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Keynote Speakers

LAWRENCE BUELL (Harvard University)

Lawrence Buell is Powell M. Cabot Research Professor of American Literature Emeritus at Harvard University and Faculty Fellow of Harvard’s Center for the Environment.  At Harvard he taught in the American Studies Ph.D. program and the History & Literature undergraduate program as well as in the English Department, directing or co-directing 100 doctoral dissertations in English, American Studies, Comparative Literature, and Religion.  He also served as Dean for Undergraduate Education at Harvard from 1992-6 and English Department Chair from 1998 to 2004.  Before Harvard, Buell was Professor and Chair of English at Oberlin College.

Buell’s books include Literary Transcendentalism (1973); New England Literary Culture (1986); The Environmental Imagination: Thoreau, Nature Writing, and the Formation of American Culture (1995); Writing for an Endangered World (2001), which won the John Cawelti Prize for year’s best book in American Culture Studies; and Emerson ( 2003), which won the Phi Beta Kappa Society’s Christian Gauss Award for literary criticism; The Future of Environmental Criticism (2005); and The Dream of the Great American Novel (2014).  His current projects include books on Environmental Memory in the Anthropocene and on Henry David Thoreau.      

Buell is a former Guggenheim and Mellon Foundation fellow and a two-time National Endowment for the Humanities senior research fellow.  He received the Modern Language Association’s 2007 Jay Hubbell Award for lifetime contributions to American literature studies.  In 2008 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  In 2012 he was Arne Naess Visiting Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Oslo.  He has lectured around the world on the environmental humanities, American fiction, and the American Transcendentalist movement.

JOHN DURHAM PETERS (Yale University)

John Durham Peters is María Rosa Menocal of English and Professor of Film and Media Studies at Yale and is the author of Speaking into the Air: A History of the Idea of Communication (1999), Courting the Abyss: Free Speech and Liberal Tradition (2005), The Marvelous Clouds: Toward a Philosophy of Elemental Media (2015), and most recently, Promiscuous Knowledge: Information, Image, and Other Truth Games in History (2020; co-authored with the late Kenneth Cmiel), all from the University of Chicago Press.

JOÃO FALCATO (Oceanário de Lisboa)

João Falcato is Administrator of Oceanário de Lisboa and member of the Board of Fundação Oceano Azul. João Falcato holds a B.A. degree in Aquatic Environment Sciences from Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar and a Post-Graduate degree in Advanced Management from UCP. He has been part of the Oceanarium team since 1997 and worked as Director of Biology. He is President of the European Union of Aquarium Curators, Member of the Executive Committee of the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and Member of the Curators Council of Fundação Gil.

NUNO FERRAND (Universidade do Porto/CIBIO-InBIO)

Life Everywhere: A Few Ideas About Life, Science and Museums

Nuno Ferrand is the Scientific Coordinator of CIBIO-InBIO. He is also Full Professor at the Department of Biology of the Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto, where he teaches genetics and evolution.

Prof. Ferrand is interested in evolutionary biology, particularly in genetic diversity patterns of natural populations, ecology, conservation, domestication and speciation. He has developed several research projects in these areas using the rabbit as main model species. He has also studied the evolution of many amphibian and reptile species in the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa.

Prof. Ferrand has published over 150 SCI papers, namely in Science, Nature Genetics, Molecular Biology and Evolution, PloS Genetics, Evolution, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, Genetics, Molecular Ecology, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Heredity. He has authored three books, edited four books and has written eleven book chapters.

Dr. Ferrand is the Director of the Doctoral Program in Biodiversity, Genetics and Evolution (BIODIV) organized by the University of Porto and Lisbon, funded by the Portuguese Science Foundation (FCT).

Dr. Ferrand is the Director of the Natural History and Science Museum of the University of Porto (MHNC-UP) where he is currently leading a profound restructuring operation to create a brand new museum focused on an innovative museographic philosophy, in partnership with the Portuguese Agency for Scientific Culture Promotion Ciência Viva. He has organized several major exhibitions, including Darwin’s Evolution.

DIANA GONÇALVES (Universidade Católica Portuguesa)

Diana Gonçalves holds a PhD in Culture Studies from Universidade Católica Portuguesa and Justus-Liebig University of Giessen (double degree). She holds a Master’s Degree in Culture Studies – American Studies and a BA in Translation from UCP.  She is currently an Assistant Professor at FCH-UCP, Academic Director of the Lisbon Consortium and Coordinator of the Master’s program in Culture Studies of the Lisbon Consortium-Faculty of Human Sciences. She is also a researcher at the Research Centre for Communication and Culture (CECC), where she is a member of the research group “Culture, Art and Conflict”. She was Executive Coordinator of the Lisbon Consortium (2016-2017) and co-editor of the online journal Diffractions – Graduate Journal for the Study of Culture (2013-2017). She has developed research in culture studies, visual culture, American culture and literature, conflict and violence, environment and catastrophes. She is the author of 9/11: Culture, Catastrophe and the Critique of Singularity (de Gruyter, 2016).

PEPITA HESSELBERTH (Leiden University)

Pepita Hesselberth is DFF Laureate and Assistant Professor Film and Digital Media at the Centre for the Arts in Society at Leiden University. She is the author of Cinematic Chonotopes (Bloomsbury 2014), and co-editor of, amongst others, Compact Cinematics (Bloomsbury 2016) and Legibility in the Age of Signs and Machines (Brill 2018). She is currently finalizing on her project on Disconnectivity in the Digital Age, for which she received a fellowship from the Danish Council for Independent Research, and was appointed as a research fellow at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies at the University of Copenhagen (2016-2018).

