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Life, in Theory

The 8th Meeting of the European Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts
June 3-6, 2014

Vercelli: Università del Piemonte Orientale, June 4
Torino: Università di Torino, June 5 and 6

Main Sponsors: Università del Piemonte Orientale, Università di Torino, Fondazione CRT, Agorà Scienza, Museo di Anatomia Umana “Luigi Rolando”, Museo di Antropologia Criminale “Cesare Lombroso”, Città di Torino, IRCAD (Interdisciplinary Research Center of Autoimmune Diseases), Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici – Università del Piemonte Orientale, SLSA
Main Organizers: Università del Piemonte Orientale, Università di Torino, SLSAeu, Agorà Scienza
Conference Chair: Cristina Iuli
Local Scientific Committee: Cristina Iuli, Margherita Benzi, Umberto Dianzani, Cesare Emanuel, Aldo Fasolo, Simona Forti, Maurizio Mori, Luca Savarino
SLSAeu Scientific Committee: Yves Abrioux, Cristina Iuli, Manuela Rossini, Monika Bakke, Louise Whiteley, Erich Hörl, Stefan Herbrechter, Ivan Callus
Organization: Cristina Iuli, Laura Blandino, Gabriele Cagliano, Paola Ferrero, Federico Pianzola, Isabella Susa and Federica Boraso, Jessica Fava, Francesco Messina
Special thanks to: Paola Rumore and Corrado Calvo

In the past forty years, research in genetics and genomics, the convergence of the latter with digital technology, and the intrusion of technology into all forms of life have called into question the idea that life is anything simple, natural or biological, and have made available knowledge and resources that may determine mutations or new aggregations in the constitutive elements of life forms and living systems, likely transforming the conditions of existence of life on the planet beyond reversibility.

Today, biopower is a crucial node of social transformation. It directly affects societies by interpreting and responding to their reproductive, medical, food-related needs, by redefining the notion of sustainability, by intercepting public and private funding, and by reorienting political aims and policies in ways that will heavily impact the future life of individuals, communities, and ecosystems.

The VIII European Meeting of the Society for the Study of Literature, Science, and the Arts aims to continue the conversation between science and the humanities on the implications for our projected futures of the manipulation, administration, and governance of life forms. The concept of life today no longer provides sufficient ontological ground to distinguish among different forms of life and to guide ethical, political, legal, or medical actions. Thus, a discussion across disciplinary forms of knowledge and theories of life, and the practices they authorize, is literally to confront issues of life and death.


Prof. CLAIRE COLEBROOK – Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English, Pennsylvania State University
Prof. ROBERTO ESPOSITO – Professor of Theoretical Philosophy, Vice Director, Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane (SUM), Florence
Dott. GIUSEPPE TESTA – Head of Laboratory of Stem Cell Epigenetics/Head of the Unit on Science and Technology Studies, IEO, Milano
Prof. PAOLO VINEIS – Chair of Environmental Epidemiology, Imperial College, London
Prof. CARY WOLFE – Bruce and Elizabeth Dunlevie Professor of English; Founding Director of the 3CT: Center for Critical and Cultural Theory, Rice University
DORION SAGAN – Author of Notes from the Holocene and Cosmic Apprentice
CLAUDIA BORDESE – Science writer, author of Wild Sex. When nature Loves and A Life at Others’ Expense. Eulogy of Parasitism


Prof. TIMOTHY CAMPBELL – Professor of Italian Studies, Chair of Romance Studies, Cornell University
Prof. SANDRA D’ALFONSO – Professors of Genetics and Genomics, Università del Piemonte Orientale
Prof. UMBERTO DIANZANI – Professor of Immunology, Università del Piemonte Orientale
Prof. GREGG LAMBERT – Founding Director Center for the Humanities, Syracuse University, and Director of the Central New York Humanities Corridor, a project of the Mellon Foundation with Cornell University and University of Rochester
Prof. UGO MATTEI – Professor of Private Law, Università di Torino
Prof. MAURIZIO MORI – Professor of Bioethics, Università di Torino
Prof. MARIO PIRISI – Professor of Translational Medicine, Università del Piemonte Orientale
Prof. DAVIDE TARIZZO – Assistant Professor, Moral Philosophy, Università di Salerno


SOPHIE LEBECH, Artist, performer

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