Call for Submissions – Pirandello’s Visual Philosophy: Imagination and Thought across Media

Pirandello’s Visual Philosophy: Imagination and Thought across Media

Edited by Lisa Sarti (BMCC, The City University of New York)

and Michael Subialka (University of Oxford)


In recent years English-language scholarship on Pirandello has begun to explore new directions that complement but also complicate the critical tradition around this seminal Italian modernist. Reflected in conference topics in the US and UK, as well as articles in various journals, this work expands on the ways in which Pirandello’s production spans not only cultures and continents but also media and traditions of philosophical inquiry. At the same time, Italian-language publications have placed increasing emphasis on aspects of Pirandello’s production that put him in dialogue with the visual arts, such as his own work as an amateur painter. Our volume aims to draw on the rich areas opened by these new insights to update the English-language scholarship with a book publication that will ground an expanded approach to Pirandello in theoretical and interdisciplinary frameworks.

The volume is situated at the juncture of the inter-medial study of Pirandello’s works and the exploration of his thought and its position in his intellectual and artistic context. Drawing on intersections with media such as film, the visual arts (photography, painting, etc.), music, and performance traditions, we are especially interested in the importance of the visual imagination to the unfolding of Pirandello’s rich worldview. In this sense we aim to open new avenues of discourse around Pirandello’s thought, acknowledging the central role of typical Pirandellian themes such as the clashes of form/life, illusion/reality, identity/uncertainty, etc., but also enlarging the scope of the discussion.

With these aims in mind, the topics of interest for the volume include, but are not limited to:


  • Pirandello’s participation in the visual arts and in other media
  • Imagination, fantasy, and creation as visual processes; the relation of inner images to philosophical stances or ways of thinking and understanding; the imagistic presentation of conceptual content
  • Modernist visuality, intellectual history and art history in relation to Pirandello’s visual thought
  • Music (Pirandello’s works as operas, and Pirandello’s own uses of music)
  • Existential drama and visual thought
  • The “utopian” effort to escape reality through artistic means, and the troubles of such an effort


Interested contributors are asked to submit an abstract proposal of around 300 words to no later than January 16, 2015. Proposals will be reviewed, and the editors will invite full manuscripts of approximately 7,000-9,000 words to be published in English (meaning contributors will need to ensure the fluency of their essays). Further details will be communicated to authors whose proposals are chosen for inclusion in the volume, which will be peer reviewed to guarantee the highest academic standards for publication.