of Research into Utopia
The Center was born in 1982 as a Group of research into Utopia, inside the Department of Philosophy; in 1991 it was acknowledged as a Interdepartmental Center.
Its basic character is that of a research community. As such it had already existed in the 70s, while in 1982 it specified better its aim, concentrating all its forces on utopia. The idea of a research community is for us that of a sodality of scholars who work together in weekly meetings in which the research of every member is discussed in all its phases by everybody. Members alternate as speakers. And so the research of the single individuals is continually verified and enriched, there is a continuous exchange of ideas, a cultural enrichment of everybody.
Therefore the group was able to grow and become creative and fecund, and rethink utopia radically finding out, beneath the philosophical and literary fact, to which until now most people have devoted their attention, a more profound layer, that of the popular movements (two streams precisely: religious movements of salvation, that is Jewish Messianism, Evangelical annunciation, Millennialism, medieval and modern heresy; modern revolutionary movements, that is, the modern revolutions) in which utopia has had until now its historical bearers and has grown as the "project of a society based on justice" ( of a fraternal society later) which drives forward the whole of human history. A project and a process and, since the English Revolution, a construction in progress. So that for three centuries the construction of a society based on justice has advanced, though amid great difficulties, has stopped, has flowed; nevertheless realising basic social and political structures. All that can help mankind to dissipate the historical pessimism that pervades it, and to found hope, and therefore the engagement of us all.
This basic rethinking has found its fullest expression in the volume of A..Colombo, Lutopia. Rifondazione di unidea e di una storia, Bari, Dedalo, 1997; but it is present in all our works, which aim at the historical and concrete utopia, as opposed to the literary utopia. They have aimed to revalue some very creative masters such as Winstanley and Fourier (or the re-understanding of Plato and Thomas More); to revalue the English Revolution of the Long Parliament, to understand the collapse of soviet communism as an end not of a utopia but of a dystopia, a perverse society, and as a possible renewal of utopia itself; to revalue certain structures of the utopian project universally despised as direct democracy or ethical bonds.
The character of a research community distinguishes the Center from others, which are often organisational forms without a real movement of thought behind them. This character has given to the Center of Lecce a precise identity and has provoked the attention of other groups and centers on an international level too.
Palazzo Parlangeli, via M. Stampacchia, 73100, Lecce - Italy
tel. 0039-0832-336628, 336619, fax 0039-0832-336626
COLOMBO Arrigo (Theoretical philosophy)
QUARTA Cosimo (Philosophy of history)
SCHIAVONE Giuseppe (Director. History of political doctrines)
TUNDO Laura (History of moral philosophy)
FABRIZIO Elena (Philosophy doctor)
STELLA Carmela (High School Teacher of Philosophy)
CENTONZE Angelo (Research Doctor)
COLONNA Elisa (Research Doctor)
FIORENTINO Massimiliano (Research Doctor)
GABELLONE Anna Rita (Research Doctor)
MARTINA Daniela (Degree in Education Science)
PREITE Gianpasquale (Contract Researcher)
SOLIMEO Silvia (Research Doctor)
Since its beginning the Center has had two activities which have always remained basic for its work: a Series of Essays and New Editions, and the International Conferences on Utopia. Other activities were added later.
The Series "L'Utopia - Testi e Studi" was first published by Franco
Angeli, Milan, and includes the following four volumes:
J. Harrington, La repubblica di Oceana, a cura di G. Schiavone, 1985.
C. Quarta, Lutopia platonica, 1985;
A. Colombo (eds.), Utopia e distopia, 1987.
A. Colombo, L. Tundo (eds.), Fourier. La passione dellutopia, 1988.
Afterwards because of some problems connected to advertising and circulation too,
the Series was moved to the publisher Dedalo, Bari, with the title
"L'Utopia - Per una societą giusta e fraterna". The following volumes
have been issued:
A. Colombo, C. Quarta (eds.), Il destino della famiglia nellutopia, 1991
C. Quarta, Tommaso Moro. Una reinterpretazione dell"Utopia", 1991
L. Tundo, Lutopia di Fourier. In cammino verso Armonia, 1991
G. Schiavone, Winstanley. Il profeta della Rivoluzione inglese, 1991
A. Colombo, G. Schiavone (eds.), Lutopia nella storia: la Rivoluzione inglese, 1992
A. Colombo (eds.), Utopia e distopia, 1993, new edition
C. Quarta, Lutopia platonica, 1993, new edition
L.-S. Mercier, Lanno 2440, edited by L. Tundo, 1993
A. Colombo, La Russia e la democrazia. Il riemergere della democrazia diretta, 1994
A. Colombo (eds.), Crollo del comunismo sovietico e ripresa dellutopia, 1994
The Center has edited a monographic number of the Florentine review "Stazione di posta", Il tema: l'utopia, with essays by A. Colombo, M. Moneti, C. Quarta, G. Schiavone, L. Tundo, R. Creagh, K. Kumar (nos. 55-57, Sept. 1993 - Apr. 1994, pp.5-93).
