The European Province. Ideas and representations of the crisis of Europe 1900-1939

The International Conference The European Province. Ideas and representations of the crisis of Europe 1900-1939 will take place in Naples on March 13 and 14, 2023. It is organized by the University of Naples Federico II and closes the activities of the project FRA Exploring Italian Philosophy in Europe 1900-1939.

Description and objectives

In the period between the 1920s and the 1930s, in a cultural climate generally referred to as the season of the ‘philosophies of the crisis’, philosophical contributions dedicated to Europe intensify and reflect on the ideal meaning, even before the political one, of the idea of Europe: it reflects on the origin, on the roots and on the identity crisis that is inexorably affecting the European continent in those years. Croce’s Storia d’Europa (History of Europe) of 1932, Husserl’s lectures on the ‘crisis of European sciences’ in the middle of the decade, Heidegger’s Roman lecture of 1936 on ‘Europe and German Philosophy’, are the best-known examples of the season of ‘metaphysics of the crisis’ [Franchini, 1953; Esposito, 2015] that begins to emerge already at the beginning of the century.
The aim of the Conference is to reconstruct the cultural context of ‘crisis of Europe’ that constitutes the spiritual substratum from which, after the Second World War, political Europe will be born, which, it should be remembered as a non-secondary aporetic circumstance, emerges precisely from this general framework of post-Europe (Nach-Europa [Pato?ka]). The cultural environment of the early twentieth century could be defined, on Goethe’s suggestion, as ‘valpurgical’: symbol of the perception of sunset, decadence, decline, crisis, but at the same time expression of a need for palingenesis and regeneration. Understanding this spiritual humus means understanding the identity of Europe, made up of aporias, contradictions, ambiguities that still mark, in our most recent years, the climate of permanent ‘crisis of European consciousness’ [Hazard, 1935]: a crisis that is not only political but mainly cultural, to be analyzed therefore in the complexity of its manifestations, as well as in the many variants of euro-pathologies and euro-phobias.

Organization and candidacy

The Conference will be divided into three sections: morning and afternoon of March 13th and morning of March 14th. During the afternoon of the 13th and the morning of the 14th, the invited sessions will be flanked by panels reserved for scholars, to whom this CFP is addressed. The issues to be discussed mainly concern philosophy, but contributions from other disciplines (history, politics, literature, and culture in general) are welcome, as long as they are relevant to the theme of the call.
To apply, you must send, by October 31, 2022, an abstract of your proposal (max 2000 characters) and a brief profile, indicating the institution of affiliation (university or other research institution, Italian or foreign) and the main publications relevant to the theme of the conference.
Applications should be addressed to the members of the Scientific Committee:
By December 31, 2022 the acceptance of the proposal will be communicated.

A collection of the Papers of the Conference is planned.

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