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Barbara Del Mercato

Online seminar with Pablo Mukherjee: Fossil Imprints: Energy Justice, Colonial Writing, Post-Colonial Theory 1024 1024 Barbara Del Mercato

Online seminar with Pablo Mukherjee: Fossil Imprints: Energy Justice, Colonial Writing, Post-Colonial Theory

April 16, 2020 at 5 p.m. on GoogleMeet

If you would like to participate, please email hsc@unive.it to receive the access code to the online seminar and/or a preview copy of the presentation.

Pablo Mukherjee teaches on the English and Comparative Literary Studies program at the University of Warwick, and is the author, among other titles, of Natural Disasters and Victorian Imperial Culture: Fevers and Famines (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013 and (With WReC) of Combined and Uneven Develeopment: Towards a New Theory of World-Literature (Liverpool University Press, 2015).

You can read more about Pable Mukherjee here.

The seminar is in English.

Fossil Imprints: Energy Justice, Colonial Writing, Post-Colonial Theory

ABSTRACT

What do Postcolonial Studies and Energy Humanities have to stay to one another? Given that the former is by now a well-established academic field and the latter a recently emergent one, we might expect the relationship between the two to be marked by wars of position and anxieties of influence. In this essay, however, I suggest that there is much to gain from cross-fertilisation and cross-hatching between the two. if Postcolonial Studies have often been accused of evacuating the matter of history from its purview, Energy Humanities has sometimes suffered from insufficient attention to the dynamics of empire. In this paper, I traverse one of the many common grounds between the two fields – Justice.

Ideas and concepts of justice lie at the heart of both appraisals of colonialism/imperialism, and of our concerns with the use of energy in a climate-altered world. By comparing two classic colonial texts from 19th-century South Asia by Rudyard Kipling and Dinabandhu Mitra, I argue that the intersections between energy and empire had already been examined thoroughly by writers long before the formation of the academic disciplines that today take them as their area of study. As ever, it is to literature and culture we must turn in order to appreciate the limits and possibilities of theory.

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Online seminar with Jasenka Gudelj (University of Zagreb): La cultura architettonica dell’Adriatico orientale tra il Quattrocento e il Settecento 1024 484 Barbara Del Mercato

Online seminar with Jasenka Gudelj (University of Zagreb): La cultura architettonica dell’Adriatico orientale tra il Quattrocento e il Settecento

April 9, 2020 at 5 p.m. on GoogleMeet

If you would like to participate, please email hsc@unive.it to receive the access code to the online seminar

Jasenka Gudelj is Associate professor at the University of Zagreb, and the  head of a ERC Consolidator grant dedicated to “Architectural Culture of the Early Modern Eastern Adriatic” (which will kick off at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice in September) . She specializes in history of architecture of the Adriatic region, and obtained her PhD from School of Advanced Studies Venice, and was a postdoctoral fellow at University of Pittsburgh and BibliothecaHertziana, Rome. 

Organised in collaboration with the Research Institute for Digital and Cultural Heritage in Italian.

The seminar is in Italian.

Abstract (ITA)
La cultura architettonica dell’Adriatico orientale tra il Quattrocento e il Settecento: il mercato architettonico tra ridefinizioni territoriali, religiose e cognitive

Dopo aver introdotto il contenuto dell’ERC Consolidator grant Architectural Culture of the Early Modern Eastern Adriatic che inizierò presso Ca’ Foscari a settembre 2020, il mio intervento cercherà di mostrare alcuni aspetti della ricerca, attraverso qualche caso esemplificativo.

