Humanistic knowledge and languages ​​of the arts

Humanistic knowledge develops and consolidates itself within the circuits of specialised research, which is characterised by the precise monitoring of its methods and results and by the use of appropriate and historically stratified terminologies. Many of the contents of such knowledge – and in particular those of philosophy – have a relevant social function in promoting the cultural and civic growth of individuals and of the community. For this reason, they cannot remain confined to the circle of insiders, but must find opportunities to be disseminated, shared and discussed in the spaces of public life. So, on the one hand philosophical research must – in order to increase knowledge – keep operating with controlled methodologies and objectivising itself in the usual and rigorous scientific communication forms (essay, treatise, monograph, etc.), but on the other hand – and by its very nature – it cannot abdicate disseminating and discussing many of its themes to a wider audience, especially those that are more relevant for associated life.

This line of research is concerned with identifying ways and forms that – by avoiding trivialising simplifications – allow philosophy (and humanistic knowledge) to leave the turris eburnea of academy and move into the polis, thus effectively giving substance to that social functionality (shall we say “utility”?) that it has been recognised for since its origin, albeit with varying fortunes and different theoretical perspectives. Fully respecting the separation between the scientific and the disseminative path, but acknowledging at the same time their interaction (as the transfer of a concept from its original context to a new one also allows its effectiveness to be tested), the attention of the researchers participating to this line has focused above all on the transposition of philosophical and literary contents into the languages of the visual arts, reading theatre and music, seen as valuable resources for implementing communication with a wider audience.

Humanistic knowledge must be shared and discussed in the spaces of public life

In order to foster performative experimentation, Memoranda of Understanding were signed with various institutions in Naples, which founded performances written and directed by researchers belonging to this line and made their premises available for staging: the Academy of Fine Arts (Abana); the Institut Français; the ‘Domus Ars’ Theatre Production Centre; the Italian Institute for Philosophical Studies (Iisf). At the latter – in Palazzo Serra di Cassano – is located ‘Il teatro della filosofia’, a space created in collaboration with the Iisf, the Abana and our Institute to host philosophical performances.

Over the past ten years, readings, melologues, videos, installations and film forums have been produced. Theoretical and historical essays, theatrical texts and musical scores related to the line’s research and to the staged performances have been published in the online gold standard open access journal “Research Trends in Humanities”/RTH (, recognized as scientific journal by Anvur), which since 2021 has also published an annual Supplement – “Performative Thinking in Humanities”/PTH – dedicated to the problem of the transposition of humanistic knowledge into the languages of the arts.

Reseach line

Humanistic knowledge and languages ​​of the arts
Person in charge

Rosario Diana


News and events

25 maggio 2023, ore 16.00 (seminario) - 24/25/26 maggio 2023 ore 20.30 (spettacolo)

The dream of reason. Thomas Campanella’s City of the Sun. A performance and seminar

8 maggio 2023, ore 16.00

10 anni di RTH

Public presentation
20 gennaio 2023

Fabbrica occupata

13 gennaio 2023

Il buio sulla zattera