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ROMS Colloquium

September 20, 2023 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Please join us on Wednesday, September 20th at 3:30 pm in Toy Lounge for the ROMS Colloquium. The September panel is dedicated to Ecocritical Perspectives on Environmental Crises featuring presentations by Dr. Serenella Iovino, Professor of Italian Studies & Environmental Humanities, and Dr. Sean Singh Matharoo, Assistant Professor of French and Francophone Studies. Light refreshments will be provided.



3:15 pm     Coffee & informal chat

3:30 pm     Colloquium


Title and description of the presenters’ work:

  • Serenella Iovino, Environmental Humanities between Academia and the Public.

Serenella Iovino specializes in environmental humanities, but her work encompasses many fields, from ecocriticism and animal studies to environmental philosophy and landscape anthropology. Additionally, for several years, she has been collaborating with newspapers and other mass media. In this colloquium, she will present her latest works and discuss her experience in the field of the public humanities.

  • Sean Singh Matharoo, Solar Energology: Reading Two Examples of the Dying Earth Subgenre of Science Fiction.

In this paper presentation, I provide brief readings of two early examples of the Dying Earth subgenre of science fiction: 1) J.-H. Rosny aîné’s La force mystérieuse (1914) and 2) René Pujol’s Le soleil noir (1929). Both novels foreground alien invasions that disrupt given ways of knowing and being and signal apocalypse; respectively, the destruction of a part of the light spectrum and the death of the sun. But, Rosny aîné’s novel concludes positively with a gestaltic form of communication between humans and nonhumans that emphasizes empathy and telepathy, while Pujol’s novel concludes negatively with finality, forgetfulness, and repetition without the possibility of the new. I mobilize Alexandre Kojève’s dialectical discourse on post-historical wisdom – with a focus on what he enigmatically later names “energology” as the antithesis to the thesis of ontology, their synthesis being phenomenology – to read Le soleil noir. I mobilize his student Georges Bataille’s non-dialectical discourse on sovereign non-knowledge – with a focus on his political economy that foregrounds the limitless energy of the sun – to read La force mystérieuse. I attempt to synthesize all this to articulate a dialectical discourse on sovereign, post-historical non-knowledge helpful when thinking through the Anthropocenic energy crisis.

For any questions, please contact the Colloquium organizers: Emanuele Stefanori ( and Cristóbal Clemente Rodrigalvarez (


September 20, 2023
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


Toy Lounge