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Biblioteca Comunale “A. Betti” (Former Anglican Church)
Viale E. Whipple

The “Michel de Montaigne” Foundation and a group of academics from the Department of Philology, Literature and Linguistics of Pisa University are pleased to announce that an International Conference will be held in September 2019. The event, the fourteenth of this kind hosted by the Foundation since 2008, will be organised in collaboration with the Istituto Storico Lucchese and the Bagni di Lucca Municipality.
A well-known cultural centre and the site of one of the earliest thermal establishments in Europe, Bagni di Lucca and its beautiful natural surroundings recommend themselves as the ideal scenario for a conference focused on a classical, yet still topical, theme: the “importance of well-being”. This theme is to be considered within a wide horizon encompassing the spheres of psychophysical balance and physical and spiritual fulfilment, as well as the fields of politics, philosophy and ethics. Since antiquity—from eudemonism and the Epicurean concept of katastematic pleasure, to the paradigms of tranquillitas and peace of soul, or Kant’s tenet of the free citizen’s right to happiness within a cohesive community—the topic of well-being has been the source of lively debates covering a variety of disciplines and historical or social contexts. The purpose of our conference is to throw light on the prismatic features, symbolic connotations, and topographies that underlie the search for well-being, including a plurality of trajectories which fruitfully cross the aesthetic domain, in particular the representations and configurations of well-being in literary and artistic traditions throughout the centuries.
Within the wide constellation of worlds evoked by literature or by other artistic and cultural manifestations, the conference will identify a privileged area of study in healthy and health-promoting environments. These spaces may be referred both to the mimetic dimension (mountains, parks, Mediterranean coasts, tropical islands, but also spas and seaside resorts, as well as the more recent realities of health farms and clubs, ecotourism, ecological sustainability) and to the realm of the imaginary and the fictional, with incursions into the genres of the fantastic, the utopian/dystopian, the surreal and the allegorical-devotional. Such settings may, on the one hand, reveal themselves as emblems of harmony, serenity and a good quality of life, but they may also aspire to promote a philosophy and a practice of well-being emerging as a goal to achieve (at the psychic, biological, and social level).
We will welcome contributions which aim to develop aspects connected with the following themes and issues and primarily dealing with British, Anglophone, or Italian literature and art:

The natural landscape and landscape gardening as sources and models of ontological harmony (e.g. in bucolic-pastoral or Romantic literature).

  • The green city, the ecovillage and bioarchitecture vs the globalised metropolis across the Industrial Revolution eras.
  • The valorisation of healthy and health-promoting environments: recreation facilities and leisure spaces; healing gardens and health walks; tourist resorts; exotic and tropical geographies; peculiar geomorphologies and microclimates; thermal establishments, sanatoriums, health farms and clubs, spas.
  • The search for a harmony of body, mind, and spirit: empathy; meditation and relaxation; positive emotionality; the ethics of care; traditional and alternative medicine; medicinal products and medicaments; the figures of the mentor, therapist and patient; health policies; food and nutrition culture; sustainable solutions.
  • The health of the Earth and of the environment from an ecocritical perspective: land ethic; social ecology; ecophilosophy; deep ecology; biocentrism.
  • From survival (basic needs) to a condition of full health (the need to belong, participate, and integrate, along with the right to happiness): self-realisation and the respect for the Other; co-existence and identification with the social group; pathological degeneration vs the “healthful” subject.
  • Welfare, well-being, and wellness: their differences and semantic connotations over time.


◊ SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE: Marcello Cherubini, Roberta Ferrari, Laura Giovannelli, Fausto Ciompi
◊ ORGANISING COMMITTEE: Marcello Cherubini, Angela Amadei, Mariavittoria Castrucci, Bruno Micheletti, Tommaso Maria Rossi
◊ IN COLLABORATION WITH: Comune di Bagni di Lucca, Istituto Storico Lucchese (Sede Centrale)
◊ SPONSORED BY: Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca


Paper proposals are due by April 10, 2019 and should be accompanied
by an abstract (max 300 words) and a CV (max 150 words).

The proposals, as well as any information queries, must be sent to:
- Marcello Cherubini, Chairman of the “Michel de Montaigne” Foundation, cherubini40@alice.it (mobile phone: 335 5821080)
- Roberta Ferrari, roberta.ferrari@unipi.it
- Laura Giovannelli, laura.giovannelli@unipi.it

Review notification will be given by May 10, 2019.
Please remember that each paper presentation should run
no longer than 25 minutes.

Those who wish to participate, whether as speakers or audience, should also fill in, sign, and send the enclosed Registration Form to the e-mail (or postal) address specified below by June 15, 2019.
Certificates of attendance can be provided for students, teachers, and paper contributors through the Secretary’s Office.
Contributors and participants can book a room at the hotels which have an arrangement with the Foundation. A list of these hotels and their rates will be available in due course.
The registration fee amounts to €100 (one hundred Euros) per head. The fee covers conference materials, coffee breaks throughout the conference sessions, the lunch and dinner on Friday, the lunch and social dinner on Saturday.
Payment should be made by June 15, 2019 via bank transfer to:

Fondazione Michel de Montaigne
Banco Popolare Società Cooperativa
Agenzia di Bagni di Lucca
Via Casalini,13 (Italy)
IBAN CODE: IT78N0503470093000000000008

Al Professor Marcello Cherubini


For registration see the attached file


Conference 2019.pdf
Click here for download