Lessons from Environmental Narratives in Post-WWII Italy

When and Where

Tuesday, February 15, 2022 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Online via Zoom - see event description for further information


Nattapol Ruangsri


The Northrop Frye Centre is pleased to invite you to a special talk in our 2021-22 NFC Doctoral Fellow Lecture Series, “Lessons from Environmental Narratives in Post-WWII Italy” with NFC Doctoral Fellow Nattapol Ruangsri on Tuesday, Feb. 15, at 4:00pm EST.

About the talk... 

Environmental narratives have played an important role in shaping public understanding of global environmental issues and suggesting solutions to these problems. I focus on Post-WWII Italy’s environmental activists and associations, paying particular attention to the organization Italia Nostra led by the novelist Giorgio Bassani. I find that the narratives used by these groups to promote environmental awareness were, to a certain degree, in line with the narratives circulating in the US and Western Europe at the time: stories of environmental battles between the good and the bad. However, taking into account the historical context of Italy during the Second World War, I also find that these narratives were the product of a specific political ideology, one that involves the heroic role of the anti-Fascist movements. In this talk, I will lay out some examples of the language that Italian environmentalists used to create environmental narratives that draw parallelisms between the environmental and the anti-Fascist movements. This appears to be the appropriate strategy in the context of postwar Italy when affinity towards the anti-Fascist movement was still very much alive. I will conclude by emphasizing the importance of adapting twenty-first century narratives to resonate with the current zeitgeist.


About the speaker...

Nattapol Ruangsri (he/him/lui) is a PhD candidate and course instructor in the Department of Italian Studies. His doctoral thesis employs the ecocritical approach to examine Giorgio Bassani’s environmental awareness and his role as a writer and environmentalist through both his literary and non-literary works. Topics that Nattapol explores in this thesis include Bassani’s representation of nature/landscape and environmental issues in his short stories and novels, and his concept of human/non-human from the perspective of animal studies. He is a former Vice President of UTGSU’s Environmental Justice and Sustainability Committee and a passionate advocate of the minimal waste lifestyle/movement.


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Contact Information


Northrop Frye Centre, Victoria College - University of Toronto