Giacomo Parrinello

Assistant professor
History of the Anthropocene, Water And River History, History of Environmental Management, History of Environmental Knowledge, Coastal History, Disaster History, Energy History, Urban environmental History


Over the last few years, I have become increasingly interested in coastal history. I look at how the unstable geomorphology of these environments has become the object of increasingly audacious stabilization attempts, which have contributed to the geological transformations of the Anthropocene. I have explored these questions first within the framework of the project MEDCOAST, which I lead as Excellence Chair in Environmental History between 2016 and 2018. This project has led me to research the history of the Mission Racine, a pharaonic state plan for the development of tourism along the western coast of Mediterranean France, and that of the Conservatoire du Littoral, a French institution established in the 1970s and devoted to the protection of coastal environments. I have explored these topics in articles published in Humanities and Le Mouvement Social.

Before joining the Center for History at Sciences Po, I was Carson Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, and Marie Curie Fellow at Louisiana State University, Department of Geography and Anthropology and at the Institute of Social Ecology, Vienna. I have held visiting positions at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, at the University of Bologna, and at UC Berkeley. I am a member of the European Society for Environmental History, of which I have also been the Secretary between 2017 and 2019, and of the American Society for Environmental History.


I continue to investigate the history of the coast within the framework of the project Shifting Shores, An Environmental History of Morphological Change in Mediterranean River Deltas over the Twentieth, funded by a four-year grant (2019-2023) from the Bureau de l’Innovation of City of Paris. Focusing on the deltas of the Po (Italy), Rhône (France), and Ebro (Spain), Shifting Shores combines fluvial geomorphology, environmental history, and the history of science and technology to analyze the alteration of sediment fluxes that connect deltas and their watersheds, the causes and consequences of this alteration, and the social and political responses to it. This project, of which I am the Principal Investigator, includes research partners in California, Spain, France, and Italy, as well as a postdoctoral scholar based at the CHSP, Santiago Goristiza.

Last Publications

Focus Area and Themes

Humanities | Lives, Materialities, Representations

Last Publications

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