CORDIS - EU research results

The Ecology of Italian Science Fiction

Project description

Science fiction as a tool of ecological awareness

The current ecological crisis stimulates the sensitivity of all kinds of literature and can result in a tool that increases public awareness. Science fiction that uses ecological issues can offer a possibility to dig into our cultural heritage and understand our environment far from an ecophobic perspective. The EU-funded EcoSF project will explore the representation of environmental topics in Italian science fiction between 1952 and 2019 by examining the debate related to its cultural position and by describing its evolution in relation to national culture and history. The project will demonstrate the role science fiction literature plays in creating ecological awareness and investigate its reactions to the existing ecological crisis.


EcoSF investigates the prominence and distinctive representation of ecological issues in Italian science fiction (1952-2019). The project, which provides one of the very first extensive academic studies dedicated to this genre in Italy, examines the debate surrounding its cultural status and traces its evolution in relation to Italian history and culture.
An ecocritical perspective is adopted, interrogating the relationship between literary imagination and the environment. Through such approach, EcoSF shows how literature is important to generate awareness of ecological issues and explore literary responses to the current ecological crisis. The cognitive estrangement raised by the imaginative effort of science fiction is central to the necessary re-thinking of current cultural and epistemological paradigms based on anthropocentrism, human exceptionalism, and ecophobia. Furthermore, by interrogating our current relationship with the environment, and imagining known environments after ecological catastrophes, science fiction can provide a tool to investigate our cultural heritage.
Combining the innovative critical tools of ecocriticism and the speculative imagination of science fiction, EcoSF offers an alternative genealogy of our understanding of the environment outside an ecophobic perspective. The dissemination of the research will adapt dystopian imagination to the case of Venice, thus employing the theoretical categories of the project to reflect on local communities and landscapes.


Net EU contribution
€ 251 002,56
35122 Padova

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Nord-Est Veneto Padova
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 251 002,56

Partners (1)