Tra il XV e il XVIII secolo, le divisioni politiche trasformarono l’Adriatico orientale in un vasto arcipelago, dove persino le città costiere di terraferma furono divise dall’entroterra. Questo processo ha innescato la formazione di un mercato architettonico fluttuante e flessibile che ha funzionato all’interno di una cultura architettonica multilingue e multiconfessionale. Questa complessa produzione culturale creò numerosi edifici importanti, ma finora la loro valutazione rimase piuttosto parziale e incompleta, condizionata dalla divisione delle storiografie in diverse lingue, dagli approcci tradizionali basati sul paradigma nazionale e da quello di centro/periferia. Il mio progetto cerca di superare i limiti di questi metodi, introducendo uno sviluppo concettuale nello studio del patrimonio costruito nella prima modernità dell’Adriatico orientale, prendendo in esame lo spettro dei problemi correlati alla cultura architettonica adriatica. Per affrontarli in modo più sistematico, il progetto si concentrerà su quattro domìni correlati: la territorializzazione, la sfera religiosa, la circolazione del sapere architettonico, la pratica architettonica.

Per illustrare alcuni segmenti dell’approccio che sarà applicato nel progetto, nella seconda parte dell’intervento saranno presentati due casi studio su cui ho lavorato recentemente: la costruzione della Loggia comunale di Sebenico e la ricostruzione della concattedrale di Cherso, entrambi interventi cinquecenteschi.

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Online seminar with Elizabeth Kowaleski-Wallace: Reconsidering the Human in the Age of Coronavirus: A Humanist/New Materialist Perspective 1024 540 Barbara Del Mercato

Online seminar with Elizabeth Kowaleski-Wallace: Reconsidering the Human in the Age of Coronavirus: A Humanist/New Materialist Perspective

April 1, 2020 at 3 p.m. on GoogleMeet

If you would like to participate, please email hsc@unive.it to receive the access code to the online seminar and/or a preview copy of the presentation.

Elizabeth Kowaleski-Wallace is Professor at the English Department of Boston College and specializes in British eighteenth-century literature and culture and feminist and cultural theory (more here).

The seminar is in English.

Abstract (ENG)

“While we are clearly still “in” coronavirus,” we will some day (hopefully not too far away), look back at everything before, including the seminar, as belonging to another age, epoch, moment when all kinds of things were still doable, possible, thinkable.” EKW

In the “after coronavirus” moment, how will the humanities in particular ready themselves to take up the challenges that will surely arise?

My talk will have three parts. First, in Part One I’ll briefly survey how medical, philosophic, and technological trends have resulted in an altered definition of the human body and mind. Second, in Part Two I will quickly describe how some scholars in the humanities have begun to rethink their disciplinary efforts as a result. I’ll describe how transdisciplinarity—especially the crossover from the humanities and the social sciences to the sciences as well as the reverse—has begun to unfold. I’ll also describe how this transdisciplinarity moves us forward, out of the disciplinary impasse once characteristic of high poststructuralism. Lastly, in Part Three I’ll address the question of how do those of us, like myself, with our traditional training in specifically literary and visual arts, might begin to respond in our scholarly work and in our pedagogies.

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Interactive online seminar with David Gentilcore: L’acqua come risorsa e come minaccia nel Regno di Napoli: la ‘Statistica’ murattiana del 1811 1024 483 Barbara Del Mercato

Interactive online seminar with David Gentilcore: L’acqua come risorsa e come minaccia nel Regno di Napoli: la ‘Statistica’ murattiana del 1811

March 26, 2020 at 5 p.m. on GoogleMeet

If you would like to participate, please email hsc@unive.it or grandi@unive.it to receive the access code to the online seminar

David Gentilcore is Full Professor in the Department of Humanities  at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. He will discuss “Water as a resource and as a threat in the Kingdom of Naples: the 1811 “Statistica” in Murat’s time.

The seminar is in Italian.

