Call for Abstracts: 3rd international conference of SAFI, “Responsability” (Verona, September 29 – October 1, 2022)

We are glad to give notice of the Call for Abstracts for the 3rd International Conference of SAFI (Societas Aperta Feminarum in Iuris Theoria) on “Responsability”, which will take place at the University of Verona on September 29th-October 1st, 2022.
Keynote Speakers are Judith Butler, Marina Calloni, Erzsébet Rózsa, Rita Laura Segato. With the participation of Adriana Cavarero.

Submission Guidelines

Please send your paper proposal (max. 500 words) in Italian, English or German, together with a brief biographical profile, to by 30th April 2022.

The results of the selection will be communicated by 15th June 2022. Presentations should be no longer than 35 minutes (including discussion).


In recent years, researchers in a variety of fields have come to recognize the crucial relevance of the concept of responsibility as they investigate its conditions and features across domains. “Responsibility” implies a relational structure, based at least on a responsible subject and on an object of responsibility. But it also involves a normative framework which demands that the individual takes responsibility for something. Moreover, an agent can feel responsible from a subjective perspective, and/or can be objectively considered responsible for something she/he did.

“Responsibility” is also connected to the moral and legal concepts of guilt, imputation, and free will, since it implies the agent to be an autonomous, rational human being. In this sense, it actually bridges the gap between the law, morals and politics (Klement), and it challenges conventional thinking about law and legal frameworks. In these cases, the internal perspective of responsibility, which is still moral, needs to be supplemented by the external perspective in which positive law is in force. This brings together the legal concept of imputation with that of responsibility as a moral and political category (Kaufmann), clarifying the relationship between the subjective and objective dimensions of responsibility and imputation (Larenz). Thus, in the legal context, ascription of responsibility implies suing for damages (e.g. in civil law) and punishment (e.g. in criminal law).

Besides the moral and legal implications of responsibility, the concept has also socio-political relevance. It can be approached from a deontological, Kantian standpoint, which has been important for the development of discourse ethics in 20th century (Apel, Habermas). Furthermore, it can be seen from a teleological, utilitarian perspective, wherein a proactive concept of responsibility grounds the ethics of responsibility for future generations and towards nature (Jonas). In this sense, responsibility proves itself to be not only something individual, but also collective (or even global). This entails a social kind of responsibility of and for education (right to education, human rights education). The transition to a socio-political and global kind of responsibility seems to be a necessary product of the 20th century society’s development, and further discussion is needed to found and develop it with particular reference to technological progress and the current ecological crisis.

Finally, the pandemic situation itself has shown that each individual can be called on to take responsibility for the whole community in which she/he lives. In addition to but also consistent with this challenge, the concept of responsibility has been discussed in a fruitful way in feminist studies, which investigate its connection with the concept of vulnerability (Butler, Cavarero). This implies an assumption of responsibility understood as care and protection of vulnerable people, including social and cultural minorities, by the broader community.

This conference is open for contributions from speakers of all disciplines. In order to bring together different perspectives (historical-philosophical, moral, juridical, socio-political) into a transdisciplinary conversation, contributions should address one or more of the following questions:

1. What are the conditions of responsibility, and how are they articulated in the different (legal, moral, political, etc.) spheres of human action?
2. What is the relation between individual and collective responsibility? Between a retrospective and a proactive kind of responsibility?

3. How can responsibility towards nature and future generations be grounded in a way that can face current ecological challenges?
4. How should the question of responsibility be approached with reference to the recent technological and scientific progress (DNA sequencing and manipulation; questions of artificial intelligence)?

5. What is the relation between responsibility and vulnerability?

Please check this link for further information.

Printable Version