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Lost in History: Women in Literature and Philosophy

Head: Ilenia De Bernardis, Supakwadee Amatayakul

Year 2019

For the first time since the 1960s. the problem of the absence of female writers from the literary canon has been raised in a structural manner in Italy. Moreover, the very canon of Italian literature is upstream and downstream of the cultural domination of one sex over another. How else can we explain, for example, that from Dante to Boccaccio, passing through the literature of the sixteenth-seventeenth century to literary modernity and beyond, women appear mainly as heroines in works written by men?

The same phenomenon of exclusion is recorded in the fields of philosophical knowledge. The most recent feminist research on the canons of philosophy have highlighted, like the literary researches, two fundamental and still unresolved problems. The first concerns the exclusion of philosophies from the dominant philosophical canon; the second problem consists in the devaluation and negative consideration of the feminine in that same philosophical canon and in the works that compose it.

This research project therefore has a two-fold objective, which corresponds to two distinct but interconnected methodologies. In the first place, it wants to recover the writers and philosophers whose contribution to the history of culture has been "lost in history", ending up forgotten, neglected, obliterated; and secondly, it wants to contribute to reformulating some fundamental criteria of disciplinary canons, so as to make these canons increasingly inclusive, democratic and above all responsive to the real needs of contemporary cultures and societies.