Abstract (ITA)
L’acqua come minaccia e come risorsa nel Regno di Napoli: la “Statistica” murattiana del 1811
La mia presentazione si divide in due parti. Nella prima parte presenterò il mio progetto “The Water Cultures of Italy, 1500-1900”, finanziato da un ERC Advanced Grant, che vorrebbe proporre un
nuovo modo di scrivere la storia, con l’acqua posta al centro. Il concetto di “Water Cultures” si basa sull’intreccio sinergico di cinque filoni di ricerca, che verranno delineati in breve. Per dimostrare l’approccio ho pubblicato due studi, il primo sull’acqua nella letteratura medica europea (soprattutto dietetica), dalla metà del ‘400 fino alla metà del ‘700. La trattatistica getta luce sulla circolazione dei saperi intorno all’acqua da bere, nel contesto della regolamentazione personale dell’alimentazione nel mantenimento della salute: (qui l’abstract). Il secondo studio è dedicato alla gestione del sistema idrico nella Napoli moderna, analizzando le carte del “Tribunale della Fortificazione, Acqua e Mattonata”, per gettare luce sia sulla quantità dell’acqua disponibile e sulle modalità di consumo da parte della popolazione napoletana, sia sulla sua qualità, secondo i criteri dell’epoca. Qui il testo (open access).
Nella seconda parte presenterò il mio “work in progress” sulla “Statistica” del Regno di Napoli, compilata dal 1811 in poi. Si tratta di un’ indagine mirata ad acquisire un quadro chiaro sulla topografia, sullo stato della popolazione, dell’agricoltura e delle manifatture in ognuno delle dodici province che costituivano il Regno. Siccome molti dei quesiti ai quali i redattori provinciali dovevano rispondere riguardano l’acqua, la “Statistica” è una miniera preziosa per conoscere la realtà della situazione idrica nel Regno in un preciso momento storico; o meglio, non proprio “la realtà” ma rappresentazioni e visioni di quella realtà, che la ricerca intende approfondire.

In these troubled times, the Center for the Humanities and Social Change intends to continue its activities and our intellectual conversation. Our unbalanced interactions with our ecosystems have been foregrounded by the current virus emergency and the environmental humanities become even more relevant to understand the present condition and plan for a better future.

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Interactive online seminar with Pietro Omodeo: Hydrogeological Politics in Renaissance Venice 1024 484 Barbara Del Mercato

Interactive online seminar with Pietro Omodeo: Hydrogeological Politics in Renaissance Venice

March 19, 2020 at 11 a.m. on GoogleMeet

If you would like to participate, please email hsc@unive.it or grandi@unive.it : you will receive a code to join the online seminar

In these troubled times, the Center for the Humanities and Social Change intends to continue its activities and our intellectual conversation. Our unbalanced interactions with our ecosystems have been foregrounded by the current virus emergency and the environmental humanities become even more relevant to understand the present condition and plan for a better future.

This is the first in a series of online seminars organized in collaboration with Ca’Foscari Research Institutes and with ECLT.

Pietro Omodeo is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice

Hydrogeological Politics in Renaissance Venice

Abstract: This communication concerns Venetian hydrogeological politics in the early Seventeenth century. I will present my ongoing archival research on this issue, focusing on the figure of Galileo’s pupil Benedetto Castelli.

Castelli’s work On the Measurement of Running Water (Della misura dell’acque correnti, 1629)  has been considered one of the foundational works of modern hydrodynamics. It offered geometrical demonstrations aimed to make the measurement of running waters (the “misura”) possible through the isolation of few variables: the section of a waterway and its speed. From this viewpoint, Castelli’s work represented another successful application of Galilean physics. However, Castelli was not able to convince the Venetian authorities that his method was apt to solve the main problems relative to the conservation of the geoenvironmental equilibrium of the lagoon. On the one hand, the Venetian authorities saw the diversion of rivers outside the lagoon as a measure to mitigate the infilling of sediment; on the other, Castelli argued, to the contrary, that it was precisely rivers’ diversion that produced an embankment effect, because it drove away a great quantity of water, which he accurately calculated. His analytical approach was dismissive of the comprehensive knowledge and complex methods that Venetian water experts had developed towards a systemic understanding of the hydrogeology and the environment of the lagoon. They took into account manifold factors as varied as the rivers’ flows, sea tides, the relative positions of the sun and the moon, winds, and even the effects of anthropic interventions. The dryness of Castelli’s reductionist approach was received with skepticism, even rage, thus rejected, in spite of the prestige of his connection with Galilei.

