Nicola Chiaromonte: A Cosmopolitan Intellectual, International Conference (Rome, 26-27 May 2022)

Marco Bresciani's picture
Call for Papers
February 15, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Contemporary History, European History / Studies, Intellectual History, Philosophy, Political History / Studies

Associazione Amici di Nicola Chiaromonte

International Conference

Nicola Chiaromonte a cosmopolitan intellettual

Rome, 26-27 May 2022


Nicola Chiaromonte dies on the 18th of January 1972. He was one of the most appreciated leading figures of twentieth century Italian culture at the international level. Essayist, theatre critic and a passionate expert of philosophical and literary studies, as well as a shrewd observer of the social and political reality of his own time, due to a perilous but very rich biographical journey mainly in Italy, France and the United States, Chiaromonte acted as a go-between connecting different intellectual milieux and cultural contexts. Fifty years after his death, the Friends of Nicola Chiaromonte Association promotes a two-day international conference that will take place in Rome at the Biblioteca del Senato at the end of May/beginning of June 2022 the aim of which is to restore through an interdisciplinary approach the complexity of this cosmopolitan intellectual, that resists any easy classification due to the wide range of themes he dealt with. The Association intends therefore to contribute to a revival of the Chiaromonte studies, benefitting from a renewed attention to the transnational aspects in contemporary intellectual history.

The conference has the ambition to situate the intellectual from Lucania in the multiple contexts in which he acted, often bringing distant forms of knowledge and different intellectual networks together. The conference will thus focus on Chiaromonte’s essays in the attempt of reinterpreting his texts in the light of the more recent historiographical acquisitions, as well as on his contribution, as a promoter of culture, to the structuring and evolution of the Italian and Euro-Atlantic intellectual networks in the middle decades of the Twentieth century. 

In order to obtain a clearer picture of who is currently working on the figure of Chiaromonte and the intellectual milieux in which he acted, the Association will resort to a call for papers for the selection of the lecturers/speakers. The contributions should deal with the subjects in which the conference will be articulated, namely: Nicola Chiaromonte and twentieth century politics: Spaces, intellectual networks and circulation of ideas; In defense of cultural freedom and the autonomy of society; The essayist Nicola Chiaromonte among literature, philosophy and theatre (see program below). Proposals will have to be sent to the Secretary of the Friends of Nicola Chiaromonte Association by 15th February 2022 (, and will be examined by a Scientific Committee designated by the Association. The text of the proposal will have to contain the title of the contribution, a short abstract (1000 characters) and a short biographical note of the proponent. 


  1. Nicola Chiaromonte and twentieth century politics

Antifascism and anticommunism

Liberalism, libertarianism, socialism

Democracy, cosmopolitanism, right to disobedience


  1. Spaces, intellectual networks and circulation of ideas

The myth of Paris: Nicola Chiaromonte between Italy and France

An intellectual middleman between Europe and America

Nicola Chiaromonte a cosmopolitan intellectual during the Cold War: his attention toward Eastern Europe intellectual dissenters.


  1. In defense of cultural freedom and the autonomy of society


The critique of realism and ideologies and the reassessment of Utopia

The critique od society and mass culture and the reevaluation of small groups and interpersonal relations

The dangers of engagement and the political virtues of the impolitical 


  1. The essayist Nicola Chiaromonte among literature, philosophy and theatre

Nicola Chiaromonte’s essay and epistolary writing

The dramatic situation: an idea and an apology of theatre

Between literature and philosophy

Myth, the Sacred and History