CURRENT FELLOWS

Spring 2020    


Guglielmo Feis (University of Milan, Italy)

Guglielmo Feis is a philosopher (BA, MA) with a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Law (i.e. Faculty of Law) experiencing first hand how to conduct interdisciplinary research and getting bashed from both sides. “At least it is harder to get bored, working this way.” He has worked on impossibility in the legal domain, Ought implies Can, Social Ontology, normativity conflicts and a bunch of other topics (see on Academia or Research Gate for more). He’s been lucky to have wonderful co-authors. Nowadays he is actively engaging in working on blockchain and the law (and their philosophical relevance) plus the artifactual thesis of law.

Project – title: Digital Humanities: How (a Bit of) Programming Can Make us Better Researchers

The project investigates how a little bit of familiarity with programming may benefit a researcher in the humanities. Pcs and tech are our tools, it’s up to us to set them properly and use them to do boring work (e.g.: typesetting bibs) and have more time to actually think and do our research.
I show how Python programming language doesn’t bite and that Markdown speeds up the production of research outputs. I introduced GitHub as a way to store and track your progress while collaborating with the world.
I also develop some real-world tools to automate boring academic tasks and improve our ability to build corpora and retrieve google searches.
It is no longer time to blame the Big 4 (or 5?) tech companies without knowing their names and what they are doing; to praise revolution with a MacBook Pro; to pretend more funds for research and advocate open access to knowledge while investing a lot in proprietary software licenses.


Valentina Moro (University of Padova, Italy)

Valentina Moro obtained her Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Padua in 2018, after spending two semesters at Brown University (U.S.) as a visiting research fellow. In 2019, she was a research fellow at the Istituto italiano per gli studi filosofici in Naples and she obtained her first fellowship at the CAS SEE, where she held the seminar Staging Gender in Antiquity: why is this archive still crucial for feminist theory? The case of the study of kinship, in December. Her research intersects the fields of political theory, classics, and feminist studies. She collaborates with the Hannah Arendt research center in Verona. She co-edited the book Polis, Erōs, Parrēsia. Letture etico-politiche contemporanee della tragedia greca (Padova University Press, 2018) and she is a member of the editorial board of the journal Materiali foucaultiani.

Project – title: Feminist Movements Embodied in the Structure of Liberal Democracies

How is it possible to act together and to mobilize by calling into question the entire paradigm of sovereign nation-states and its economic model? This political strategy needs to go beyond the denounce of an emergency (the financial crisis, or the environmental emergency) and requires a structural critique of the system that produced it. This research project focuses on feminist movements, the aim of which is to rethink the patriarchal forms of domination, that are embodied in the structure of liberal democracies and that entail hierarchies and inequalities.
In the first part of the research, I will call into question the way in which several theorists discussed the topic of the “body” – both individual and collective – as the core of a feminist reconsideration of the political relationship between human society and nature. The aim of the second part of the research is to explore the way in which the new wave of feminist mobilizations drew attention on the necessity of regaining control of one’s own body and boosted the challenge to reorganize within a collective body – a community, a group, a movement. From a theoretical perspective, assembly and organization are the key-words of the second part of the research.
The aim of this project is to highlight what is new in this kind of mobilizations and who are the subjects involved. How do they perceive and define themselves as political subjects? Which kind of assembly and network do they stage? How do they criticize the entire model of neoliberal society? Which new political language did these mobilizations introduce? How do they perceive the human body and its political meaning, re-politicizing the relationship between the human societies and the natural environments in which they live?


Francesca Rolandi (University of Turin, Italy / University of Ljubljana, Slovenia)

Francesca Rolandi received a Ph.D. in Slavic Studies at the University of Turin in 2012 with a dissertation on the influence of Italian popular culture on socialist Yugoslavia, which in 2014 received the award Vinka Kitarovic of the University of Bologna for thesis dealing with the history of neighboring countries. She has been postdoctoral research at the Italian Institute for Historical Studies in Naples, the University of Rijeka (Marie Curie – NEWFELPRO fellowship), and the University of Ljubljana (ERC project EIRENE Postwar Transitions in Gendered Perspective: The Case of the North-Eastern Adriatic Region). Her research interests range from the social and cultural history of the Upper Adriatic area and the post-Yugoslav space to the history of refugees and migration in the 20th century.