ARIEL SALLEH (University of Sydney/Nelson Mandela University)

Ariel Salleh is Visiting Professor in Culture, Philosophy & Environment, Nelson Mandela University; Research Associate in Political Economy, University of Sydney; and a recent Fellow in Post-Growth Societies, Friedrich Schiller University Jena. She taught in Social Inquiry at the University of Western Sydney for many years and has lectured widely, including New York, Manila; Toronto, and Lund. 

Dr Salleh’s transdisciplinary writing is seminal to political ecology as the study of humanity-nature relations. Her theorisations of an ’embodied materialism’ and ‘meta-industrial labour’ are developed in Ecofeminism as Politics(1997/2017), Eco-Sufficiency & Global Justice (2009), and some 200 chapters and articles. The approach highlights the role of reproductive or regenerative labour in the world system. By restoring value to local everyday care giving skills and indigenous knowledges, she redefines social justice and sustainability questions. In turn, her critiques of eco-socialism, deep and social ecology, liberal and postmodern feminism have provoked international debate.Dr Salleh’s theoretical work is inspired by a lifetime of activism. She co-founded the Movement Against Uranium Mining in Australia; The Greens (reg. party); served on the Australian Government’s Gene Technology Ethics Committee; and the International Sociological Association Research Committee for Environment & Society from 2002-2006. She is a founding member of the Global Sustainability University based in Hong Kong; a member of several journal editorial boards, and former Senior Editor of the US journal Capitalism Nature Socialism: see also –

HAUN SAUSSY (University of Chicago)

Haun Saussy is University Professor at the University of Chicago, teaching in the departments of Comparative Literature and East Asian Languages & Civilizations as well as in the Committee on Social Thought. His work attempts to bring the lessons of classical and modern rhetoric to bear on several periods, languages, disciplines and cultures. Among his books are The Problem of a Chinese Aesthetic (1994), Great Walls of Discourse (2001), The Ethnography of Rhythm (2016), Translation as Citation: Zhuangzi Inside Out (2017), Are We Comparing Yet? (2019) and the edited collections Sinographies (2007), Comparative Literature in an Age of Globalization (2008), and Partner to the Poor: A Paul Farmer Reader (2010). As translator, he has produced versions of works by Li Zhi (A Book to Burn and a Book to Keep Hidden, co-edited, 2016), Jean Métellus (When the Pipirite Sings, 2019) and Tino Caspanello (Three Plays: Sea, Pictures from a Revolution, and Bounds, 2020), among others. He is a former Guggenheim Fellow, a fellow of the American Academy in Berlin, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. A collective blog he animates with several others is accessible at

VIRIATO SOROMENHO-MARQUES (Universidade de Lisboa)

Viriato Soromenho-Marques (1957) is Full Professor of Philosophy at the University of Lisbon. Since 1978 he has been engaged in the civic environmental movement in Portugal and Europe. He was member of the National Council on Environment and Sustainable Development (1998-2019). He is a Board’s Special Advisor of the Blue Ocean Foundation (since 2017). He was Vice-Chair of the European Environmental and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils network (2001-2006). In 1997 he received from the Presidency of the Portuguese Republic the degree of «Grande Oficial da Ordem do Mérito Civil» and in 2006 the degree of «Grande Oficial da Ordem do Infante Dom Henrique». He was the scientific coordinator of the Gulbenkian Environment Program (2007-2011). He was one of the 12 members of the High Level Group on Energy and Climate Change by invitation of the President of the European Commission (2007-2010). He is correspondent member of the Lisbon Academy of Sciences, since 2008, and from the Marine Academy, since 2012. Among other Prizes and distinctions, in 2014 he was also awarded with the Federação Portuguesa do Pulmão Prize (medical association of respiratory illnesses). In March 2019 he was awarded the Leaders of the Decade in Sustainable Development Prize, given by the “Women Economic Forum Portugal 2019”. He wrote over four hundred works on Philosophy, Environment, Federalism and International Relations matters. He was speaker in over one thousand conferences in Portugal and twenty three other countries. Some of his writings are translated to Spanish, French, English, German, Norwegian and Mandarin.

HUBERT ZAPF (University of Augsburg)

Hubert Zapf is Professor of American Studies and Co-Director of Environmental Humanities at the University of Augsburg, Germany. His main areas of research are Anglo-American and Comparative Literature, Cultural Ecology, Literary Theory and History, and the Environmental Humanities. He is an Advisory Board Member of EASLCE and of the Elements in Environmental Humanities Series, Cambridge University Press. His publications include Kurze Geschichte der anglo-amerikanischen Literaturtheorie 2nd ed. 1996; Amerikanische Literaturgeschichte  3rd ed. 2010; American Studies Today: New Research Agendas, co-ed. 2014; “Creative Matter and Creative Mind: Cultural Ecology and Literary Creativity,” Material Ecocriticism, Indiana UP, 2014: 52-66; Literature and Science ed., Anglia 2015; Handbook of Ecocriticism and Cultural Ecology, ed. De Gruyter, 2016; Literature as Cultural Ecology: Sustainable Texts, Bloomsbury, 2016; Ecological Thought in German Literature and Culture, co-ed. 2017; ”Cultural Ecology, the Environmental Humanities, and the Transdisciplinary Knowledge of Literature,” Environmental Humanities: Voices from the Anthropocene 2017: 61-97; “Ecological Thought in Europe and Germany,” Global History of Literature and Environment, Cambridge UP 2017: 269-285; “The Challenge of the Anthropocene and the Sustainability of Texts.” Anglophone Literature and Culture in the Anthropocene, Cambridge Scholars 2019: 2-22; “Cultural Ecology and the Sustainability of Literature.” Cultural Sustainability: Perspectives from the Humanities and Social Sciences, Routledge 2019: 140-152.

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