Environmental Humanities and World Literature workshop: Ecopoetic Matters in Translated World-War Literature by Guillaume Apollinaire and Giuseppe Ungaretti (Recordings and Suggested Reading)

Session leader: Daniel Finch-Race (University of Bologna)

Date and time: Wednesday 9 February 2022, 2-4pm

This seminar will draw on the environmental humanities in mulling over a handful of poems about front-line experiences of World War One in Guillaume Apollinaire’s Calligrammes [Calligrams] (1918) and Giuseppe Ungaretti’s L’allegria [Joy] (1931). In the session’s first part, recent translations of the source texts in French and Italian will serve as a basis for explorations of thematic and formal questions within the realm of ecopoetics, not least the precarious circumstances of the human compared to the more-than-human. The session’s second part is envisaged as an open conversation about similar poems encapsulating local/global conflicts across diverse contexts and languages – attendees are most welcome to bring materials to share with the group in any language, accompanied by a translation into English. 

This session is part of the Convocation Seminars in World Literature and Translation led by Joseph Ford (IMLR) and convened with LINKS (London Intercollegiate Network for Comparative Studies)’.


Preparatory reading (these will be shared in advance to those who register but knowledge of French and Italian is not required to participate in the session)

Guillaume Apollinaire, Selected Poems, trans. Martin Sorrell (Oxford University Press, 2015)

  • ‘SP’, 154–55
  • ‘Désir’ [Desire], 174–77
  • ‘Il y a’ [There’s/There Are], 182–85
Giuseppe Ungaretti, Selected Poems, trans. Andrew Frisardi (Carcanet, 2003)
  • ‘I fiumi’ [The Rivers], 34–39
  • ‘Pellegrinaggio’ [Pilgrimage], 40–41
  • ‘San Martino del Carso’, 46–47


Preparatory viewing
Part 1: The Anthropocene, Environmental Humanities and Transnationalism - Dr Daniel Finch-Race

Part 2: Nineteenth Century Art and Science, and London in the 1800s - Dr Daniel Finch-Race


Suggested reading

Bergthaller, Hannes, et al. 2014. ‘Mapping Common Ground: Ecocriticism, Environmental History, and the Environmental Humanities’, Environmental Humanities, 5, 261–76

Heise, Ursula K. 2013. ‘Globality, Difference, and the International Turn in Ecocriticism’, Publications of the Modern Language Association of America, 128.3, 636–43

Waters, Colin N., Jan Zalasiewicz, Colin Summerhayes, Anthony D. Barnosky, Clément Poirier, Agnieszka Gałuszka, Alejandro Cearreta, et al. 2016. ‘The Anthropocene Is Functionally and Stratigraphically Distinct from the Holocene’, Science, 6269, 137


Speaker bio: Dr Daniel Finch-Race FHEA (he/egli/il) is Assistant Professor in Geography at the University of Bologna. His solo creations include issues of Nineteenth-Century Contexts and Modern & Contemporary France on ‘Poetics of Place’ and ‘Environmental Humanities’, as well as articles in Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Lagoonscapes, and Modern Language Review. He co-edited French Ecocriticism (Peter Lang), Textures (Peter Lang), issues of Dix-Neuf and L’Esprit créateur on ‘Ecopoetics’ and ‘L’Écocritique française’, and a double issue of Dix-Neuf on ‘Ecoregions’. He is under contract to co-edit Italian Science Fiction and the Environmental Humanities (Liverpool University Press), is a co-investigator in a Knowledge Frontiers project on ‘Grounding Value in the Anthropocene’ under the auspices of the British Academy and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-organises the Languages and Environments Reading Group at the University of London’s Institute of Modern Languages Research. 


Last modified: Thursday, 20 January 2022, 11:25 AM