Call for papers

The Oppressed, from Kafka to Basaglia

To mark the occasion of the centenary of Franz Kafka’s passing and the birth of Franco Basaglia, the seventh issue of Balthazar will be dedicated to the theme «The Oppressed». Notwithstanding their different backgrounds, they are bothseminal figures whose works have indelibly shaped our understanding of the dynamics of oppression in both human and non-human animals.

Kafka, besides exploring existential angst and bureaucratic absurdity, in his Letter to his father draws a timeless depiction of familiar oppression. Basaglia, a pioneer in the field of psychiatry and an advocate for the rights of the mentally ill, offers profound insights into the mechanisms and manifestations of oppression in society.

This issue aims to explore how reflections on various dimensions of oppression as depicted in the works of Kafka and elucidated by Basaglia are still of relevance to contemporary social, cultural, and political contexts.

We invite scholars, researchers, and practitioners from diverse disciplines to contribute to this issue centered on the theme of «The Oppressed», in commemoration of these two disruptive thinkers.

Potential topics for submission may include, but are not limited to:

  • Bureaucracy as a form of oppression;
  • Kafkaesque landscapes of oppression;
  • Basaglian perspectives on mental health and societal oppression;
  • Intersectionality and oppression;
  • Animality in Kafka.

Accepted languages: Italian, English, French, Spanish

Final deadline: May 31st, 2024

Expected release: July 2024


Papers (20,000 characters min. See author guidelines for further information) should be sent as email attachment to the following address: The selected papers will be sent out for double-blind peer review. All the authors will be notified about the acceptance/rejection of their papers by the end of May, 2024.