call for papers: Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie Occidentale Special Issue: PROJECTS FOR HUMANKIND REVOLUTIONS, UTOPIAS, AND SOCIAL ENGINEERING

To change men and women, to transform them into something radically different and better is a desire that seems to be persistent in human history. It is an aspiration that shapes up differently depending on shifting historical contexts: utopian visions; movements of religious, political or cultural reformation; violent and nonviolent revolutions; variably overt forms of social engineering in democratic and totalitarian regimes alike.

On the one hand, the idea of a possible reinvention, a new shaping or a transformation of human beings might sound alarming; on the other, it is an appealing prospect for those who think they could (and should) bring it forth. On yet another level, it might look like a dangerous necessity: Francesco Remotti (2013), who labels the process of social building of human beings as anthropopoiesis, argues that people cannot avoid shaping themselves into a specific model of humankind, regardless of how consciously they do it, and come to results that are more or less satisfactory, and at times painful for themselves and others.

The aim of the issue is to reflect on the wide range of plans, dreams, visions, models, movements, or ideologies which are concerned with creating “projects for humankind”. Proposals for contributions from literary, linguistic, anthropological, sociological, historical, artistic, cinematic and philosophical perspectives are all welcome. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • projects of political, religious, or cultural reformation
  • designs of social engineering
  • violent impositions of different human models
  • utopias and dystopias focussed on the transformation of human beings
  • revolutions and their philosophical underpinnings
  • visionary plans about the future of humankind


Prospective contributors are kindly requested to send an abstract (in English, max. 700 characters, spaces included) to both and The abstract should include five keywords in English. Please also attach a bio-bibliographical note (in English, max. 1,000 characters, spaces included) and specify that your contribution is meant for the special issue “Projects for Humankind” in the object of your e-mail.


Articles can be written in Italian, English, German, Russian, French, Portuguese and Spanish.


Deadline for the submission of abstracts: 20/11/2018
Deadline for the submission of articles: 20/02/2019


After the selection of the proposals, the prospective collaborators will be invited to submit an article (max. 20,000 characters, spaces included). Submissions should follow the editorial guidelines of Edizioni Ca’ Foscari: ‘Editorial Guidelines’.

Guest editors: Luca Cortesi, Cristina Cugnata, Lucio De Capitani, Giulia Frare, Alice Girotto, Serena Vianello.