ICREA Research Professor at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB).
My area of expertise is modern environmental history. Since 2019 I am the president of the European Society for Environmental History, a recognition of my work within that community. Although rooted in that field, I have developed a transdisciplinary research agenda blending environmental history with political ecology and environmental humanities. In 2013 I became the director of the Environmental Humanities Laboratory in Stockholm making it a global player in that emerging field.
My research clusters around three overarching topics: environmental justice; migrations and the environment; and fascism and nature. While thematically diverse, my research is traversed by a fil rouge giving coherence to those themes. Methodologically, I avoid any dichotomy between nature and society. Thematically, from toxicity to fascism, from migration to mountain communities, my research focuses on processes of expropriations and imposition of expert management of the environment and the resistance of subaltern communities. This friction manifests across my research: for instance, in the tension between urban planners and Italian migrants’ urban moral ecologies in the US; in the conflicts between experts’ science and grassroots knowledge in struggles over contamination and risk prevention; or in fascist repression of subaltern practices both in rural and urban ecologies.
My scholarship has contributed to pioneering new lines of investigation. My research on fascism has challenged the focus in the historiography on Nazism, shifting from an environmental arithmetics -- how green were the fascists -- to an analysis of fascist political ecologies beyond conservation policies. I am considered the initiator of a non-deterministic environmental history of migrations. In my latest book, I have developed new concepts (i.e. wasting relationships, Wasteocene, and toxic narratives) that are attracting broad attention with translations into Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Chinese.