I work therefore I am (European): A Conference on Law, Literature and Social Sciences (Brussels, 9-11 November 2017)

Metamorphosis of Labour: Social Identity, Mobilization, Integration, Representation 

International Conference 9-11 November 2017, Brussels 

All information available HERE.

In contemporary Europe, labour occupies a central position in human existence: since the industrial revolution it is the principal criterion of reciprocal recognition and of universal mobilization. In a multi-level governance system like the EU, through their profession people feel recognized by the others: they are. Indeed, labour is more than a mere economic relationship, it rather pertains to an identitarian process and it is an anthropological phenomenon radically influencing human existence, a way to defend ourselves against death and, probably, what makes the difference between human beings and animals. The conference aims at analyzing labour in light of the transformation of European identity and of its interaction with the latest social, economic and political trends such as deindustrialization, pervasive enlargement of markets, digitalization and virtual relationships, social polarization and migratory fluxes. We aim to investigate the contradictions of the relation between labour and identity, such as the fact that very often labour does not produce any social integration but, on the contrary, hides forms of alienation. Moreover we aim to investigate the connection between the crisis of labour and the new forms of slavery – this particular feature is connected to mobilization. The existential role of labour in our lives – even when problematic – suggests that the humanities could help understanding why and how people need to work and to be integrated in a community. Other questions that may be explored include how the advent of competitive forces have blurred the lines between work and free time, and how they did reshape the notions of work-life balance and flexibility through the crisis.

The conference will be strongly interdisciplinary, connecting juridical, political and humanistic methodologies. Accordingly, we will organize four roundtables:

  • Philosophy and Technological Innovation
  • Politics and Civil Society
  • Law and Social Sciences
  • Literature and Cinema

The conference languages will be English and French.

Within the framework of the Jean Monnet Project I Work Therefore I am (European)

Speakers and participants 

Emiliano Acosta (Vrije University of Bruxelles), Tiziana Andina (University of Torino), Gabriele Bischoff (EESC), Roberto Ciccarelli (Journalist at Il Manifesto), Silvia Contarini (University of Paris Nanterre), Rocco Cangelosi (CIME), Georges Dassis (EESC), Virgilio Dastoli (CIME), Marc De Vos (University of Ghent), Filip Dorssemont (University of Louvain), Maurizio Ferraris (University of Torino), Monica Jansen (University of Utrecht), Jean Lapeyre (Collège d’Europe – to be confirmed), Mara Santi (University of Ghent), Morag Shiach (Queen Mary University of London), Elly Schlein (European Parliament), Richard Sennett (LSE, NYU), Enrico Terrone (FMSH), Massimiliano Tortora (University of Torino), Gertrudis Van de Vijver (University of Ghent), Luca Visentini (European Trade Union Confederation).


Angela Condello (University of Roma Tre and University of Torino)

Tiziano Toracca (University of Torino)


European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)

La Fonderie (Museum of Industry and Labour)

New challenge on “Law and Literature”!

Dear students,

our last guest speaker, Dr. Alessio Baldini, has prepared for you a very interesting exercise! Add your comments below as usual.

“Read the following article written by the acclaimed contemporary English novelist Ian MacEwan. Here, MacEwan talks about his conception of the relationship between literature, morality, and the law.


Try to answer one of the following questions:

  1. How would you characterize MacEwan’s conception of the relationship between literature, morality, and the law?
  1. Which arguments and examples do you find convincing? And which do you find unconvincing?
  1. Would you subscribe to or reject MacEwan’s conception? Give some reasons for subscribing or rejecting it.

I am looking forward to reading your comments!”


6 and 7 December 2016: Alessio Baldini on “Normativity, Ethics, Novel”


In these two sessions, we will look at two Italian family sagas: The Leopard (1958) by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, and All Our Yesterdays by Natalia Ginzburgs (1952). We will see how these two novels encourage readers to imagine the fading of the normative horizon of the patriarchal family – a social change that is also reflected in changes in Italian constitutional and civil laws (1948, 1975).

