Literature and the Environmental Humanities: a theoretical framework


  • Annamaria Elia



Since the second half of the 20th century, a growing concern about the environment and climate change has been raised across different academic fields. As for literary studies, the debate about ecocriticism nourished the flourishing of new theories and ideas coming from the intersection of natural sciences and humanities. Despite the hegemony of Anglophone research, drawing from more multicultural contexts environmental studies seem nowadays to converge
more and more towards the interdisciplinary – and yet non unitary – field of the Environmental Humanities. This article intends to frame a comprehensive overview of the major con-temporary ecocritical theories from a comparative perspective, particularly focusing on the contribution that literature brings to the wider context of Environmental Humanities and in response to the epistemological and ontological challenges posed by the Anthropocene. In doing so, it particularly focuses on three main key concepts: nature, agency, and scales.

Author Biography

Annamaria Elia

Annamaria Elia è dottoranda in Italianistica presso l’Università Sapienza di Roma (PON
“Dottorati Innovazione e Green”). Nel 2021 ha conseguito in doppio titolo la laurea magi-
strale in Filologia moderna presso l’Università Sapienza di Roma e l’Università Sorbona di
Parigi con una tesi in letterature comparate relativa all’ecocritica. Il suo progetto dottorale
ha lo scopo di esplorare, attraverso una prospettiva teorica nuovo materialista e postuma-
na, l’immaginario letterario dell’Antropocene nelle letterature europee e anglo-americane
contemporanee. I suoi interessi di ricerca riguardano le environmental humanities, la teoria
della letteratura, la comparatistica e la critica letteraria.



How to Cite

Elia, A. (2024). Literature and the Environmental Humanities: a theoretical framework. Status Quaestionis, (26).