Research areas and keywords
Sustainability communication, interpretative semiotics, agentic ontologies, new materialisms, assemblages, material-semiotic practices, sustainable tourism
Monica Porzionato is a PhD candidate within the project Rethinking Urban Tourism Development: Dealing with Sustainability in the Age of Over-Tourism at the Department of Strategic Communication, Lund University (Sweden). She holds a BA in Communication from the University of Padova (Italy). She also obtained a MA in Semiotics from the University of Bologna (Italy) and an Erasmus Mundus MA in Women’s and Gender Studies from Utrecht University (The Netherlands) and Central European University (Hungary). She has been exchange student at the University of California - Santa Cruz (Sept. 2009 - May 2010) and at San Francisco State University (Sept - Dec. 2012). Her research interest is primarily concerned with the ways language affects human’s relation to the natural environment, and vice versa how the natural environment affects human’s language. Her current PhD-project explores the possibility of a material-semiotic approach to sustainability communication in the touristic context of Venice.
Area of Research
My research interests are in interpretative semiotics, pragmatism, post-structuralist communication theory, sustainability communication, new materialisms, speculative realism, feminist onto-epistemologies. In particular, in my work I investigate the boundaries between post-structuralists/interpretative understandings of language and new materialists approaches to communication theory. As such, I research how communicative practices intra-act with the environment into which they take place, paying particular attention upon the ways language affects human’s relation to ‘nature’, and vice versa. In regard to the question of sustainability, in my research I analyze the role played by language and communication in the achievement of sustainable equilibriums between humanist practices and the Earth, arguing for a decentering of the human in the human/nature relation.
Current research project
In my current PhD project I consider how communication plays a role in the question of sustainability within the touristic setting of Venice, Italy. In particular, by adopting a new materialist lens, the project investigates how sustainability communication can be conceived of as a material-semiotic practice, existing – that is – thanks to the entanglements of both matter and meaning. In this regard, concepts of sustainable tourism are analyzed in their materiality, so to shed light onto how these concepts contribute to the maintenance or transformation of human/nature relations. Put it differently, the research project wishes to understand how meanings and enunciations about sustainable tourism affect the ways humans relate to the materialities of the environment into which they are enunciated, and explore whether different linguistic efforts could result in different, more sustainable, human/nature entanglements.
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