Serenella Iovino


Ph.D., Philosophy and Humanities, Università degli Studi di Urbino, Carlo Bo, Italy, in co-affiliation with the Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, Munich, Germany.

MA, Laurea in Filosofia, Cum Laude, Università degli Studi di Napoli, Federico II

About Professor Iovino

Serenella Iovino's research approach has a strong interdisciplinary and transnational orientation. A philosopher by training, her work is internationally recognized in the fields of environmental humanities and ecocriticism, research areas to which she has contributed essays and volumes on such topics as environmental ethics, ecocritical theory, cultural landscapes, human-animal studies, biosemiotics, posthumanism, feminist ecocriticism, Mediterranean studies, new materialisms, environmental justice, land art, bioregionalism and place ethics, and a number of studies bringing Italy and Italian literature and culture into the foreground. She also investigated the relationships among philosophy, literature, and the natural sciences in XVIII-XIX-century Germany in essays and two book-length publications on the Age of Goethe.

In Italian Studies, her main areas of specialization are 20th-21st century Italian literature, culture, and environmental issues (from cultural landscapes to issues of political ecology and justice). Serenella has dedicated essays and articles to Italo Calvino, Primo Levi, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Anna Maria Ortese, Laura Conti, Gianni Celati, and examined contemporary artistic and filmic subjects. Her most recent publications in the field include Italo Calvino's Animals: Anthropocene Stories (soon available in Italian from Treccani Libri) and, as co-editor, Italy and the Environmental Humanities. Her Ecocriticism and Italy: Ecology, Resistance, and Liberation. winner of the AAIS and MLA book awards, is also available in a completely revised and updated Italian version as Paesaggio Civile: Storie di ambiente, cultura e resistenza (Milan: Il Saggiatore, 2022)

As a publicly engaged intellectual, she has been a guest speaker in festivals, TV and Radio programs. She collaborates with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

Publications, Articles, & Presentations

BOOKS (selection)

Iovino, S. (2022). Paesaggio Civile: Storie di ambiente, cultura e resistenza. Milan: Il Saggiatore.

Iovino, S. (2021). Italo Calvino’s Animals: Anthropocene Stories. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Iovino, S., Enrico Cesaretti and Elena M. Past, eds. (2018). Italy and the Environmental Humanities: Landscapes, Natures, Ecologies. Charlottesville: The University of Virginia Press.

Oppermann, S. and S. Iovino, eds. (2017). Environmental Humanities: Voices from the Anthropocene. London: Rowman and Littlefield International.

Iovino, S. (2016). Ecocriticism and Italy: Ecology, Resistance, and Liberation. London: Bloomsbury. (Winner of the MLA’s Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Italian Studies and the Book Prize of the American Association for Italian Studies), Category: 20th-21st

Iovino, S. and Serpil Oppermann, eds. (2014). Material Ecocriticism. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 375 pp.

Iovino, S. (2006). Ecologia letteraria. Una strategia di sopravvivenza. Preface by Cheryll Glotfelty; Afterword by Scott Slovic, Milan. Edizioni Ambiente. 157 pp. (E-book reprint: 2014; 2nd Edition: 2015).

Iovino, S. (2004). Filosofie dell’ambiente. Natura, Etica, Società. Rome: Carocci. 159 pp. (Reprinted 2006, 2007, 2008).


Iovino, S. (2022), “Ischia, la memoria del futuro.” La Repubblica, November 27: Front page Op. Ed. (1, 31).

Iovino, S. (2022), “L’amico d’infanzia dell’umanità” (Serie Anime animali, quinta puntata). La Repubblica, October 25: 30-31.

Iovino, S. (2022), “Sua maestà, il nostro sacro amico gatto” (Serie Anime animali, quarta puntata). La Repubblica, October 6: 28-29.

Iovino, S. (2022), “Scarafaggi alla riscossa” (Serie Anime animali, terza puntata). La Repubblica, August 31: 29.

Iovino, S. (2022), “Il nostro pianeta delle scimmie” (Serie Anime animali, seconda puntata). La Repubblica, August 22: 30-31.