More broadly, our objective will be to understand how literature might address ethical and moral concerns. For here might be the common ground between literature and the law, which also reflects and responds to such concerns, albeit differently.


Lecture 1 (6 Dec)

The Fading of Patriarchy: Pluralism and Moral Equality in Lampedusa’s The Leopard

Lecture 2 (7 Dec)

Confronting Moral Luck: Literature, Emotions and Morality in Ginzburg’s All Our Yesterdays


Suggested readings (background readings for the lectures):

  • [L1] Dworkin, R. 1996. The Moral Reading of the Constitution. New York Review of Books. [Online]. 43(5). [Accessed 1 December 2016]. [no pagination]. Available from:


  • [L1] Gaut, B. 2009. Morality and Art. In: Davies, S. Higgins, K. M. Hopkins, R. Stecker, R. and Cooper, D. E. A Companion to Aesthetics. 2nd ed. Chichester, UK, Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 428-31
  • [L2] Kieran, M. Emotions, 2010. Art and Immorality. In: Goldie, P. ed. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Emotion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 681-703
  • [L2] Williams, B. and Nagel, T. 1976 Moral Luck. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society: Supplementary Volumes. 50, pp. 115-151

Supplementary readings (a critical perspective on the ethical turn in literature and the law):

  • Posner, R. 1997. Against Ethical Criticism. Philosophy and Literature. 21(1), pp. 1-27
  • Posner, R. 1998. The Problematics of Moral and Legal Theory. Harvard Law Review. 111(7), pp. 1637-1717


To read Alessio Baldini’s CV click HERE


Presentation of a New Book on “The Merchant of Venice” (Rome, 11 November 2016)

Dear all,

William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” is, as you know, probably the most studied work in the famework of the “Law in Literature” field of research. Earlier this year, a new book has been published on the real protagonist of this famous play: not Antonio (the Christian merchant) but Shylock (the Jewish moneylender). The book will be presented on Friday 11 November, 5:30 PM, at the Sala delle Conferenze – FONDAZIONE MARCO BESSO (Rome, Largo Torre Argentina 11, first floor). If you are interested, you have to book writing an email to this address: cenacolo.segreteria@gmail.com.

Vittorio Pavocello (ed.), Shylock e il suo mercante, Roma: Aracne, 2016


List of contributors: Daniela Carpi, Laura Chiuselli, Anna Foa, Stefano Levi della Torre, Silvia Maiocchi, Donatella Maria Giovanna Orecchia, Giorgio Pacifici, Ugo Pacifici Noja, Ivelise Perniola, Elio Ugenti

You can read the index clicking HERE


4-5-6 October 2016: Introduction (Emanuele Conte and Stefania Gialdroni)

Dear all,

you will be able to access all information about the course, including the readings, on the e-learning platform of the RomaTre University (http://elearning.giur.uniroma3.it/) during the next days. in the meanwhile, you can have a look at least at one of the readings of the first week, which is available online(the one by Robin West). You can find below a brief description of the topics of the first week of the course.

Drawing by QUINO

This week, classes will be devoted to an overview of the Law and the Humanities movement, starting from James Boyd White’s masterpiece “The Legal Imagination” (1973). After having described the various strands of the movement (and the “classical”  distinction between “Law AS Literature”, “Law IN Literature” and “Law ABOUT Literature”), the final lesson will focus on the language of the Italian Constitution.

The suggested readings are therefore of a different nature: the first two describe what “Law and the Humanities” is (or is supposed to be), the last one focuses on an analysis of the Italian Constitution (it is written in Italian as no material in English is available on the topic).

1) Austin Sarat, Matthew Anderson , Catherine O. Frank (eds.), Law and the Humanities. An Introduction, Cambridge et al., 2010, Introduction, pp. 1-46.

2) Robin West, Community, Text and Law: Reflections on the Law and Literature Movement, in Yale J.L. & Human., Vol. 1, Iss. 1, Art. 8, 1989. Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjlh/vol1/iss1/8.

3) Tullio De Mauro, Il linguaggio della Costituzione, in «Costituzione della Repubblica italiana (1947)»,  Torino-Roma 2006, pp. VII-XXXII.

