Il Ritorno della Materia

Edited by Chiara Cappelletto
Co-Editors: Marta Calbi, Sofia Pirandello, Samuele Sartori, Irene Pipicelli, Giulia Rignano, Nicole Miglio
Forthcoming by Einaudi in 2024

How do we become human beings, and what role does matter play in the formation of individuals? Il ritorno della materia is the first volume in the Italian editorial landscape dedicated to the processes of subjectification, bringing together a multidisciplinary range of studies all characterized by a materialist approach.

The common thread, which unravels thanks to different and complementary topics, is that human cognition and affectivity depend on our continuous negotiation with the material world, both natural and artifactual.

The thesis, on which both the process of paper selection and the theoretical proposal are based, is that this aptitude for negotiation (or negotiating agency) constitutes the performative nature of human beings: each and every one of us operates in an environment saturated with bodies, things, and atmospheres through our own aptitude to correspond to them and to realize a reciprocal retroactive effect.

To argue that human beings have a performative nature means adopting an interdisciplinary perspective that conceives of the body as a relational, plastic, and political object beyond any binary and dualistic perspective.

By studying our neurobiological and medial—that is, eminently aesthetic—constitution, it is possible to understand the status of homo sapiens in an era characterized by the loss of anthropocentric privilege. The proposed curatorship not only offers a selection of the most significant contemporary scholars dealing with the artifactual, gendered, and situated nature of human beings, but also puts such research into perspective through a historical-critical apparatus (the general and section introductions, as well as the final bibliography).