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Eco-Futurism? Some Reflections on Nature, Matter, and Body in F. T. Marinetti

Eco-Futurism? Some Reflections on Nature, Matter, and Body in F. T. Marinetti
100 St. Joseph St., Carr Hall Room 100
Time: Nov 27th, 4:00 pm End: Nov 27th, 6:00 pm
Interest Categories: Italian Studies (FAS), Environment, Critical Theory, Comparative Literature (FAS), 1950-2000
Lecture by Enrico Cesaretti, University of Virginia

Prof. Salvatore Bancheri, Emilio Goggio Chair in Italian Studies, cordially invites you to a public lecture by

Enrico Cesaretti, University of Virginia

‘Eco-Futurism?’  Some Reflections on Nature, Matter and Body in F.T. Marinetti

Thursday, November 27, 2014
4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Carr Hall 404
100 St. Joseph Street
University of Toronto

A reception to follow.
Everyone is welcome and admission is free.
Please RSVP at italian.studies@utoronto.ca

A recent theoretical development within ecocriticism – the so called “material turn” – has the potential of substantially expanding its practical applications. Such a turn towards the material potentially brings ecocriticism not only “beyond nature writing”, but also “beyond nature,” namely beyond a vision associating nature by and large with human-centered concepts such as the “other-than-culture,” “wilderness” or “the environment.”

My presentation, “‘Eco-Futurism’? Some Reflections on Nature, Matter and Body in F.T. Marinetti,” intends to take advantage of and, at the same time, test the applicability of the recent intellectual paradigm of “material eco-criticism” by discussing some of F.T. Marinetti’s works. Marinetti is a figure who, without a doubt, few (if not any) would deem appropriate to be considered from an ecocritical perspective. He, like many modernists, was fascinated by the dynamism and energy of the city, the progress of early 20th century technology, and its various applications during the war(s). I am the first to admit the ridiculousness of claiming that Marinetti’s works display an environmental consciousness, or ecological sensibility. However, at the same time, Futurism is a moment within Italian history and culture which, in various instances, not only displays quite contradictory attitudes towards technology and progress, but also manifests different sorts of interconnections between nature and culture and dialogues between the human and the non-human.

Marinetti aimed at diminishing the gap between humans and things, and famously wrote that “a lyrical obsession with materiality” should substitute “human psychology.” His texts abound with images combining the “organic” with the “inorganic;” they often assign to inanimate objects a prevalence over the “merely” human and, last but not least, occasionally display nostalgic attitudes towards the natural world.

My ultimate objective is thus to draw attention to potential affinities, parallelisms and “adjacencies” between the way Futurism imagined the interrelated notions of nature, matter and corporality, and some of the current positions of material ecocriticism.

Enrico Cesaretti is an Associate Professor of Italian at the University of Virginia.

This event is free and open to all, but an RSVP is requested.  Please RSVP by clicking HERE.  For further information, please contact the Department of Italian Studies at (416) 926-2345.

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