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Cavell 2021 : Stanley Cavell: A Retrospective


When Sep 23, 2021 - Sep 24, 2021
Where Milan (Italy)
Submission Deadline May 1, 2021
Categories    philosophy   literature   film   aesthetics

Call For Papers


Stanley Cavell: A Retrospective

Vita-Salute San Raffaele University

Milan, September 23th - 24th 2021 (new dates)

Organizing institutions:

Department of Philosophy of the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University of Milan; Triennale di Milano.


Raffaele Ariano (Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele di Milano), Leonardo Caffo (NABA - Nuova accademia di belle arti di Milano; Fondazione Triennale di Milano).

Confirmed speakers:

Sandra Laugier – Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (keynote)

Stephen Mulhall – University of Oxford (keynote)

Piergiorgio Donatelli – Università degli Studi “La Sapienza” di Roma

Viktor Johansson – Södertörn University Stockholm

Franco La Cecla – NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti di Milano

Davide Sparti – Università di Siena

Domenico Spinosa – Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera

Catherine Wheatley – King’s College London


Two years have passed since his death, and Stanley Cavell’s figure keeps growing in stature for philosophy, the humanities and the humanistic social sciences of our time. Courses and conferences devoted to his work have been and are being held regularly in universities all over the globe, while the amount of scholarly work on him shows no sign of diminishing. It is not only that few recent thinkers can count within their oeuvre masterworks of the importance of The Claim of Reason and The World Viewed. It is not even just the breadth of his research interests – encompassing topics as varied as Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Shakespeare, film, democracy, education and literature, to name just a few – that makes Cavell’s production so significant. It is his capacity to delve deeply into the technical debates of academic philosophy and humanities whilst, at the same time, attaining a truly distinctive voice. His prominence is due not only to his work as a scholar, but also as a writer and intellectual. For such reasons, Cavell invites us to problematize and reinvent philosophy in a manner important to our academic institutions as well as our society at large.

Vita-Salute San Raffaele University of Milan, in partnership with the art and design museum Triennale di Milano, will host a two-day interdisciplinary international conference on Cavell’s philosophy and figure. The call for papers encourages a variety of approaches and contributions, addressing scholars in the fields of history of philosophy, ethics, aesthetics, political theory and philosophy of language, as well as those working in film studies, comparative literature, North American studies, gender studies, visual and cultural studies, intellectual history and history of ideas. The aim of the conference will be not only to deepen the present understanding of Cavell’s thought through the analysis and interpretation of specific aspects of his production, but also to open new lines of interaction with other thinkers and topics both within and beyond the academic study of philosophy.

The conference will be structured around thematic sessions.

Topics of interest for submission include, but are not limited to:

America and transcendentalism: Emerson, Thoreau and beyond.
Inheriting a method? Cavell’s Austin.
Inheriting a method? A therapeutic reading of Wittgenstein.
Wittgenstein, criteria and skepticism.
Parallels and contrasts: Cavell’s reading of Heidegger, Lévinas, Rawls, Derrida…
Voices and styles: Cavell vs romanticism, pragmatism, ordinary language philosophy, deconstruction, post-modernism, etc.
Cavell and psychoanalysis
Cavell’s theory of modernism in music, theater, and the visual arts.
Cavell’s Shakespeare between skepticism, tragedy and comedy.
Cavell and film studies (ontology and realism, genre, ethics, television, close-analysis of individual films, etc.)
Cavell and gender studies
Philosophy and education.
Ethics and politics (perfectionism, agreement, giving reasons, rules and foundations, etc.)
“Analytic” and “continental”: past, present, and future of a (supposed) divide.
Please send your proposals (max. 300 words) and a short bio (max. 150 words) to by May 1, 2021.

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