(or Building Regional Connections Through Scholarly Exchange)
On the final day of this fall semester I had the opportunity to participate in a symposium just up the road in Charlottesville, at The University of Virginia. The symposium, “Post-Humanism in the Anthropocene,” was sponsored by the Mellon Foundation and UVA’s Institute of the Humanities & Global Cultures. It was carefully organized by Enrico Cesaretti, Associate Professor of Italian
at UVA and a 2016-2017 Mellon Humanities Fellow. While my journey was short, other speakers traveled from all over North America to participate. Three successive panels took place throughout the day, according to the themes of “Questioning Boundaries,” “Energies, Ecologies, Matters,” and “Mediterranean Narratives Between Bios and Zoe.” While the majority of the speakers were Italian scholars, we were also joined by colleagues in German, Comparative Literature and English. All symposium participants were united by a shared interest in the Environmental Humanities, whether that surfaced as a focus on textual representations of landscape, petroleum cultures, or Pythagorean philosophy in contemporary film. We enjoyed fabulous conversations into the evening and made plans for future collaborative work, such as at the 2017 biennial conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment. I was especially pleased to connect with colleagues from nearby institutions, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and UVA, and look forward to continuing our work together in the future.
-Monica Seger, Assistant Professor of Italian Studies