Elena Past

Elena Past

Associate Professor of Italian
Associate Chair, CMLLC



413 Manoogian Hall



Elena Past

Elena Past is Associate Professor of Italian and Associate Chair of the Department of Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. Her research and teaching focus on contemporary Italian literature and cinema, ecomedia studies and the environmental humanities, posthumanism and animal studies, Italian crime fiction, and ecomafia. More information about her publications and research is available on her website: clas.wayne.edu/past

Education – Degrees, Licenses, Certifications

  • Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2005
  • M.A., University of Pennsylvania, 2000
  • B.A., University of Texas at Austin, 1998

Selected Publications

Landscapes, Natures, Ecologies: Italy and the Environmental Humanities. Ed. Serenella Iovino, Enrico Cesaretti, and Elena Past. Forthcoming with University of Virginia Press, Under the Sign of Nature Series.

“Volcanic Matters: Magmatic Cinema, Ecocriticism, and Italy.” L’analisi linguistica e letteraria XXIV.2 (2016): 135-46.

“Animal Humanities, or, On Reading and Writing the Nonhuman.” Introduction to special section of Ecozon@. Co-authored with Deborah Amberson. Ecozon@ 7.1 (2016): 1-9.

“Gadda’s Pasticciaccio and the Knotted Posthuman Household.” Co-authored with Deborah Amberson. Relations: Beyond Anthropocentrism 4.1 (2016): 63-78.

“Mediterranean Ecocriticism: The Sea in the Middle.” Handbook of Ecocriticism and Cultural Ecology. Ed. Hubert Zapf. De Gruyter, 2016. 368-84.

“Documenting Ecomafia.” Nuovo Cinema Politico. Eds. Giancarlo Lombardi and Christian Uva. New York: Peter Lang (Italian Modernities), 2016.

“Il cinema e il suono del silenzio: Le quattro volte.” Animal Studies: Rivista italiana di antispecismo 11 (2015): 56-71.

“(Re)membering Kinship: Living with Goats in The Wind Blows Round and Le quattro volte.” Thinking Italian Animals: Human and Posthuman in Modern Italian Literature and Film. Eds. Deborah Amberson and Elena Past. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. 233-50.

Currently Teaching

  • ITA 4610, The Birth of Italian Literature and Culture

Courses taught

ITA 6800, Inventing Italy, Making Italians

ITA 6900, Essere Arte Ambiente, Fall 2016

ITA 6870, Trieste: Italy from the Margins, Winter 2016

ITA 5150, Mafia Movies, Fall 2015