I will reconstruct the controversy that was sparked off by Castelli’s claim that his mathematical treatment of running waters could solve all of the most urgent problems linked to the management the Lagoon of Venice. From an epistemological viewpoint, the controversy is relevant as a case of clashing ‘styles of thought’, as it was a disciplinary conflict that pitted physico-mathematical abstraction (which resulted from the isolation of a set of quantifiable data) against ‘geological’ concreteness (a form of comprehensive knowledge which aimed to cope with systemic complexity). It will be here considered whether the two different approaches were rooted in different societal arrangements and corresponding scientific practices. 

ITA:

 Politiche idrogeologiche nella Venezia rinascimentale

Abstract:

Il mio intervento riguarda la politica idrogeologica veneziana all’inizio del diciassettesimo secolo. Presenterò le mie ricerche d’archivio in corso su questo tema, concentrandomi sulla figura di Benedetto Castelli, allievo di Galileo.

L’opera di Castelli sulla misurazione dell’acqua corrente (Della misura dell’acque correnti, 1628) è stata considerata una delle opere fondanti della moderna idrodinamica. Ha offerto dimostrazioni geometriche volte a rendere possibile la misurazione delle acque correnti (la “misura”) attraverso l’isolamento di poche variabili: la sezione di una via d’acqua e la sua velocità. Da questo punto di vista, il lavoro di Castelli ha rappresentato un’altra applicazione di successo della fisica Galileiana. Tuttavia, Castelli non è stato in grado di convincere le autorità veneziane che il suo metodo fosse in grado di risolvere i principali problemi relativi alla conservazione dell’equilibrio geo-ambientale della laguna. Da un lato, le autorità veneziane hanno visto la deviazione dei fiumi fuori dalla laguna come misura per mitigare il riempimento da sedimenti; dall’altro, Castelli sosteneva, al contrario, che era proprio la diversione dei fiumi a produrre un effetto di riempimento, poiché aveva portato via una grande quantità di acqua, che calcolò con accuratezza. Il suo approccio analitico è stato noncurante delle conoscenze integrate e dei metodi complessi che gli esperti Veneziani delle acque avevano sviluppato tendendo alla comprensione sistematica dell’idrogeologia e dell’ambiente lagunare. Tali esperti hanno preso in considerazione molteplici fattori quali i flussi dei fiumi, le maree, le posizioni relative del sole e della luna, i venti e persino gli effetti degli interventi antropici. L’aridità dell’approccio riduzionista di Castelli fu accolta con scetticismo, persino rabbia, e di conseguenza respinta, nonostante il prestigio del suo legame con Galilei.

Ricostruirò la controversia scatenata dall’affermazione di Castelli secondo cui il suo trattamento matematico delle acque correnti avrebbe potuto risolvere tutti i problemi più urgenti legati alla gestione della Laguna di Venezia. Da un punto di vista epistemologico, la controversia è rilevante come un caso di “stili di pensiero” in conflitto, in quanto si è trattato di un conflitto disciplinare che ha contrapposto l’astrazione fisico-matematica (derivata dall’isolamento di un insieme di dati quantificabili) alla concretezza “geologica” (una forma di conoscenza globale che mirava a far fronte alla complessità sistemica). Discuterò se i due diversi approcci fossero radicati in diversi ordini sociali e nelle corrispondenti pratiche scientifiche.  

This seminar was recorded and is available here

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Call for expressions of interest for Postdoctoral Fellowships in Environmental Humanities 367 131 Barbara Del Mercato

Call for expressions of interest for Postdoctoral Fellowships in Environmental Humanities

Venice, March 3rd 2020

Call for expressions of interest for Postdoctoral Fellowships in Environmental Humanities

 The Center for the Humanities and Social Change at Ca’Foscari University of Venice is seeking candidates for 4 Postdoctoral Fellowships in Environmental Humanities.

