Progetto NATCULT - call for applications




Across Nature and Culture: The city of Florence as a case study for natural-cultural conservation and preservation issues




Call for applications - OPEN


In times of rising urbanization and biodiversity erosion, the future of natural heritage is expected to increasingly depend on the ability of people to maintain a connection to nature within urban contexts. A city park or a municipal garden is often the only form of nature that people in cities can experience directly. Furthermore, cities – paradigmatically, European cities - also raise issues of historic-artistic heritage conservation: in urban contexts, green areas frequently coexist side by side with examples of tangible and intangible cultural heritage (buildings, monuments; traditions, oral history). What are the main challenges posed by the necessary integration of natural heritage issues, on the one hand, and cultural heritage issues, on the other hand, in the context of today’s Anthropocene cities? What is the role played by the arts, aesthetics, and the natural sciences in these challenges?

The Environmental Humanities, as an interdisciplinary field of research and teaching which underlines the centrality of the humanities to understand today's environmental emergencies, provides the most effective approach to bio-cultural conservation in urban contexts. 

To discuss these issues, an International rotating field study Summer School, funded by EUniWell, will be hosted in Florence (Italy), 4-8.09.2023. 


Across Nature and Culture

This summer school is a part of the EUniWell project NATCULT- Across Nature and Culture: the city of Florence as a case study for natural-cultural conservation and preservation issues. Four of the EUniWell universities are participating in the project: University of Cologne, University of Florence, Nantes University, and Linnaeus University.



Florence, as a prototype of a densely inhabited European city with relevant artistic-historic and natural heritage, is the case study we have chosen in order to start designing, theoretically and practically, a new replicable model of a European bio-culturally sustainable city. 

Nature and culture mix and intertwine in multiple ways in the urban context. It is often the case that the strategies we put in place to preserve the natural environment of cities interfere with those aimed at preserving cultural heritage. Both natural resources and cultural treasures, however, are essential for the well-being of citizens. How can these aspects be effectively integrated? What is the role of the arts, aesthetics, and literature, in cooperation with the natural sciences and conservation biology, for a truly sustainable city? A range of different fields and disciplines, including ecocritical literary and media studies, art and design, biological conservation and biodiversity studies, environmental philosophy and aesthetics, will be involved in the discussion of these issues during the Summer school, through theoretical seminars, field trips, excursions and creative workshops.



The Summer School is open to master’s and doctoral students from the 4 participating universities, who are interested in learning more about environmental humanities, the city in the Anthropocene, and about the interconnections between cultural conservation issues and biodiversity conservation issues. 

All students will receive free accommodation in Florence and their travel expenses to and from Florence will be fully reimbursed. In addition, a certificate will be issued to each student to testify to their participation in the summer school. 

As the summer school will be conducted in English, proficiency in English is a prerequisite. If there is a high number of applications, a selection amongst the candidates will be made.



From the early afternoon of September 4, 2023, to the early afternoon of September 8, 2023. The summer school requires full-time attendance, including evening (social) activities.

There is no tuition fee to participate in the summer school, which also includes excursions, field trip experiences, and shared accommodation. 



University of Florence, Dipartimento di Lettere e Filosofia, via della Pergola 60, Florence, Italy. 


How to Apply:

Students of any courses and faculties from the 4 participating universities (Nantes, Cologne, Florence, Vaxjo) can apply to participate. 

To apply to take part in the summer school, please send a short CV (maximum two pages; with your personal details) and a motivational letter to Mariagrazia Portera, mariagrazia.portera(AT) by Saturday July 15 2023 at 23:59 (CET).

Notifications of acceptance will be emailed to the applicants by 23 July 2023. 



Academic inquiries: Mariagrazia Portera, mariagrazia.portera(AT)

General inquiries: Camilla Righini, camilla.righini(AT) 


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