ELENA LAURENZIThe Subversion of the Icon. Figurations of the Feminine in María Zambrano

Thought, Outside
Thu, 13 Oct 2022
19:00 – 20:00

Cycle Thought-Images

Thrusday 13 October 2022 19:00
@ Casa das Artes
Rua Ruben A, 210. Porto
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Free admittance

“Unlike her contemporaries, the great pioneering thinkers of the early 20th century, María Zambrano does not seem willing to bracket her status as a woman when she thinks or writes. Her approach clearly arises from the decision to confront the philosophical tradition that excludes her, and to question it from a marginal -or rather eccentric- position, on the borderline between belonging and strangeness. In her work, sexual difference no longer appears as a partiality or a limitation, but as a heterogeneity: the place of located knowledge from which it is possible for her to develop a philosophical proposal capable of speaking to men and women. A relevant part of this proposal is linked to female figures and figurations such as Antigone, Heloise of Argenteuil, Diotima, or Nina, the protagonist of the novel Misericordia by Benito Pérez Galdós. By rehabilitating these women in the field of philosophy, Zambrano does not limit herself to illuminating their voice, work, or deeds, but rather subjects their representation to a symbolic twist, offering a profile of them that disagrees with the iconic image transmitted by the hegemonic culture.“ Elena Laurenzi

Elena Laurenzi is professor at the University of Salento (Italy) and at the University of Barcelona where she forms part of the Gender and Philosophy Seminar / ADHUC–Research Center for Theory, Gender and Sexuality. Her research is developed around two lines of investigation: one dedicated to feminist theory and the other dedicated to women thinkers of the 20th century. She has published essays on María Zambrano, Simone Weil, Iris Murdoch and Françoise Collin. She has edited with Á. Lorena Fuster the monografic number of the journal Daimon “Contra la aridez. La propuesta filosófica de Iris Murdoch” (2013) and, with Marisa Forcina, a double monograph in the journal Segni e comprensione: “Reti filosofiche femminili. Ripensare la politica e la tradizione” (2015-2016). Among her publications are the monographs María Zambrano, Nacer por sí misma. Ensayos sobre Antígona, Eloisa, Diótima (1995), Sotto il segno dell’aurora. Studi su María Zambrano e Friedrich Nietzsche (2012) and Il paradosso della libertà. Una lettura politica di María Zambrano (2017). She has edited and translated to Italian various works by Zambrano, among them, De la aurora, Las palabras del regreso, the critical bilingual edition of the previously unpublished Dante espejo humano and the epistolary with Elena Croce A presto, dunque, e a sempre (2015, winner of the Victoria Aganoor Pompilij prize). Lately, her research has also focused on the female activism of the early 20th century. In this line, she has published Fili della trasmissione. Il progetto delle donne de Viti de Marco-Starace nel Salento del 900 (Grifo 2018), which exposes a case study devoted to three generations of women in southern Italy, and she has edited, with Manuela Mosca, the collective volume A Female Activist Elite in Italy (1890-1920). Its International Network and Legacy (Palgrave 2021).

Cycle Thought-Images

“Thought-images“ gives the title to this cycle of conferences opening a space in Sismógrafo’s program to think images and through images. The purpose of these conferences is to unite the discursive and the image, to confront them, to recognize the potential of an image, of a fragment, rescuing vital experiences threatened in an uncertain present. This age, a turbulent and disturbing age, an age of pandemic, ecological, financial, political and social crises, these times of “post-truth” and "alternative facts” are "interesting times", to use the expression popularized by Eric Hobsbawm. Interesting times especially for thinking. Thinking is already contributing to a change. This cycle calls for a cooperation between the expressive strength of art and the precision of philosophy. Without a language that embraces images, images can blind us or say nothing. With these conferences, Sismógrafo seeks to take care of what Alexander Kluge calls a “garden of cooperation”, a place that preserves the moments when word and image converge in order to produce something new, a space for discrepancy and cooperation in the face of cacophonies of information, in the face of industrial manipulation and enslavement of feelings. In difficult times, times of divisions and segregations, cooperation presents itself as an antidote to tribalism (Richard Sennett). To open this garden, this space for debate and polyphony in the city, Sismógrafo has invited speakers linked to philosophy, aesthetics, art criticism, fine arts and cinema who, at different times and from different perspectives, will try to present a diagnosis of the present.

Room sheet


  • Casa das Artes 1400 px