Elizabeth Tavella

Postdoctoral Fellow
PhD, University of Chicago, 2020

Elizabeth Tavella is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Romance Languages and Literatures and the Humanities Division, affiliated with the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality. As a transdisciplinary researcher, Elizabeth’s work builds on critical animal studies, decolonial methods, critical theory, and queer ecology to investigate interlinked systems of oppression and power hierarchies from a literary and cultural perspective. Elizabeth’s interests also include investigating the dynamics of race, gender, class, and species in shaping contemporary practices of food production and consumption. In addition to finalizing a monograph on spaces of animal confinement, from slaughterhouses to zoos and laboratories, Elizabeth has recently completed two articles that engage with the emerging field of transecology: the first on reproductive justice and bodily autonomy across species examined through a variety of sources ranging from medical treatises and legislation to literary texts; the second on nonhuman animals, from octopuses to platypuses, who defy classification and challenge the very foundation of category-based epistemology. A new project emerging alongside this research investigates speculative fiction, centered on Indigenous, Black, queer, and trans futurities which aims to explore the intersection between multispecies studies, social justice, and political ecology.

Recent courses in RLL

  • ITAL 10100 Beginning Elementary Italian I (Autumn 2016)
  • ITAL 10200 Beginning Elementary Italian II (Winter 2017)
  • ITAL 21822 Creative Ecologies: Environmental and Multispecies Storytelling (Autumn 2021)
  • ITAL 25218 Reading Nonhuman Animals: A Challenge to Anthropocentrism (Winter 2019)
Subject Area: Italian Studies