Elena Past of Wayne State University Wins Book Award From the Modern Language Association

Elena Past, professor of Italian at Wayne State University in Detroit, was selected to receive the Howard R. Marraro Prize from the Modern Language Association. The Howard R. Marraro Prize was established in 1973 and is awarded biennially and alternately with the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Italian Studies, for an outstanding book in the field of Italian literature or comparative literature involving Italian.

Professor Past is being honored for her book Italian Ecocinema Beyond the Human (Indiana University Press, 2019). The prize selection committee’s citation for Professor Past’s book reads in part: “Italian Ecocinema Beyond the Human is a groundbreaking work at the intersection of film studies and ecocriticism. In this elegantly written book, Past examines five films as case studies to investigate environmental issues. While taking into account the human presence at both the textual and critical levels, Past uncovers the films’ potential to gather new insights on the nonhuman world of animals, plants, and nature. Italian Ecocinema sheds new light on Italian cinema history and provides innovative tools of film analysis that will engage and inspire future generations of students and scholars in the environmental humanities.”

Dr. Past joined the faculty at Wayne State University in 2006. She is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Italian from the University of Pennsylvania.

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