Coordinated events: Shakespeare and the memory of Rome (7-20 April 2016)

What: “Shakespeare and the memory of Rome”

Where: Different locations in Rome

When: 7-20 April 2016


A very important international conference (or better a set of coordinated events) is soon going to take place in Rome: “Shakespeare e la memoria di Roma”. The three public universities of Rome, together with the municipality, propose a series of events on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare from April 7 to April 20 2016. The focus will be on the presence of the city of Rome in many of his masterpieces: Titus Andronicus, The Rape of Lucrece, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, Coriolanus, Cymbeline.

On April 14th, at the RomaTre University (Via Ostiense 161), there will be a continuous projection of parts of movies entitled: “A Place Calling Itself Rome”, as weel as a conference in the AULA MAGNA: 

Ombre di Roma/Ghosts of Rome – morning (Maria Del Sapio Garbero, Università Roma Tre, The Ruined Arch: Rome’s Body and Memory in Titus Andronicus; Andrew Hadfield, University of Sussex, Shakespeare, Rome and the Urban Imagination in Early Modern England, John Gillies, University of Essex, Primal Scene and Brave New Worlds in Shakespeare, Peter Holland, University of Nôtre Dame, Seeing Shakespeare’s Rome) and  La scena dell’io/Performing the Self – afternoon (Andrew Gurr, University of Reading, Headless Coriolanus, Richard Wilson, Kingston University, A Broken Coriolanus: Eliot’s March on Rome, Ramie Targoff, Brandeis University, Fashioning Death in Verona and Egypt, Daniela Guardamagna, Università di Roma “Tor Vergata”, The Vision of Lucrece in Early Modern Poetry). 

The events are so many and so interesting that we warmly reccommend to have a look at the official website.

Continue reading “Coordinated events: Shakespeare and the memory of Rome (7-20 April 2016)”

More about the iconography of Lady Justice in Literature & Art

“The press of the Spoon River Clarion was wrecked,

  And I was tarred and feathered,

  For publishing this on the day the

  Anarchists were hanged in Chicago:

  “l saw a beautiful woman with bandaged eyes

  Standing on the steps of a marble temple.

  Great multitudes passed in front of her,

  Lifting their faces to her imploringly.

  In her left hand she held a sword.

  She was brandishing the sword,

  Sometimes striking a child, again a laborer,

  Again a slinking woman, again a lunatic.

  In her right hand she held a scale;

  Into the scale pieces of gold were tossed

  By those who dodged the strokes of the sword.

  A man in a black gown read from a manuscript:

  “She is no respecter of persons.”

  Then a youth wearing a red cap

  Leaped to her side and snatched away the bandage.

  And lo, the lashes had been eaten away

  From the oozy eye-lids;

  The eye-balls were seared with a milky mucus;

  The madness of a dying soul

  Was written on her face–

  But the multitude saw why she wore the bandage.”

This is a very famous peace of poetry on Lady Justice. Do you know the author of this text and the title of the work? Let’s post here quotations and images about Lady Justice! If you can’t post images, just send them to the address: lawandhumanitiesrome@gmail.com.

Condello, Menzinger & Gialdroni on Law & Literature

Dear all,

the next three classes will be devoted to the field of “Law and Literature”. As you can see, the topics will be very heterogeneous!

Dante Illuminating Florence with his Poemk, by Domenico di Michelino

25  March: 
Dr. Angela Condello on  Law & Exemplarity

26 March: Prof. Sara Menzinger (RomaTre University) on Law & Dante: “Dante, the Bible and the Law: a theological-juridical contribution to the Political Debate of 14th century”

27 March: Dr. Stefania Gialdroni on Law & Shakespeare: “Shakespeare in Law:The Merchant of Venice as a Mirror of Legal Issues”



Menzinger, Sara, Dante and the law,  (Forthcoming In Dante in Context, edited by Lino Pertile and Zygmund Baranski, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press);

TEXTS used during the lesson available HERE: Dante and the Law class Texts

Kornstein, D.J.,  Fie Upon your Law!, in “Cardozo Studies in Law and Literature”, 5.1 (1993): A Symposium Issue on “The Merchant of Venice”, pp. 35-56.