M. Schiattone, Alle origini del federalismo italiano. Giuseppe Ferrari, 1996
A. Colombo, LUtopia. Rifondazione di unidea e di una storia, 1997
G. Schiavone (eds.), La democrazia diretta. Un progetto politico per la societą di giustizia, 97
L.Tundo, Kant. Utopia e senso della storia. Progresso, cosmopoli, pace, 1998
L. Tundo (ed.), Etica e societą di giustizia, 2001.
C. Quarta (ed.), Globalizzazione, giustizia, solidarietą, 2004.
These volumes can be purchased from Edizioni Dedalo, v.le Luigi Iacobini 5, Zona Industriale, Cas. Post. BA/19, 70123 Bari, Italy, tel.080-5311413, fax 080-5311414, e-mail: email@example.com. By other publishers are issued the following volumes:
C. Quarta, Thomas More. Testimone della pace e della coscienza, Cultura della pace, Firenze, 1993.
G. Schiavone, Democrazia e modernitą. L'apporto dell'utopia, Utet, Torino, 2001.
M. Schiattone, Cittą federazione cosmopoli in Carlo Cattaneo, Name, Genova, 2002.
M. Schiattone, Politica e scienza. Pietro Siciliani, Mimose, Lecce 2004.
M. Schiattone, Unione Europea. Politica costituzionale unitaria, Il Raggio Verde, Lecce 2005.
L. Tundo, Moralitą e storia. La costruzione della coscienza etica moderna, Bruno Mondadori, Milano 2005.
The International Conferences on Utopia
These have been held since 1984 every two years (the last at three years intervals due to financial difficulties). Their aim is to check the research of the Center with other scholars, to exchange ideas with them and to enrich our experience. Therefore we always choose a subject on which the Center has already worked previously. Therefore these Conferences are important for us, in a certain sense they are necessary.
They have a strictly monographic character, conceived according to a precise project, run with a precise methodology which pivots on the discussion. Ten speakers are chosen and engaged on the points of the project; ten other scholars are invited; papers must arrive in time to be distributed and read in advance in order to achieve a better result in the discussion.
From every Conference we build a collective volume, conceived and carried out as an autonomous collection of essays.
The Conferences we have held until now are the following:
1984: Utopia e distopia
1986: Lutopia di Fourier: passione lavoro piacere
1988: Il destino della famiglia nellutopia
1990: Lutopia nella storia: la rivoluzione inglese
1992: Il crollo del comunismo sovietico e la ripresa del progetto utopico
1995: La democrazia diretta, progetto politico dellutopia
1998: Unetica per la societą di giustizia
2001: Globalizzazione, giustizia,solidarietą
2005: Etica della vita ed etica dell'ambiente
2008: Cosmopolitismo: moralitą, politica, culture
From 1992 to 1997 the Center has prepared and edited some documents on the problems of political and social situations. They have been sent to the press, to politicians, trade-unionists, scholars on utopia and other scholars who are our friends.
Later on such documents have been edited by the Movement for a just
The documents we have edited are the following:
Ai popoli dellEuropa orientale dopo il crollo del comunismo oligarchico e totalitario un appello e una proposta, mar. 1992
Sulluso improprio e demagogico del referendum, jan. 94
I problemi della Sinistra, jun. 95
Il fenomeno immigrazione. Proposte per affrontarlo in termini umani, jan. 96
Errori e incertezze della Sinistra, mar. 97.
The debates and the Movement
Following the issue of the volume "L'utopia. Rifondazione di un'idea e di una storia" by A.Colombo, the Center has started a series of debates with the people on the subject
"A society based on justice. What we can and must hope", which is the message of the volume.
From these debates "The Movement for a just society and for hope" has sprung up spontaneously, for which we prepared a basic text and a basic declaration which serves for membership too. This initiative started in 1997 and aims to develop itself forming local groups of engagement and of action. Moreover it has developed an intense activity intervening in national and international questions..