Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Banner Alterego
Banner Alterego
Home Research Conferences Alterego Call for papers

Call for papers


Download Call for papers pdf file

The Alter/ego, encounters and conflicts in the definition of the Other and in the determination of Self conference is addressed to graduate PhD programs, PhD candidates and early-career researchers (no more than 3 years after graduation) to debate on the subject of other, otherness, and its implications. The Organizing Committee will be pleased to welcome proposals that can provide a merge of different methodological approaches to the analysis and interpretation of the text: the hermeneutics of texts can provide instruments and responses to the interpretation of current world issues.

Different methodologies can be involved in multifaceted and versatile reflections on the subject: the relationship I/other in terms of individuality, community, places, cultural systems, linguistic codes, to be analyzed according to different points of view and cultural references.

The selection of the proposals will privilege abstracts concerning the following literary and linguistic areas of study: Indo-European studies, Classical studies, Romance Philology, Germanic Philology, Italian studies, English studies, Anglo-American studies, Slavonic studies.


As examples, possible thematic and hermeneutic approaches to the subject, in an interdisciplinary perspective, could be:

Literary Genres and Personalities

The I/other binomial couple has been problematized in literature starting from the literary genres, for genres are usually used to define the artistic intentions of the author, his relation with the audience, the main subjects in his works. In addition to the literary personalities that focused their works on the alter/ego interrelations, the relations existing between the author and his work, the author and his audience (expected or actually achieved), and the text and the audience, deserve a particular attention, mostly in regard to the cultural and social effects produced. In this comparative perspective, the otherness becomes the meaningful link among subjects, genres, and literary personalities.

The other is often referred to as somebody in another place, different from our own one; in many texts, the other appears as inhabitant of foreign, more or less close, geographic spaces (in Travel Literature, reports from Medieval Pilgrimages or in Migrant Literature), and/or characterized by wonderful/unreal traits (exoticism), supernatural connotations (Paradises or Other Worlds), or imaginary/realistic settings shaped on fantastic transfigurations of our own world (Animal World, the World through the Mirror, etc.).

Characters and connections

The relational system I/other leads to multiple analytical approaches, according to many different frames of exchanges and conflicts: on the one hand, from the other in relation with the lyric I as subject of Poetry; on the other hand, to the other as the subject acting in the narration as captivating disguises: the other I, the double, the alter ego. Furthermore, the other as a stranger and/or outsider (fools, gypsies, etc.) enters the narration as a disturbing character, to complicate and entangle the plot. The relation I/other could also be investigated in the heuristic value of social and anthropological relationships (fight, alliance, negotiation, etc.).

Exchanges and conflicts

The exchange between the I and the other is essential in many cultural myths of the past, so as to create cultural reflections, literary structures, social interactions and mutual sharing. The definition of the self as identity, related to the collectivity as referent environment, passes through cultural, religious, social contacts and conflicts, in which the narration of the I varies in relation to the perceived identity of the other: the other becomes the opponent of the I, both in positive and in negative terms, in so far as the other accepts or rejects the system of values shared by the community (damned and blessed in Dante’s Commedia, troops of infidels in epic and romantic poems of Modern Age, etc.).

Contemporary literature

Introduced by Husserl’s Phenomenological reflections at the beginning of the last century, the dense interrelations descending from the I/other relationship become central in the 1960s/1970s conjectures (Levinas, Derrida), thus deeply interlacing the phenomenological and the psychoanalytic discourse (Lacan). Meanwhile, the narrative discourse internalizes and radicalizes the issues involved in defining the I in relation to the manifestations of the other: how can literature express the request for definition of a fragmented self, dethroned from its sovereignty (Sartre), in relation to the alter ego, in the necessity of opening the phenomenological gaze to the other (Derrida)? Who are the new others invading the reciprocal defining issues?


Language and linguistic events

Language is fundamental in the expression of identity and in the encounter, exchange and conflict of the self with the other. Within a linguistic code, the dynamic of identification and/or discrimination of the other is based on complex and cogent structures, as in the relation among different codes. The relation between I/other in this methodological perspective has to take into consideration the following factors: linguistic registers used to define the other; language modification and scriptae development to describe different realities; translations, rewritings and transliterations as expression of the changing relations I/other; the adoption of the language of the other to redefine the self.


Philology and codicology

Can the analysis of manuscripts and historical textual transmission reveal contacts and relations among different cultural environments? And what is the role played by philological and codicological reconstructing acts in showing the relations I/other in author’s ideologies, production and fruition environments, and in audience’s attitudes?


Organizing Committee: Valentina Ferrigno, Sandra Gorla, Carlotta Larocca, Marta Paris, Elena Santilli, Flavia Sciolette.

Scientific Commitee: prof. Massimo Bonafin, prof. Francesca Chiusaroli, prof. Giuseppe Nori, prof. Roberto Palla, Valentina Ferrigno, Sandra Gorla, Carlotta Larocca, Marta Paris, Elena Santilli, Flavia Sciolette.


Applicants must send their proposals, not exceeding 2000 characters (with spaces) in .pdf or .doc format, to by September 1, 2017.

Applications must also include:

- Scientific Area of the proposal
- Title
- Keywords (max 5)
- References (max 5 titles)
- Biography (max 1000 characters)
- Position
- Personal information (email, telephone number)

Applicants will be notified of their proposals’ acceptance by mail, by October 1, 2017.

The proposals may be in English, Italian or French; the Organizing and the Scientific Committee will also take into consideration proposals in other languages, both for the presentation and for the publication in the conference proceedings.

Each presentation will have a time slot of 20 minutes, while the language of the presentation may be Italian or English.

Participation in the conference is free.

The participants will be subsequently invited to submit their contributions to a peer review, before the publication of the conference proceedings.


For further information:



Paper submission: September 1, 2017

Acceptance Notification: October 1, 2017

Colloquium: November 21-22-23, 2017