European Association for the Study of Literature, Culture and the Environment

International Conference – Ecological Mindedness and Sustainable Wellbeing

International Conference

ECHIC- The European Consortium for Humanities Institutes and Centres

University of Ferrara

Ecological Mindedness and Sustainable Wellbeing

Thursday 25 - Saturday 27 May 2023

Since the World Commission on Environment and Development published OurCommonFuture(1987), the notion of sustainable development has been continuously scrutinised and redefined. Sustainability has been expanded to incorporate environmental, cultural, legal, and economic aspects of a low-carbon future and to encompass the wellbeing of all living species, which involves material aspects such as resource-efficient transitions and immaterial aspects such as flourishing human capabilities.

The framework of the 2023 ECHIC symposium is sustainability as a complex system based on ecological mindedness. The aim is to develop interdisciplinary and intersectoral cultures of sustainability, based on the interdependence of ecosystems and species. The symposium will thus investigate theories, methods, and practices of sustainability requiring eco-innovation and technology transfer as well as new cultural frames of mind and forms of education, social engagement, empowerment, and agency.

Interdisciplinary approaches will be adopted to explore human development and sustainable lifestyles in global and regional geopolitical scenarios; ecological thinking, sustainability thinking, and foresight for the preservation and management of natural, cultural, and built environments.

We invite papers that, challenging traditional demarcations between the Humanities, Social Sciences, Economy, Law, Architecture, Engineering, Life and Medical Sciences, generate synergies to explore interconnections between life forms, resources, and heritage.

We welcome papers on interdisciplinary topics connecting:

  • The Humanities

The ecological humanities and ecocriticism; new hermeneutic tools to understand the Anthropocene and the interdependence of natural and anthropic ecosystems; climate change fiction; nature poetry and ecopoetry; ecology, the theatre and performativity; ecology, sustainability, and visual culture; public understanding, communication and dissemination of ecological thought and good practices; ecomedia; the formation of ecological minds.

  • The Social Sciences

Material and immaterial wellbeing; the capability to experience leisure and happiness; natural and cultural heritage; climate justice; sustainable globalisation; urban metabolism; equality and energy transition; decision-making processes and participatory modelling; practices of social, educational and community theatre; pedagogical and psychosocial programmes of education to environmental and cultural sustainability, ecological thought and healthy lifestyles.

  • Economy

Sustainability transitions and the Green Economy (GE); GE in Europe, the UN Agenda 2030, and the SDGs; interaction between GE, demographic change, and technological change; resource-efficient economy; labour market institutions; bioeconomy and the circular economy; waste management, biomass, and bio-based products; food, biomaterials, and bioenergy resources; innovations and knowledge-based solutions, recycling materials.

  • Law

Movable and immovable goods; planned obsolescence of goods; environmental and agricultural laws; participatory policies; Rights of Nature.

  • Architecture and Engineering

Urban regeneration; energetic and environmental management of the built environment; screening, assessment and retrofit of heritage buildings; GIScience and climate proof planning; renewable energy; decarbonization and efficient use of energy conversion, storage and distribution systems.

  • The Life Sciences

Human-altered environments; evolutionary potential of the species and extinction risks; impact of human activities on biodiversity; integrated conservation strategies; genetic and epigenetic potential for a sustainable use of the ecosystems; assessment, monitoring and mitigation of effects deriving from anthropogenic activities and climate-changing, toxic substances; plastic adaptation of the human organism to different stages of health in relation to healthy lifestyles.


Please send a 300-word proposal and a 300-word bio-note to ECHIC Annual Conference 2023, [email protected]


Please send a 300-word overview of the panel, 200-word proposals and 300-word bio-notes to ECHIC Annual Conference 2023, [email protected]

The deadline for abstract submission has been extended until Tuesday 9 February 2023.

Silvana Colella, President of ECHIC, University of Macerata Elisa Bolchi, University of Ferrara

Paola Spinozzi, University of Ferrara