The Future of the World Is Open

Encounters with Lea Melandri, Luisa Muraro, Adriana Cavarero, and Rossana Rossanda

By Elvira Roncalli

Subjects: Feminist Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Italian Studies, History Of Philosophy, Literacy Studies
Series: SUNY series in Contemporary Italian Philosophy
Hardcover : 9781438489155, 199 pages, August 2022
Paperback : 9781438489148, 199 pages, February 2023

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Table of contents



Lea Melandri

1. The Memory of Our Body (La memoria del corpo): In Conversation with Lea Melandri

Luisa Muraro

2. "But I Am a Woman": Sexual Difference as Subjective Truth ("Ma io sono una donna": Differenza sessuale come verità soggettiva): In Conversation with Luisa Muraro

Adriana Cavarero

3. An Imaginary of Hope (Un immaginario di speranza): In Conversation with Adriana Cavarero

Rossana Rossanda

4. Selected Essays by Rossana Rossanda
The Unrepentant Emancipated Woman
A Worthy Challenge, an Assured Conflict: Women and the Polis
Care Amiche

About the Author

Conversations with prominent Italian feminist thinkers Lea Melandri, Luisa Muraro, and Adriana Cavaero, as well as three essays - appearing in English for the first time - by author, journalist, and renown political figure Rossana Rossanda.


The Future of the World Is Open examines the work and thought of three prominent Italian feminist philosophers, Lea Melandri, Luisa Muraro, and Adriana Cavarero, as it delves into the significant experiences that shaped them, highlighting their converging and diverging positions. Also appearing here for the first time in English translation are three essays by renowned author, journalist, and political figure Rossana Rossanda. Rossanda's essays offer a critical perspective on some of the contentious theoretical nodes with which Italian feminist thought has wrestled. Written in terse and engaging language, this book explores challenging philosophical and political questions, with themes including masculine domination; the body as the site of sedimented lived experience; sexual difference; the symbolic; the imaginary; feminine political authority; feminine subjectivity; and material humanism. A vivid picture of the socio-political context of Italian feminism emerges—illuminating its strong commitment to practice—and informing and enriching contemporary discussions at the intersection of different disciplinary perspectives.

Elvira Roncalli is Professor of Philosophy at Carroll College. She is the coeditor (with Silvia Benso) of Contemporary Italian Women Philosophers: Stretching the Art of Thinking, also published by SUNY Press.


"This extremely engaging and timely volume marks important contributions to the history of feminist thinking, philosophical feminism in particular, and to Italian social and political thinking in the late twentieth century."— Pierre Lamarche, Utah Valley University

"Although theoretically rich in its contents, particularly its use of feminist methodologies, this highly original volume is also an important work of oral intellectual history and a contribution to the memory of 1970s Italy."— Alessandra Montalbano, University of Alabama

"Roncalli's intellectual and cultural connections to the subjects she interviews give this volume its greatest strength. Roncalli interweaves questions about ideas with the personal and political backgrounds of Muraro, Melandri, and Cavarero, who recount the ways in which feminist philosophy became a distinct force in Italy."— Elaine Miller, Miami University