Applicants must have a PhD in any discipline of Humanities or Social Science. They must have worked in the area of Environmental Humanities or show potential for research interest in this field. Evidence of active research and publications in peer-reviewed journals will be an added advantage.

The Postdoctoral Fellowship will provide 35,000 euros per year before tax and the fellowship may be renewed for a second year depending on the progress of the fellow. The Fellowship may also give access to additional travel and research funding to present work at international symposia and/or organize events in Venice.

The Center for the Humanities and Social Change is an intellectual community with strong interactions with the European Center for Living Technology, all University departments, and many other cultural institutions in Venice. The fellows are expected to work in residence in Venice and actively contribute to the Center activities (e.g. offering seminars for the M.A. in Environmental Humanities and/or organizing academic and outreach events). They will be offered office space and full access to the university libraries and research facilities.

Your expression of interests should include a Curriculum Vitae (max 3 pages), the names and contact information of two referees, and a research project that includes a concept, a working plan, and expected results focusing on one (or more) of the following areas:

  • Environmental Humanities and water, flooding, sea-level rise, the ocean, blue humanities, water cultures, water politics, coastal areas.
  • Environmental Humanities and sustainable cities, strategies of adaptation, mitigation, resilience; cultural and artistic interventions to raise ecological awareness and envision sustainable lives.
  • Environmental Humanities and the human, nonhuman, posthuman: theories and cultural practices.
  • Environmental Humanities and migrations, diaspora, and ‘climate refugees’; colonial and postcolonial environments; climate justice.
  • Environmental Humanities and medical humanities: theories and practices.

For all these areas we encourage projects that provide a historical perspective; engage non-western and indigenous cultures; address issues of minority, gender, ethnicity, disability; suggest pedagogical and activist practices; engage with the tangible and intangible heritage of Venice and its contemporary art scene; formulate strategies of environmental communication.

Please direct expression of interest and queries by 10 April 2020 to:

Dr. Barbara Del Mercato, Project Manager – E-mail: hsc@unive.it (Subject: HSC_EOI)

After the closure of the present call for expressions of interest, HSC will issue a formal Call for Applications. Fellowships will begin September 1, 2020.

CANCELLED/ANNULLATO: La defamiliarizzazione del mondo: un seminario con Chiara Mengozzi 1024 576 Barbara Del Mercato

CANCELLED/ANNULLATO: La defamiliarizzazione del mondo: un seminario con Chiara Mengozzi

The seminar with Chiara Mengossi was cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience.
Ca’ Bottacin, Dorsoduro 3911 (map), HSC seminar room (1st floor)

Registration is necessary: please email hsc@unive.it

The next seminar in our “Environmental Humanities Seminar and Lecture Series” is with Chiara Mengozzi on the topic of:

La defamiliarizzazione del mondo. Tre esempi di climate fiction francese (The defamiliarization of the world: the examples of Franch climate fiction)

Abstract (ITA):

La produzione letteraria che ha per oggetto il riscaldamento climatico costituisce un terreno privilegiato per pensare le frontiere della letteratura, siano esse esterne (relative alle intersezioni con il discorso scientifico e politico), o interne (relative alle sfide che questo iper-oggetto pone ai regimi di rappresentazione). L’intervento esplora queste questioni attraverso tre autori francesi di fantascienza – Jean-Marc Ligny, Dominique Douay e Claude Ecken – identificando le strutture narrative e i procedimenti formali attraverso cui essi mettono in scena il riscaldamento climatico nel suo decorso e nei suoi effetti, ambientali, sociali e psicologici.

L’iscrizione al seminario è necessaria/Please sign up if you would like to attend: hsc@unive.it

Any preparatory reading will be posted here (none available at the moment)

A seminar with Chiara Mengozzi: La defamiliarizzazione del mondo. Tre esempi di climate fiction francese.

THE SEMINAR IS CANCELLED. We apologise for any inconvenience

March 2, 2020, 2.00-4.00 p,m. 

