Stanley Cavell: A Retrospective

September 23, 2021 - September 24, 2021
Vita-Salute San Raffaele University

Milano 20129

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities

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Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza
Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza
Stockholm University
Université paris 1
Université paris 1
Oxford University
Oxford University


University Vita-Salute San Raffaele

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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 [email protected].com by May 1, 2021.

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