Elena Past

Elena Past

Associate Professor of Italian
Associate Chair, CMLLC



413 Manoogian Hall

Curriculum Vitae



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

Italian Ecocinema Beyond the Human. Forthcoming with Indiana University Press.

Italy and the Environmental Humanities: Landscapes, Natures, Ecologies. Eds. Serenella Iovino, Enrico Cesaretti, and Elena Past. University of Virginia Press, Under the Sign of Nature Series, 2018.

“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.

Thinking Italian Animals: Human and Posthuman in Modern Italian Literature and Film. Eds. Deborah Amberson and Elena Past. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

Currently Teaching

  • GLS 2700, Introduction to Global Stories

Courses taught

ITA 5150, Mafia Movies

ITA 4610, Birth of Italian Language and Literature

ITA 4620, The Birth of Italy

ITA 6800, Inventing Italy, Making Italians

ITA 6900, Essere Arte Ambiente

ITA 6870, Trieste: Italy from the Margins