Call for proposal: Journal Lo Sguardo 2024

Impertinencies of a Womans Pen. Anonimato, paratesti, epistolari nelle scritture delle donne tra medioevo e età moderna. Deadline: 30/06/2023

The increasing research work put forward in the past decades about the presence and role of women in Western intellectual history has enabled the recovery of the thought and work of a number of female figures who were relevant to the cultural scene of their time. Following in the wake of a more comprehensive effort to rethink the canon of Western culture, Lo Sguardo dedicates a monographic issue (XXXVIII, 2024, edited by Delfina Giovannozzi and Emilio M. De Tommaso) to the analysis of women’s intellectual contributions between the Middle Ages and the modern age, with particular attention to the strategies adopted by female intellectuals to take the floor and actively take part in the processes of formation and circulation of ideas.

This monographic issue starts from the premise that, in order to avoid gender prejudices, women were forced to hide behind anonymity, also taking advantage of the fact that men often resorted to this expedient in order to exercise their freedom of thought. Not rarely, such participation in disguise was brought forward through paratexts such as dedicatory letters, introductions, or afterwords, which, however narrow, provided true public spaces for the intellectual debate. The presence of women in the epistolaries, was, then quite extensive. Epistolaries constituted an impressive and reticular intellectual network structure, connecting the private and public spheres, and fostering the generation, evolution, and dissemination of ideas.

From this overall perspective, this issue addresses what Mary Astell (1666-1731) provocatively called the “Impertinencies of a Womans Pen”, and hence will host contributions investigating: women’s active participation in intellectual disputes; their presence in the history of Western thought, despite the silence of more traditional narratives; the strategies that enabled women of culture to escape the mechanisms of intellectual exclusion or marginalization; the texts by which they established close confrontation, or simply constructed the argumentative means by which they fully entered contemporary cultural debates; and finally, we will attempt adequate reconstruction of their libraries.

The editors encourage the submission of proposals that analyze aspects concerning philosophical and scientific thought, but also boundary issues between disciplinary fields, including debates on morality, custom, and religion. More in detail, suggested (but not exclusive) thematic research areas include:

  1. Philosophy, ontology, metaphysics;
  2. Science, natural philosophy, and epistemology;
  3. Religion and theology;
  4. Morality, anthropology, education, and custom;
  5. New argumentative strategies;
  6. Boundary issues between art, literature, science, and philosophy.



Procedure: Send an abstract of about 1000 characters, including six keywords and a brief essential bibliography, to by the date indicated above. Proposals will undergo evaluation and, after acceptance, the details for submission of the full paper will be communicated. The full paper will undergo two double-blind peer reviews.

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