Project – title: Doš’o sam u grad iz pasivnog kraja. Internal Migration, Settlement Dynamics and Social Practices in post-World War II Rijeka

“This project aims to investigate the settlement process and internal migration flows in post-World War II Rijeka, tracing their influence on the urban fabric of the city. Post-war reconstruction required a sharp increase in the labor force to replace the many local inhabitants who left as a consequence of the new border setting and fulfill the needs of the local industry. The new immigrants who reached the city came not just from the surrounding areas but also from other more faraway regions, including the southern Yugoslav republics.

This project will shed some light on the policies adopted by the Yugoslav authorities to repopulate the city, including the process of negotiation with the local context. Moreover, it will analyze these migration flows taking into account national but also class and gender aspects. Focusing on specific, carefully selected, places, where wider phenomena were displayed, it will investigate the impact of the practices of consumption, housing policies, dynamics of social inclusion or exclusion on the process of identity building.”


Ondřej Císař (Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic)

Ondřej Císař is an Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague and is also affiliated to the Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences. He is editor-in-chief of the Czech edition of Czech Sociological Review. His research focus is on political mobilization, social movements, and political sociology. He is the author or co-author of several books and numerous research papers.

Project – title: Changing Climate: Varieties of Environmental Political Mobilization

The goal of this project is to start a new research agenda focused on the currently differentiating environmental movement and its political context. Although the environmental movement has been around for a long time, it is going through a visible transformation right now, which is mostly due to the mobilization of newly established political actors, such as Fridays for Future and Extinction Rebellion. These new agencies helped transform the environmental movement both globally and in particular political contexts. This project primarily focuses on Central and Eastern Europe; it intends to link up with research partners in Southeastern Europe to create a more comparative view of the changing landscape of environmental mobilizations. In order to contextualize the new research agenda, the project first focuses on the development of environmental activism and protest in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989. Both national and international, mostly European, political contexts have shaped post-1989 environmental activism in the region. Therefore, the role environmental movements have played in both social transformation and Europeanization processes will be covered. Based on the general conceptualization of activism, different forms of environmental mobilization will be distinguished. In this respect, the project will relate to debates in political sociology in general, and social movement studies in particular.


Xenia Chiaramonte (University of Milan, Italy)

Xenia Chiaramonte is a jurist and a sociologist of law. Her work deals with social movements and critical legal theories. Her recent research monograph “Governare il conflitto. La criminalizzazione del movimento No Tav” (Meltemi, 2019) is an ethnography of the judicial power and constitutes the first step of her epistemology of penal law. As a CAS SEE fellow, she is developing a radical ecologic perspective through legal strategies. Her innovative project aims at instituting the rights of nature through a fictional and material approach to the legal technique.
She completed the Ph.D. in Law and Society (University of Milan) and a master at the Oñati International Institute (IISJ). She was a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley’s Center for the Study of Law and Society. She currently teaches Critical Criminology at the University of Padua and Bologna and is an online editor of the journal “Studi sulla questione criminale”. She is also part of the Osservatorio Pop, an observatory on the reentry from prison and public opinion instituted by the University of Roma Tre.

Project – title: Instituting the Rights of Nature: A Fictional and Casuistic Approach to Law and Social Movements

In most cases, (criminal and administrative) law is used against grassroots movements, and protests are criminalized (Terwindt 2014; Chiaramonte 2019). Ecological struggles are widespread around the world, but they are discouraged from employing the law to advance their rights, as the law seems to be a tool for the “Haves” rather than an instrument for “first players” (Galanter 1974). Yet, people mobilize and ask for climate justice.
Admittedly, the most recent studies on law and social movements demonstrate the positive influence of strategic use of the law to advance the rights of nature and populations, especially when they are subject to a restriction (Cummings and NeJaime 2010; NeJaime 2013; Cumming & NeJaime 2017).
Law is a means and as such, it can serve several masters. I propose to explore the instituent ability of legal means and apply it to the rights of nature.


