University of Padua
Matteo Bortolini (Ph.D., Sociology, University of Bologna) is an assistant professor of Sociology of cultural and communicative processes at the University of Padua, Italy. His research topics are social theory, the classics, the sociology of culture and political theory. He has just finished a long research program on Talcott Parsons’s sociology of modernity and the paradoxes of a non-individualistic explanation of modern individualism. He is the author of Necessary Immunity: Talcott Parsons and the Sociology of Modernity (Rome, 2005, in Italian), as well as the author of essays and book chapters on Parsons, Emile Durkheim, civil society and associative democracy. His current research project, tentatively titled “The Parsonians,” is a case-study in the sociology of intellectuals. What does it mean to be a well-known student of an exceedingly pivotal, disputed, loved and hated intellectual figure? What does it mean to carry on and try to develop the heritage of a master of sociology obsessed with filling each and every theoretical and empirical space, ready to extend his intelligence and insight to any field and object? What does it mean to find oneself into a professional world that has become abruptly a very hostile, and even dangerous, environment? These, it seems, were the two most important intellectual challenges that the first and the second generation of sociologists who studied with Talcott Parsons had to face during and after their mentor’s demise as the most important inspirational figure in American sociology. Starting from the life and work of Robert N. Bellah, the research project aims at reconstructing the intellectual and academic careers of some of the gifted sociologists and intellectuals that either studied or collaborated with Parsons during the apex of his intellectual career and charismatic influence. (Visiting Fall 2006.)
University of Naples
Orlando Lentini, full professor of “History of sociological analysis” and “Sociology of social knowledges” at the University of Naples “Federico II,” Department of Sociology.After a training in Philosophy and History at the University of Rome, and a first interest in Aesthetics and Cultural Studies, devoted his attention to Social Sciences, to become in 1975 a professor of History of sociological analysis at the University of Calabria – Arcavacata. He has been also professor of Political Sociology, Sociology of Organizations, Sociology of Knowledge, and Director of the Ph. D. in Sociology and Social Research at the University of Naples.At the start of his career, among his main research fields is the history of Italian social sciences, particularly the History of “Italian sociology.” In 1981, completed the cycle of studies in Italian sociology, starts a second research program, aimed at re-writing the history of sociological analysis from a post-disciplinary perspective. During the first phase of the research, during a sabbatical in Binghamton (NY), at the Fernand Braudel Center, enters the world-systems approach founded by Immanuel Wallerstein and decides to construct a new history of social analysis on the basis of the world-systems analysis.To improve the research program, in agreement with Immanuel Wallerstein and Maurice Aymard organizes two international conferences on social knowledges before the disciplines, the first in Pisa and the second in Paris. The final result of this project is a book on the history of social knowledges from 1500 to now.During this major research engagement, meets the problems of republicanism as a field in the history of social sciences, Cultural Studies and American Studies, Corporate Liberalism and the Organizational Synthesis, the new Global Political Economy, the crisis of the old Sociology of Knowledge. Combining all those fields of study in a single multilevel research program, a new holistic project starts, with a provisional title: Forms of virtual reality and social knowledges. (Visiting Spring and Summer 2006.)
University of California, Los Angeles
Jason Mast is writing his dissertation on the social performative dynamics at play in the Clinton-Lewinsky Affair. He is also co-editing a book on the Performative Turn in Sociology with Jeff Alexander and Bernard Geisen.
University of Salerno
Massimo Rosati teaches History of Sociology at the University of Salerno, Italy. His last book in Italian is Solidarietà e sacro (2002). In English he published articles on Durkheim and Habermas (Journal of Classical Sociology, Durkheimian Studies). He is the editor of the new Italian edition of Durkheim’s The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. Currently he is co-editing (with W. S. F. Pickering) a book on Evil and Suffering: The Durkheimian Legacy (Berghahn Books 2007), and is writing a book tentatively titled Neo-Durkheimian Perspectives on Modernity: Religion, Politics and Identity. (Visiting Fall 2006.)
Ian Woodward researches in the areas of the sociology of consumption and material culture, taste and aesthetics, social change, globalisation and identity, and the sociology of economic behaviour.