Utrecht Forum for Memory Studies


Susanne Knittel Awarded ERC Consolidator Grant

This semester, our very own Dr. Susanne Knittel has been awarded an ERC grant for her project “Ecologies of Violence: Crimes against Nature in the Contemporary Cultural Imagination”. Many congratulations to her, and we wish her all the best with this exciting new opportunity!

About the Project

The ongoing destruction of nature raises critical questions about responsibility. How do we remember the victims, both human and nonhuman? And who is to blame? Contemporary culture plays a crucial role in approaching these questions.

Stories of extinction, deforestation, pollution, and other forms of ecological violence are ubiquitous. The goal of this project is to understand how environmental destruction is framed and remembered as violence in contemporary culture, and how representations of eco-violence articulate and reflect questions of guilt and responsibility. Eco-violence has deep historical roots that connect it to other forms of violence, particularly colonialism and genocide. Writers, artists, and filmmakers are finding new ways to imagine large-scale ecological damage, revealing the historical, structural, and discursive connections between crimes against humanity and crimes against nature.