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:: CFP :: The editors of the 2015 special issue of Ragion Pratica invite contributions investigating the concept of identity. Deadlines: March 20th (abstracts), June 10th (submission of papers for blind peer-review).

Special issue of Ragion Pratica (2, 2015)

Contributions for an overview

(edited by Susanna Pozzolo and Annalisa Verza)

ragion praticaThe 2015/2 issue of Ragion Pratica will be devoted to an investigation of the concept of identity.
A concept both personal and social, identity has always been an inescapable and central departure point for practically any line of cultural investigation. Today, in particular, this concept has become a privileged focus for analysis, as new challenges resulting from the many fast changes that have been affecting law, politics, technology, and culture are pushing it towards increasingly complex reformulations and re-evaluations.
On the one hand, since the 1990s it has become common, in a political frame of “diversity”, to confer a positive value on requests for the recognition of identity. Even considering all the political and legal problems arising out of a recognition of “multicultural” rights, as well as the real “consumeristic” superficiality of many social expressions of multiculturalism, the protection and valorization of individual identity has been positively framed as a fulfilment of a promise of equal inclusion for all citizens.
On the other hand, conversely, a permanent, deep, sometimes exacerbated intolerance of the different, an intolerance put under the spotlight by recent tragic events, comes back to emphasize the risks and puzzles related to all those collective categorizations (from language to ethnicity, from sex to religion) which, as Amartya Sen said, have the pretention to irrevocably define the human being, “polarizing” him/her and thus laying the groundwork for a culture of material or symbolic violence.
The concept of identity thus requires new evaluations; but it also calls for new definitions: from the notion of sexual identity, called into question in gender studies (especially LGBT studies), to the political implications of cultural and religious identities; from the difficult definition of a border between on- and offline identity in the “virtual” 2.0 world to the confrontation with the impact of new technologies in bioethics, the questions raised by the problematic boundaries of identity grow and intersect with one another, pointing to the urgency of its reassessment.
The goal of the editors is to collect original contributions on this concept, with particular attention to the new problems it raises for contemporary reflection, exploring its implications from different kinds of approaches (philosophical, legal, bioethical, political, or sociological).

In what follows is a tentative exemplifying list of thematic fields invested by some of the new main challenges to the concept of identity, with the proviso that this call is also open to other suggestions:

1)  Sexual identity
2)  Virtual identity
3)  Cultural identity
4)  Religious identity
5)  Identity and deviant behaviour
6)  Genetic identity
7)  Identity and violence.

All abstracts will be evaluated, and if approved, you will be asked to send in the relative paper, which will be subjected to a review process. You are kindly requested to send your contributions to susanna.pozzolo@gmail.com or to annalisa.verza@unibo.it within the following


March 20th: title and abstract;
June 10th: paper (if abstract is approved);
July 10th: communication of the referees’ decision on the paper, and possible requests for revision;
July 30th: final version of the paper.