Alessandra Scotti (University of Naples, Italy)

Alessandra Scotti is Adjunct Professor of Bioethics at the Department of Humanities of University of Naples “Federico II”. She got her Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Naples “Federico II” in 2015, defending a thesis titled: “Nature and new ontologies. Bergson’s heritage in Maurice Merleau-Ponty” (advisor prof. P. Amodio). She is a member of the editorial board of the Journal “S&F_scienzaefilosofia.it” and Chiasmi International. She is also a member of the Italian Society of Moral Philosophy (SIFM). Her scientific interests, expressed in several kinds of research, publications, and participation in national and international conferences, are focused on the Contemporary French Philosophy and Philosophical Anthropology, with particular reference to Merleau-Ponty. She is the author of the monograph “Il mondo del silenzio. Natura e vita in Maurice Merleau-Ponty” [The world of silence. Nature and life in Maurice Merleau-Ponty] ETS 2015 and translator into Italian of Merleau-Ponty’s work Structure of Behavior, Mimesis 2019.

Project – title: From a Bodily Ecology to an Environmental Ethic. Merleau-Ponty’s Legacy in Ecological Thinking

Modern perspectives on nature are marked by a forceful division between the human subject and natural objects. On this Cartesian dichotomy, Positivism built trust in the human capability to conquer nature. Nowadays, this trust has collided with the paradoxical consequences of over-development: what was supposed to protect us from the risks of an impetuous nature has instead exposed the world to even greater dangers. Therefore the current environmental crisis requires a new reflection on the human relationship with Earth, one that can find valuable support in phenomenological thinking. The aim of the project is to outline some aspects of Merleau-Ponty’s legacy in ecological thinking – especially the reconfiguration of the subject started by the French philosopher, such that we can talk about an ecology of subject –, and to show how Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy of nature and his notion of flesh can offer important support, both methodological and ontological, to ethical studies on the environment and the ecological crisis. The project consists of a theoretical inquiry involving the rethinking of the problem from an ethical and political point of view, through an ontology of visible. Its purpose is: a) a new centrality of the corporeality; b) the building-up of a bodily ecology as a way to an environmental ethic; c) the analysis of social phenomena through the concept of visible.


Federica Porcheddu (University of Macerata, Italy)

Federica Porcheddu is the Italian referent for the Cahiers d’études lévinassiennes. She studied philosophy at the University of Sassari. In the first period of her studies were dedicated to German philosophy, especially to German idealism. She lived in Tübingen for a year, thanks to the Erasmus project and she wrote my first thesis on the Hegelian critique of Fichte’s doctrine of science. In the second period of her studies, she focused on the concept of limit (Grenze / Schranke) in the philosophy of Kant, Fichte, and Hegel. In recent years she has dedicated herself to contemporary French philosophy, in particular Emmanuel Levinas, Jacques Derrida, Paul Ricœur, and Jean-Luc Nancy. Her main thematic areas of interest are intersubjectivity, community, ethics, and politics. In 2015 Porcheddu passed the doctorate competition at the University of Macerata and in 2019 she received the Ph.D. degree with a thesis entitled: “Starting from Levinas: Rethinking the Third, for an Ethic of Reciprocity”. During her doctorate, she also did a research period at the Fonds Ricœur in Paris.

Project – title: Food Sovereignty: A Challenge to the Global Food Regime

The project aims to interpret the relationship between human society and nature through the lens of the more general process of commodification. Commodification is a characteristic element of the capitalist system of production, through which qualitatively different things are made equivalent and exchangeable through the medium of money. This process implies a conception of nature according to which, far from being considered as an essential element for the survival of human beings, is instead conceived as a means to be exploited in order to guarantee the greatest profit possible, without any consideration for the high environmental costs that this entails. One of the most negative aspects of this process concerns in particular the commodification of food, a determining factor of the current global food crisis.
Challenging this view, the project takes the concept of food sovereignty as a possible alternative to reformulate the relationship between human society and nature. Food sovereignty opens up a perspective of global food justice which focuses on the importance of food as a fundamental human right while highlighting the impact that human activity has on the environment