Italian modern and contemporary authors in order to investigate the underlying causes behind the environmental issues humanity currently faces, as well as how these issues have affected Italy in particular. The broader objective of the panel is to examine the global issue of environmental crisis through an Italian lens in order to investigate how Italy’s writers and artists have related to these ongoing problems.

Papers may utilize any media that has explored modern and current environmental issues. These include, but are not limited to, poetical texts (e.g., Ungaretti, Quasimodo, Montale, Pasolini), literary texts (e.g., Silone, Ortese, Cassola, Celati, Calvino, Saviano), and cinematic texts (e.g., Gregoretti, Antonioni, Rohrwacher, Garrone).

Some questions raised by this panel might be: How did Italian writers and cinematographers address modern and current environmental issues in their works? What kind of critiques did they level? What solutions did they propose? How did they relate Italy’s problems to the environmental problems affecting humanity and the world on a global scale?


This panel draws on the lessons learned from Italian cinematic and literary texts to analyze the underlying causes behind the environmental issues that humanity currently faces, as well as how these issues have affected Italy, in particular.