Political Bodies

Writings on Adriana Cavarero's Political Thought

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Table of contents


Editors' Introduction
Paula Landerreche Cardillo and Rachel Silverbloom

Part I: Tracing Cavarero's Political Thought

1. Inclining toward Democracy: From Plato to Arendt
Olivia Guaraldo

2. Cavarero as an Arendtian Feminist
Julian Honkasalo

Part II: "Who engenders politics?"

3. On the Politics of the Who: Cavarero, Nancy, and Rancière
Timothy J. Huzar

4. "Taking the Thread for a Walk": Feminist Resistance to the Philosophical Order in Adriana Cavarero and María Lugones
Paula Landerreche Cardillo

5. Stealing and Critical Fabulation: The Counter-Historical Methods of Adriana Cavarero and Saidiya Hartman
Rachel Silverbloom

Part III: The Body in Politics: Conversations with Materialisms

6. One's Body in Political Engagement: Changing the Relation between Public and Private
Elisabetta Bertolino

7. Inclining toward New Forms of Life: Cavarero, Agamben, and Hartman
Rachel Jones

8. Bodies in Relation: Ontology, Ethics, and Politics in Adriana Cavarero and Giorgio Agamben
Laurie E. Naranch

Part IV: Political Violence, Voice, and Relational Selves

9. Sexual Violence as Ontological Violence: Narration, Selfhood, and the Destruction of Singularity
Fanny Söderbäck

10. Being Robbed of One's Voice: On Listening and Political Violence in Adriana Cavarero
María del Rosario Acosta López

Part V: Uncanny Bodies

11. Elena Ferrante and the Uncanny of Motherhood
Adriana Cavarero

Appendix 1: Works by Cavarero in English
Appendix 2: Secondary Bibliography on Cavarero

The first edited volume solely dedicated to the philosophy of Adriana Cavaero.


Adriana Cavarero has been, and continues to be, one of the most innovative and influential voices in Italian political and feminist thought of the last forty years. Known widely for her challenges to the male-dominated canon of political philosophy (and philosophy more broadly construed), Cavarero has offered provocative accounts of what constitutes the political, with an emphasis on embodiment, singularity, and relationality. Political Bodies gathers some of today’s most prominent and well-established theorists, along with emerging scholars, to contribute their insights, questions, and concerns about Cavarero's political philosophy and to put her work in conversation with other feminist thinkers, political theorists, queer theorists, and thinkers of race and coloniality. A new essay by Adriana Cavarero herself closes out the volume. Political Bodies ventures beyond the familiar boundaries of Cavarero's own writing and is a testament to the generative encounters that her philosophy makes possible.

Paula Landerreche Cardillo is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Lewis University. Rachel Silverbloom is a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Feminist Philosophy at Vassar College.


"Landerreche Cardillo and Silverbloom are right to hold that Cavarero has reached 'critical acclaim' in the 'Italian and English-speaking world.' I would broaden this audience to include the rest of Europe, Latin America, and very likely other areas of the world. Cavarero's areas of expertise—philosophy, political science, women's and gender studies, feminist theory, musicology, literature, modern languages, queer theory, and the arts—demand a common theme to link them together within the pages of a single volume. The editors have chosen Cavarer's political philosophy in response to that demand. Their choice is wise because the political area is central to Cavarero's many books and of great interest to interdisciplinary as well as to philosophical thinkers and academics. Political Bodies constitutes an exciting inaugural contribution to what might be called the field of 'Cavarero studies.'" — Fred Evans, author of Public Art and the Fragility of Democracy: An Essay in Political Aesthetics