PCT11: Theorizing Italy


This Working Group focuses on Italian philosophical thought across historical periods. It attempts to bring together faculty and students across the humanities to discuss and think about the most important questions concerning Italian philosophical thinking.

Active since: 2018

Closed Group of Collaborators

  • Syracuse University
  • University of Rochester
  • Cornell University
  • Rochester Institute of Technology

Collaborative Goals

Our Working Group's aims are to bring together faculty and students across the humanities to promote reflections, discussions, and awareness about some of the most important and urgent questions concerning Italian philosophical thinking in light of the contemporary world.

We think we met these goals successfully by organizing two distinct seminar-styled events with various external scholars/experts on the thinkers under consideration:

  1. October 15 & 29, 2021--a two-part seminar on the relevance of Niccolo' Machiavelli's thought for the contemporary world in terms of matters of populism, power, and democracy (with Nadia Urbinati and Maurizio Virioli as main seminar leaders); and
  2. May 6, 2022--a roundtable on the contemporary relevance of Pico della Mirandola for current matters and conceptualizations of humanism, transhumanism, and posthumanism (with Francesco Borghesi, Travis Holloway, and Jeremy Bendik-Keymer).

Both events saw wide participation from scholars and students from various disciplines and countries around the world.

Group Organizers

Stefano Giannini

Associate Professor and Italian Program Coordinator, Syracuse University

Silvia Benso

Professor, Philosophy; Director, Women's and Gender Studies Program, Rochester Institute of Technology

Timothy Campbell

Professor of Italian Studies, Cornell University

Brian Schroeder

Professor and Chair of Philosophy; Director of Religious Studies, Rochester Institute of Technology

Donatella Stocchi-Perucchio

Arnold Lisio ’56, ‘61M (MD) and Anne Moore Lisio, MD Endowed Distinguished Professor in Italian Language and Culture; Associate Professor of Italian; Head, Italian Program, University of Rochester

Group Members

  • Michael Amy, Professor, School of Art, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Anne Leone, Assistant Professor, Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, Syracuse University
  • Adam Rosen-Carole, Adjunct Faculty, College of Liberal Arts, Rochester Institute of Technology

Non Corridor Members

  • Alex Bertland, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Niagara University
  • Laurie Naranch, Associate Professor of Political Sciences, Siena College
  • Timothy Madigan, Professor of Philosophy and Classical Studies, Saint John Fisher University
  • Elvira Roncalli, Professor of Philosophy, Carroll College
  • Peter Carravetta, Professor of Philosophy, SUNY at Stony Brook
  • Antonio Calcagno, Professor of Philosophy, King's College at Western University, ON, Canada
  • Alessandro Carrera, Professor of Italian Studies, University of Houston

Group Outcomes

Both initiatives we organized were quite productive in terms of expanding collaborative networks, engaging students in our activities, developing new research questions, expanding interdisciplinary approaches and, in general, broadening the areas of interest of the participants because of the variety of scholarly and research approaches we included. We think that a remarkable feature of our events is the seminarial style in which we have either some leaders and respondents or a roundtable format. This style is greatly conducive to the sharing and circulation of ideas, perspectives, reservations, questions, etc., thus facilitating a spirit of collaboration and mutual learning.

As we held both sets of events via Zoom, we also continued to experiment with and learn to master new ways of engaging people via digital technology. Some of these events will result in publications, and all of them will yield to new forms of collaborations and dissemination of work through other conferences and panels.