Genova, Italy

The Gaze

when 22 August 2016 - 27 August 2016
language English
duration 1 week
fee EUR 100

Established in 2013 and directed by Lorenzo Chiesa and Raffaello Palumbo Mosca, the Genoa School of Humanities (GSH) offers weekly series of seminars in English held by scholars of literature, philosophy, and other subjects, as well as by novelists, poets, film¬makers, and psychoanalysts.

The topic of our seminars of Summer 2016 is the gaze, which we will approach in our consol¬idated interdisciplinary way from the perspec¬tives of film-studies, psychoanalysis, literary criticism, poetry, and philosophy.

The gaze is not simply the eye. The gaze ob¬viously intersects with the organ of sight and the field of vision, yet is not exhausted by them. Jean-Paul Sartre famously observed that the gaze transcends the convergence of two ocular globes in our direction. It may also be mate¬rialised by the sound of a hesitant footstep or the light movement of a curtain. Jacques Lacan insisted on a fundamental asymmetry between seeing and being-seen. As he once put it: “You never look at me from the place at which I see you”. In psychoanalysis, the gaze stands first and foremost for a libidinal object, one with which we fall in love. Why are we fascinated and seduced by the way in which the other looks at us? How does the inscrutable gaze of the other manage to break our narcissistic infatuation with the mirror image? Film studies have taken up these motifs and developed them to under¬stand the conscious and unconscious relation between the spectator and the image on the screen. Given such a context, can we addition¬ally speak of the gaze of the filmmaker? If so, what role does it have in the cinematographic experience?

The gaze is also more generally embedded in the differential structure of language, while lan¬guage cannot do without a “scopic” component. At its basics, narration itself – whether fictional or critical, subjective or objective – relies on the adoption of a certain “point of view”. Literature and poetry may decide to openly privilege their visual element, for instance in ekphrasis, where the description of a scene or a work of art take centre stage. Does this rhetorical device not point at the synesthetic presupposition inherent to the very possibility and act of writing? And, following Giorgio Agamben, could we suggest that poetry, with its suspension and deactiva¬tion of the apparent immediacy of meaning, provides us with nothing else than language’s exhibition, admiration, and contemplation of it¬self?

The GSH proposes itself as a venue where young scholars have a real possibility to deepen their knowledge, not only by attending seminars, but also by actively discussing in an informal context their own research projects with highly qualified teachers and among themselves. One of the basic ideas of the GSH is that learning is enhanced by the suspension of formalisms, hierarchies, and the principle of authority that usually define traditional academic contexts. Each day revolves around one or two presen¬tations by an invited speaker and is enriched by roundtables, small study groups, and de¬bates that are always attended by one or more seminar leaders. The exchange of knowledge and ideas is facilitated by the limited number of students (max 15), and by the interdisciplinary nature of the seminars.

Speakers/seminar leaders at the GSH are lead¬ing international figures in their academic and extra-academic fields. They are based both in Italy and abroad. Participants are thus exposed to different cultures, teaching methods, and disciplinary perspectives. They are also ena¬bled to establish new research networks and acquire practical information on how to access PhD and post-doctoral programmes.

Course leader

Lorenzo Chiesa
Raffaello Palumbo Mosca

Fee info

EUR 100: 6 days of seminars: €300
5 days of seminars: €250
4 days of seminars: €200
3 days of seminars: €150
2 days of seminars: €100

Please, pay by bank transfer to:
Spazio Musica (reason for payment: GSH)
Bank: CA.RI.GE.
IBAN: IT72 M061 7501 44800000 0260 880

Payments should be received no later than 1 August 2016.

Please, send a copy of the payment receipt to