Iovino, S. (2022), “Il canto del dodo e degli estinti” (Serie Anime animali, prima puntata). La Repubblica, August 19: 29.

Iovino, S. (2022), “Quei morti per il clima.” La Repubblica, July 5, Front-page Op. ed. Print.

Iovino, S. (2022), “L’amore degli animali in tempo di guerra.” La Repubblica, March 12: 38-39.


Versi Verdi: poesia, scienza e ambiente. Fahrenheit, Rai Radio Tre, November 22, 2022 (min. 0.41.41-1.03.45).

Quante Storie, episode “Là dove c’era l’erba. TV interview with Giorgio Zanchini (30’), Rai Tre, November 22, 2022. 2022.

Maratona sull’Ambiente, L’Alfabeto del Cambiamento: “Paesaggio” (Landscape), October 22, 2022.. (Video min. 40-1.01.00) Festival della politica di Mestre. October 20-23, 2022.

Mauro Garofalo, “Il paesaggio è un progetto di futuro, crisi climatica e guerre possono cancellarlo,” The Huffington Post, 2, 2022.

Pietro Sorace, Paesaggio Civile. La filosofa ambientale Serenella Iovino ci parla del suo libro edito da Il Saggiatore, RTL 102.5, Nov. 22, 2022.

Giorgio Zanchini, Quante Storie, episode “Là dove c’era l’erba.” TV interview (30’), Rai Tre, Nov. 22, 2022

Awards & Honors

2017: MLA’s Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Italian Studies for Ecocriticism and Italy: Ecology, Resistance, and Liberation.

2017: Book Prize of the American Association for Italian Studies for Ecocriticism and Italy: Ecology, Resistance, and Liberation (Category: 20th-21st Century).

2017: Seal of Excellence of the Marie Skłodowska Curie Action (H2020) for “ELICIT-The Environmental Humanities and Italo Calvino: Interpretation, Transdisciplinarity, and Educational Strategies.”

2014: “J. K. Binder” Lectureship in Literature: “Death in Venice: Bodies and the Discourse of Pollution from Thomas Mann to Porto Marghera.” University of California, San Diego.


2021 (Spring): Fellowship from the Institute of Arts and Humanities, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

2017-18: Carson Fellowship from the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, München.

2015: Alexander-von-Humboldt-Stiftung Follow-up Fellowship. Hosting institution: Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, München.

2015: Carl-von Siemens-Stiftung Grant for Experienced Researcher.

2010-2012: Alexander-von-Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researcher. Hosting institution: Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, Universität Augsburg.

Academic Appointments at UNC

Spring 2022, Interim Chair of the EURO Major, Center for European Studies

2020-2023, Member of the UNC Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure Committee (elected)

2019-present, Member of the Advisory Committee, Center for European Studies


Serenella Iovino is a series editor of “Barene,” Environmental Humanities Series. Venice: Wetlands, co-founder and series editor of “Elements in Environmental Humanities,” Cambridge University Press, and of “Studien zur Kultur und Umwelt/Studies in Culture and Environment” (Peter Lang).

She is Co-director of Lagoonscapes: The Venice Journal of Environmental Humanties


Francesco Bratos (Italian Studies, completed 2020)

Massimiliano Cirulli (Italian Studies, completed 2019)

Ugo Goetzl (Italian Studies, completed 2022)

Emiliano Guaraldo Rodriguez (Italian Studies, completed 2020)

Gina Mangravite (Italian Studies, completed 2022)

Giuliano Migliori (Italian Studies, completed 2020)

Typical Courses

ROML-89.001, Environmental Issues in Literature and Film (FYS)

ITAL 320, Italian Cities and Cultures: History, Power, and Ecology.

ITAL 371, Italian Ecofiction in Global Perspective

ITAL 385, Italian Landscapes: Italy in the UNESCO World Heritage List

ITAL 388, Environmental Issues in Italian Literature and Film

ITAL 525, Italo Calvino in English

ITAL 571, Primo Levi in English

ITAL 830, Graduate Seminar in Italian

ITAL 840, Special Reading, Independent Course