These readings will NOT be sent via email:

– Steinberg, Justin, Dante and the Limits of the Law, Chicago 2013 (book);

– Quaglioni, Diego, “Arte di bene e d’equitade”.Ancora sul senso del diritto in Dante (Monarchia, II v 1), in “Studi Danteschi”, 76 (2011), pp. 27-46;Monarchia, ed. by D. Quaglioni, in Dante Alighieri, Opere, ed. M. Santagata, vol. II, Milano, Mondadori («I Meridiani»), 2014;
– Tierney, Brian, Religion, Law and the Growth of Constitutional Thought. 1150-1650, Cambridge 1982 (book). 
This reading has been sent via email:
– Gialdroni, Stefania, La clausola penale tra finzione e realtà. Il caso limite di Shylock alla prova del diritto veneziano, del diritto comune e del common law, in La pena convenzionale nella prospettiva storico-comparatistica (Collana del centro di eccellenza in diritto europeo – G. Pugliese), Napoli: Jovene, 2013.
Prof. Menzinger’s CV available HERE

Prof. Rebecca Spitzmiller (RomaTre University) and Dr. Stefania Gialdroni on Law & Language (applied)

Dear students,download

the next three classes will be devoted to the analysis of the “Language of the Law” from two different perspectives. The first class will propose a linguistic analysis of legal texts, taking as an example the Italian Constitution (Gialdroni). The other two classes will face the problem of legal texts focusing on the challange of translation, providing lots of examples and little exercises (Spitzmiller).


– The reading about the “Language of the Italian Constitution” is unfortunately written in Italian. Anyway, as there is no comparable article related to this issue, it is suggested even though not compulsory.

Prof. Spitzmiller asks you to read and do the exercises from “Legal English” by Maria Gigliola di Renzo Villata before the lessons. This text was prepared for Italian speakers but it should also be useful for visiting Erasmus and other international students since we assume they are also studying in some Italian law courses and thus learning legal Italian. This reading will make aware of some common mistakes and point out some “false friends” between English and Italian.  For non mother-tongue Italian speakers, in the exercises that compare English and Italian terms they might do well to try and translate both into their own language, to see which friends are “true friends” in their native tongues.

– The other two articles, “Exploring Students’ Engagement…” and the Jessup article, both regard language-learning based on two initiatives at Roma Tre, one of which the students in Law and the Humanities are now participating: “Studying Law at Roma Tre.” The other is the Jessup international moot court competition, a very challenging yearly endeavor in which Roma Tre has participated for about ten years now. These two articles could provide an opportunity to reflect on the very processes by which students learn a foreign legal language and could form the basis of general discussion on that topic.

De Mauro, Tullio, Il linguaggio della Costituzione, in «Costituzione della Repubblica italiana (1947)»,  Torino-Roma 2006, pp. VII-XXXII.

Di Renzo Villata, Maria Gigliola (ed. by), Legal English, Assago: Cedam 2011 (2007), pp. 51-64.

Walbaum Robinson, Isabel Alice and Spiztmiller, Rebecca, Exploring students’ engagement with the curriculum in a law programme taught in English at an Italian University, pp. 1-13.

Spitzmiller, Rebecca, THE PHILLIP C JESSUP INTERNATIONAL LAW MOOT COURT COMPETITION: A TOOL FOR TEACHING/LEARNING LEGAL ENGLISH, in “European Journal of Legal Education”, 3.2 (2006), pp. 111-119.

Prof. Spiztmiller CV

Lawyer, Professor (Agg.) in Comparative Law at Università degli studi Roma Tre; Adjunct Professor (Co-Instructor) LUISS University School of Management; Instructor of Legal English for the Consiglio Superiore della Magistratura and for the Scuola Superiore dell’Avvocatura; Author, Editor & Translator (Italian to English); Member of the Florida Bar Association.

The full version of Prof. Spitzmiller’s CV is available HERE.