This seminar is in Italian/Seminario in lingua italiana

Iscrizione necessaria/Registration is necessary: hsc@unive.it

Shaul Bassi in Princeton: Venice, Climate Change, and the Crisis of Imagination 1024 426 Barbara Del Mercato

Shaul Bassi in Princeton: Venice, Climate Change, and the Crisis of Imagination

February 20, 2020 at 4.30 p.m.
165 Wallace Hall, Princeton University

Princeton, NJ

HSC Venice Director Shaul Bassi will present a lecture organized by the Department of Sociology at Princeton University on “Venice, Climate Change and the Crisis of Imagination”.

More information here

Alessandra Viola: Trash! All you should know about garbage. 1024 485 Barbara Del Mercato

Alessandra Viola: Trash! All you should know about garbage.

Venice, February 10 at 5.30 p.m.
Aula A Ca’ Bottacin (Dorsoduro 3911)

Re Mida trasformava tutto quello che toccava in oro. Noi, più modestamente, in rifiuti. Abbiamo lasciato palline da golf sulla Luna e cambiato il clima con le nostre emissioni. Sepolto scorie chimiche vicino alle cascate del Niagara, disperso migliaia di rottami nello spazio attorno alla Terra. Un incontro tra curiosità e dati per ricostruire la storia di un’idea – quella del rifiuto – che nei secoli si è trasformata moltissime volte.

La seconda serie di incontri della  “Environmental Humanities Seminar and Lecture Series” si apre con una conferenza di con Alessandra Viola, giornalista, scrittrice, produttrice e sceneggiatrice per la tv, docente universitaria.

Alessandra Viola. Trash! Tutto quello che dovreste sapere sui rifiuti.

Ca’ Bottacin, Dorsoduro 3911 – Venezia

February 10, 2020 –  5.30 p.m. 

This event is in Italian/Evento in lingua italiana

Free admission/Aperto a tutti

Major changes in our Environmental Humanities Seminar and Lecture Series (II) 1024 576 Barbara Del Mercato

Major changes in our Environmental Humanities Seminar and Lecture Series (II)

Please note the following important changes in our calendar of events:

2 March – seminar with Chiara Mengozzi : CANCELLED

13 March – seminar with Elisabeth Kowaleski-Wallace: POSTPONED – This seminar (Reconsidering the Human in the Age of Coronavirus: A Humanist/New Materialist Perspective) was rescheduled online: April 1st, 3 p.m. Please email hsc@unive.it or grandi@unive if you would like to receive access code to the GoogleMeet session. 

18-20 March –  Afropean Bridges. Ecologies and Societies: POSTPONED. 

1-4 April: Incroci di civiltà, HSC @ Ocean Space: POSTPONED

20-21 April: Humanities, Ecocriticism and Environment: POSTPONED

29 April: seminar with Veronica Strang: POSTPONED

We apologize for any inconvenience and regret not being able to provide alternative dates. We hope to reschedule these events in the nearest possible future.

The Center for the Humanities and Social Change continues the series of seminars and lectures revolving around the Environmental Humanities from a wide array of perspectives.

Venues:
Ca’ Bottacin, Dorsoduro 3911.
lectures: Aula A
seminars: Aula seminari HSC (primo piano)/ HSC seminar room (1st floor)

Ca’ Dolfin, Dorsoduro 3825/D
Aula Magna Silvio Trentin

L’iscrizione ai *seminari è obbligatoria/
Registration is required for *seminars:
hsc@unive.it

The calendar will continue into July 2020, so please check back for updates on the third part of the series, May 2020

Errata corrige: please note that the seminar with Elisabeth Kowaleski Wallace (New Materialsm? New Humanism?) originally scheduled on March 12th will actually take place on MARCH 13th at 2.00 pm at Ca’ Bottacin, Dorsoduro 3911. We apologise for any inconvenience. Registration is required for seminars: hsc@unive.it