People

Giulia Rispoli

Research Scholar (Jan 2020-Jan 2026)

Rispoli studied history and philosophy of science at the University of Rome, where she received her PhD in 2015, and at the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy at the Lomonosov Moscow State University. Her research interests include the history and epistemology of systems thinking—in particular Alexander Bogdanov’s tektology as an alternative to the general systems theory and cybernetics—and their declination and convergence with biosphere theories. She also works on the history of social studies of science, especially in the Russian and Soviet contexts, as well as environmental diplomacy during the Cold War.

She was a visiting scholar at the Moscow State University and at the York Cross-disciplinary Centre for Complex Systems Analysis at the University of York. Additionally, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Muséum national d’histoire naturelle and at the Centre Alexander Koyré in Paris. She has taught at Indiana University, Bloomington, at the Cohn Institute of Tel Aviv University, and at the Osteuropa-Institute at the Freie Universität Berlin.

As part of the research group “Knowledge in and of the Anthropocene” at the MPIWG, Rispoli investigates the conceptual history and genealogy of the Anthropocene notion. She studies key moments in the interaction of large-scale perspectives in which systems theory intersects with global ecology, resulting in the emergence of Earth system theories.

Rispoli is primarily contributing to a collaboration between the MPIWG, the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), and the Anthropocene Working Group (AWG)—a body of the Subcommission of Quaternary Stratigraphy that studies the Anthropocene as a formal geological time unit. In this project, she coordinates research on the diverse systemic historical trends and processes that are manifested in the global distribution of sedimentary and geochemical markers. This research is used by the AWG in their efforts to define and identify the “golden spike” of the Anthropocene. Together with Christoph Rosol, she is co-curating the event Anthropogenic Markers, which brings together earth scientists, humanists, and contemporary artists to discuss materials and evidence of a twentieth-century transition into the Anthropocene. The first workshop will take place at the HKW in November 2020 to kick-off the production and publication of six dossiers that reflect the distribution of themes and topics considered by the AWG in their formal assessment of the Anthropocene.

Rispoli is also working on a project exploring the ideas of human geometabolism in the twentieth century, in particular “the geosphere-biosphere” and the “Earth system,” and how they have reflected changes in scientific concepts and methodologies that can, in turn, explain different policy strategies in different phases of the post-war debate and the Cold War. A book that presents the results of this project is currently in preparation.

Projects

Anthropocene Knowledge: Earth History in the Making

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Historical Sources and Contexts of Anthropocene Thinking

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IV. Knowledge in and of the Anthropocene

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Tracing the Earth System Before Earth-system Science

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No projects were found for this scholar.

Selected Publications

Rispoli, G., & Rosol, C. (Eds.). (2018). Technology and the Sublime / Tecnologia e sublime [Special Issue]. Azimuth: Philosophical Coordinates in Modern and Contemporary Age, 12.

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Rispoli, G., & Turchetti, S. (Eds.). (2020). Science Diplomacy [Special Issue]. Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences, 50/4.

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Rispoli, G. (2019). The Space-Time Continuum and the Tektological Organization of the Earth-System. ISRF Bulletin, 18, 25-30.

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Ienna, G., & Rispoli, G. (2019). Boris Hessen at the Crossroads of Science and Ideology: From International Circulation to the Soviet Context. Societate şi politică: Society and Politics, 13(1), 37-63.

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Events

Cold War Seminar Series

CANCELED: Nuclear Diplomacy: How Knowledge Becomes Worthy of Global Circulation

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Cold War Seminar Series

POSTPONED: Socialism and Scientific Internationalism in Sino-British Scientific Networks from World War to Cold War

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Cold War Seminar Series

POSTPONED: From Soil Erosion to Global Warming: The Postwar Internationalist Origins of Global-scale Environmental Crisis

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Cold War Seminar Series

POSTPONED: Rethinking Collaboration: Medical Research and Working Relationships at the Iranian Pasteur Institute

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Cold War Seminar Series

The Common Problems of Modern Societies: IIASA as a Case for Détente Science

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Cold War Seminar Series

Margaret Thatcher, the Cold War, and International Science in the 1980s

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Cold War Seminar Series

Changing Channel: What is Science Diplomacy and How Could It Help Us to Better Understand Cold War Science?

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Presentations, Talks, & Teaching Activities

“Pre-Gaian Thinkers: Vladimir Vernadskij and the Foundation of Biospherics.” Gaia and Earth System Science: scientific, historical and philosophical perspectives, IHPST

Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris

“Rethinking Boundaries: Soviet Cybernetics across the Biosphere, the Ecosphere and the Noosphere Dimensions.” Experiencing the Global Environment

The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (dep. II), Berlin

“Systems theories and the 20th century global ecology.” Le développement de l'écologie scientifique et l'émergence des éthiques de l'environnement

Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris

“To Mars and Back: The Science–Fiction Interface in Russian Interplanetary Utopia.” International Congrés Ciència i Ficció

Societat Catalana d’Història de la Ciència i de la Tècnica, Barcelona

“From the Sun to the Earth: Biosphere as a living organism in Soviet Geo-ecology.” The 24th International Congress of History of Science, Technology and Medicine

The University of Manchester (Symposium: The Planet Earth, the Environment and the Cold War)

News & Press

Applications open for Anthropocene Campus Lisboa: Parallax, deadline October 15, 2019

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Postdoctoral Fellow Giulia Rispoli for the ISRF on the tektological organization of the Earth system

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Postdoctoral Fellow Giulia Rispoli in El País article on Soviet climatologist Vladimir Alexandrov

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