Reading Retreat in Umbria: “Anthropocene Organisms”

Umbria, Italy. May 26-June 5, 2019

Announcing a reading and discussion retreat in Umbria, Italy on the topic of “Anthropocene Organisms” from May 26th to June 5th, 2019.

The retreat will take place in the medieval Italian hill town of Monte Castello di Vibio using facilities made available by the International Center for the Arts. A small group of scholars will gather to spend mornings reading and discussing important contemporary papers with optional evening sessions workshopping papers-in-progress by the group’s members. The idea is to provide a relaxing environment for some focused work on important emerging areas of environmental and animal thought. Afternoons are free.

Monte Castello provides a serene and picturesque setting for our work. Its proximity to Todi, Florence, Assisi, and Perugia provides opportunities for side-trips during (or after) the workshop. The small group is designed to provide a supportive and high quality intellectual environment for exploring new areas of environmental philosophy and for peer evaluation of each other’s work and ideas. Suggestions for reading materials will be encouraged from participants prior to arrival in Italy.

There will be three field trips during our stay. One will be a morning trip with truffle-hunting dogs in the Monte Castello area. A second will be to a Franciscan monastery, an olive grove, and some nearby woods to talk with a small handful of people interested in agriculture and hunting on the local landscape. The third will be to the Monti Sibillini National Park to consider some re-wilding taking place in the Apennines. A weekend day will be open for participants to use as they wish.

The fee of 1750 EUR will include food, wine, and lodging in Monte Castello for 10 nights (Sunday to Tuesday nights). It includes transportation to and from Rome’s Fiumicino airport (assuming arrivals and departures on the Sunday and Wednesday (at times to be specified later)). It will also include an optional cooking class with the school’s excellent chef. Meals during the two longer field trips as well as travel expenses to and from the Rome airport are the responsibility of participants.

The lodging will be in shared apartments near the 12th century ex-convent in which the Center for the Arts is located. Contingent on availability, rooms with private bathrooms may be available for a 100 EUR surcharge. The local hotel can also be booked at rates determined by the owners.

The workshop is contingent upon sufficient (10) applicants. Feel free to share with other potentially interested parties. To apply, please send a short CV, a half page description of your interest in the retreat, and a suggested reading to The deadline for these materials is December 3rd.


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