In the spring of 2022, as the world began to be recalled to life (in Dickens’s phrase), the Calandra Institute decided, after two years, to hold its annual international conference in person again (the 2021 edition was held entirely online; click here for more information about those sessions). The 2022 conference, Eco Italie: Material Landscapes and Environmental Imaginaries, took place at the Institute on April 28–30. As usual, participants came from all over, this time to address ecological, philosophical, and literary matters relating to Italy and the Italian Diaspora. Conference sessions covered topics ranging from gardening in Italy to earthquakes and their aftereffects, waste management, irrigation as a Fascist political tool, and roots of the ecological movement on the peninsula. The conference keynote talk was delivered by Enrico Cesaretti and was titled “Green Traces: Vegetal Imagination in Italian Science Fiction from Gilda Musa to Solarpunk.”
This conference, coming as it did at the end of the most disruptive two years of the pandemic, brought together an unusually focused and determined cohort of young scholars who presented creative and thought-provoking research.