Alessia Ricciardi
ifk Senior Fellow

Duration of fellowship
01. October 2013 bis 31. January 2014

Foucault and Agamben: Criticism as a Form of Life


Alessia Ricciardi is currently at work on a third book project entitled Foucault and Agamben: Criticism as a Form of Life.  The analysis focuses on how Michel Foucault and a specific genealogy of Italian critics, preeminently represented by Giorgio Agamben, position the concept of a form of life at the center of their critiques of social institutions.  In what ways can we say that Foucault and Agamben continue the tradition of their predecessors?  In what ways do they transform it?  Ricciardi examines how the two theorists and their interlocutors respond to these questions in order to assess their different modes of political engagement. Ricciardi’s essays have appeared in PMLA, Modernism/Modernity, Modern Language Notes, Diacritics, and The Romanic Review, among other publications.  Her most recent articles are about works by Pasolini, Foucault, Deleuze, and Agamben.


Alessia Ricciardi holds a B. A. in Philosophy from the University of Pisa, a DEA from Paris VII in Psychoanalysis, and a Ph. D. in Comparative Literature from Yale University.


Selected publications: After La Dolce Vita: A Cultural Prehistory of Berlusconi’s Italy, Stanford 2012; The Ends of Mourning, Stanford 2004.

02 December 2013
  • Lecture
Alessia Ricciardi

The Emergence of a Concept: Form of Life in the Philosophy of the Contemporary

The concept of the form of life has its roots in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, particularly in the work of Aristotle. As Alessia Ricciardi argues, the notion acquires a crucial new significance in the reflections on modernity offered by an important genealogy of European poets, critics, and philosophers that includes Baudelaire, Nietzsche, Simmel, Benjamin, and Wittgenstein.