2013 Lecture Series
Monday, September 30 at 6:00 p.m.
Pietro Laureano (University of Pennsylvania)
Eco Mimicry: Design with Traditional Knowledge
Pietro Laureano, an architect and urban planner, teaches at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a UNESCO consultant for arid regions, water management, Islamic civilization and endangered ecosystems. He has rebuilt the water systems of Petra, in Jordan, contributing to the UNESCO plan for ‘Greater Petra’, and restored canals and drainage systems in Lalibela, Ethiopia, as team leader of the UNESCO and World Monument Fund (WMF) projects. He has led the recovery of the troglodyte city of the Sassi of Matera in southern Italy and is founder and coordinator of Ipogea, Centre for Studies on Traditional Knowledge. He is part of the working group responsible for drafting the new UNESCO Landscape Convention. As Italian representative on the Technical-Scientific Committee of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and as Chairman of the Panel for Traditional Knowledge, he has promoted the creation of a World Bank of Traditional Knowledge and its Innovative Use (www.tkwb.org). This initiative is being pursued with UNESCO through the creation of the International Traditional Knowledge Institute (ITKI), based in Florence. He is author of Sahara, the Unknown Garden (1988) and Gardens of Stone, the Sassi of Matera and Mediterranean Civilization (1993).
Monday, October 14 at 6:00 p.m.
Alessandro Vettori (Rutgers University)
The Lustful Poets in Dante’s Commedia
Alessandro Vettori is Chair of the Department of Italian at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, where he teaches Italian and Comparative Literature. His main research interests are: Autobiography, the re-writing of scripture in the western tradition, the interconnectedness of literature and religion, and the development of the concept of love in European literature. He has published a book on Franciscan poets of the thirteenth century entitled Poets of Divine Love (Fordham University Press, 2004), a monograph on Giuseppe Berto, La passione della scrittura (Marsilio Editore, 2013), has edited three collections of essays, and has written articles on Dante, Boccaccio, Francis of Assisi, Iacopone da Todi, Diego Fabbri, and Luigi Pirandello. He is currently finishing a book manuscript on the rhetoric of prayer in the Divine Comedy.
Monday, November 11 at 6:00 p.m.
Maurizio Viroli (Princeton University)
Machiavelli and Republican Political Thought
Maurizio Viroli is Professor of Political Theory within the Department of Politics and associated faculty within the Department of History at Princeton University. He is Director of the Institute for Mediterranean Studies at the Università della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano, Switzerland, where he is full professor of Political Communication. He also serves as Senior Research Fellow at the Collegio Carlo Alberto of Moncalieri, and has founded and is now the Director of a Master’s program in Civic Education established at Asti by Ethica Association of Asti with the support of Professor Robert P. George and the James Madison Program of Princeton University. Finally, he is the scientific coordinator of the Academies of Civic Education of the Compagnia San Paolo Foundation, and since 2005 he participates in the projects of Civic Education organized by the Department of Education of the Marche region, Italy.
His main fields of research are political theory and the history of political thought, classical republicanism and neo-republicanism, with a special expertise on Niccolò Machiavelli and Jean Jacques Rousseau, republican iconography, the relationship between religion and politics, patriotism, constitutionalism, classical rhetoric, political communication, citizenship, and civic education.
He holds a Laurea degree in Philosophy from the University of Bologna and a PhD in Political and Social Sciences from the European University Institute of Firenze. His dissertation, on Rousseau’s political thought, was published with the title Jean Jacques Rousseau and the Well-Ordered Society, Cambridge University Press, 1988.