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Paola Rudan

Associate Professor

Department of History and Cultures

Academic discipline: SPS/02 History of Political Thought

Curriculum vitae

Education, scholarships and awards, academic experience

2002: Laurea cum laude in History of Political Thought, Faculty of Political Science, University of Bologna (title of the thesis: Along the Path of the West: Republicanism and Constitution in Simon Bolivar’s Political Thought). The thesis has been awarded by the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Bologna, with the «Felice Battaglia prize».

2004-2007: PhD in Europe and Americas: Constitutions, Doctrines and Political Institutions, Department of Politics, Institutions and History, Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Bologna (title of the dissertation: From Constitution to Government. Jeremy Bentham and the Americas); in 2007 her doctoral thesis has been awarded by the «Fondazione Luigi Firpo. Centro di studi sul pensiero politico», with the «Mirella Larizza prize».

2004: She attended, with a scholarship, the course for PhD students Per la storia dei concetti giuridici e politici della tradizione europea, organized by the Centro di Ricerca sulle Istituzioni Europee (CRIE) and by the Centro Interuniversitario di Ricerca sul Lessico Politico e Giuridico Europeo (CIRLPGE), at the University Institute Suor Orsola Benincasa, Naples.

2005: She attended, with a scholarship, the Summer School organized by the Centro Interuniversitario di Storia e Politica Euro-americana: The United States of America and the European Nations: the question of American «exceptionalism».

2007-2008: She attended, with a scholarship, the post-doctoral course: The Knowledges of Politics at the University Institute Suor Orsola Benincasa, Naples.

2008: Fellow researcher at the Goethe Universität in Frankfurt, Cluster of Excellence «Die Herausbildung normativer Ordnungen».

2009-2016: research fellow at the Department of History, Culture, Civilization, University of Bologna.

2014: National Scientific Qualification to Associate professor in History of political thought and institution (14/B1).

2016: Senior Assistant Professor ‒ fixed term (RtdB) at the Department of History, Culture, Civilization, University of Bologna.

2017: Short Residency, John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute, Duke University (NC).

Invited speaker to seminars or conferences (selection)

Differenti cittadinanze. Donne migranti, lavoro, welfare, national conference on L'Immigrazione al Femminile. Globalizzazione tra genere e identità culturale, organized by the University of Macerata and the University of Roma «La Sapienza» (November 3-4, 2005).

A Fragment on the American Controversy, Bentham Seminars, University College London, March 19, 2008.

Jeremy Bentham, A Fragment on Government and the American Controversy, Conference of the ISUS – International Society for Utilitarian Studies, Berkeley, California, September 11-14, 2008.

Stato amministrativo e discorso coloniale. Floridablanca, Bolívar e le colonie spagnole tra organizzazione e indipendenza, international conference Floridablanca: la España de las reformas, 1728-1808, organized in Murcia by the Consejería de Universidades, Empresa e Investigación and Fundación Séneca, December 3-5, 2008.

Bolivarianism, International symposium Iberian Postcolonialities, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, February 2, 2012.

A Revolution without a people: Venezuela 1810-1830, international conference Rebellion, resistance and revolution between the Old and the New World: discourses and political languages, University of Bologna, October 3, 2013.

The Constitution of Society, International Symposium New Directions in Bentham Studies, University College, London, December 13, 2013.

Influence as a Constitutional Factor, International Conference La Deontologie Publique: Trajectoire et Presence d'une Notion Ambiguë (Centre Bentham ‒ Ecole de droit de Science Po, Paris), May 14, 2014.

The Tribunal of Society: Public Opinion, XIII conference of the International Society for Utilitarian Studies, Yokohama National University, Japan, August 20-22, 2014.

The Utopia of Cooperation. Bentham, Owen and Thompson on Organization, «X Jornadas Sobre Utopía: Koina Ta Ton Philon: Habitar La Utopía» (Instituto de Estudios Clásicos «Lucio Anneo Séneca» and the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid), November 21-22, 2014.

The Art of Ruling Minds: Jeremy Bentham and the Public Opinion Tribunal, Political Thought and Intellectual History Seminar, Cambridge University ‒ Trinity College, February 23, 2015.

Jeremy Bentham e la democrazia totale, national conference «Democracy and Freedom», University of Cagliari, October 15-16, 2015.

Political Violence and the Constitution: Cádiz 1810-1812, international workshop «Violent political conflicts and legal responses: a transatlantic perspective (18th to early 19th century)», Max-Planck-Institut für europäische Rechtsgeschichte, Frankfurt a.M., October 21-23, 2015.

La barbara donna selvaggia e il segreto della città. Medea di Christa Wolf, national conference «Parrhesia, eros, polis. tragedia greca, questioni contemporanee: letture etico-politiche», University of Padua, November 9, 2016.

Legislazione e costituzione nel pensiero politico e giuridico di Jeremy Bentham, seminar in History of Law and of Legal Thought, University of Padua, June 9, 2017.

The Human and the Appearance: A Critical Dialogue on Recognition, with Judith Butler and Rita Monticelli, «Summer School in Global Studies and Critical Theory», Academy of Global Humanities and Critical Theory, Bologna, June 28, 2017.

The Excentrical Center: From the Feminist Critique of Modern Subject to the Epistemological Privilege of «Woman», Franklin Humanities Institute, Duke University (NC), November 15, 2017.

Marx e il femminismo, Dipartimento di Storia Culture Civiltà, Università di Bologna, Conference Marx ieri e oggi. A duecento anni dalla nascita, promoted by the Department of History and Culture in Cooperation with Fondazione Gramsci Emilia-Romagna and IRES, May 8, 2018.

A Critical Dialogue on Ni Una Menos, with Rita Laura Segato, «Summer School in Global Studies and Critical Theory» organized by the Academy of Global Humanities and Critical Theory, Bologna, July 4, 2018.

Constitution as a Technology of Rule: Cádix 1810-1812, International Conference Towards A Global History of Political Concepts: Reframing Sovereignty, promoted by Academy of Global Humanities and Critical Theory, Tsinghua Institute for Advanced Study in Humanities and Social Sciences, Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown University, Beijing, Tsinghua University, September 7-8 2018.

The concept of woman and its feminist critique, international symposium Theorising from experience. Feminism and critical theory today – Uio, Center for Gender Research, University of Oslo, September 19-20, 2018.


— February 18: discussant of the panel Productive and reproductive labour between austerity, precarity and migration, in the international conference New Perspective in Labour History: Work and Activism, organized at the Department of History and Cultures, University of Bologna, by Eloisa Betti and Marica Tolomelli.

— February 21: round table Per una critica del paradigma delle rivoluzioni del capitale, coordinated by N. Cuppini with S. Agnoletto, L. Caruso, M. Filippini, M. Ricciardi, during the conference on Prospettive critiche sul capitalismo contemporaneo, organized as an output of PLUS (Platform Labour in Urban Spaces: Fairness, Welfare, Development) Horizon Project, at the Dipartimento delle Arti dell’Università di Bologna.

— May 2: lecture on Bentham e il tessuto della società, Dipartimento di Filosofia, Università degli Studi di Milano.


- Speaker in the workshop "Governance and transformations of sovereignty: history, problems, perspectives," organized as part of the PRIN 2015 project: Transformations of sovereignty, forms of governmentality and governance devices in the global era, coordinated by Francesco Tuccari, at the University of Turin. Title of the talk: "The Constitution as a Technology of rule. Cadiz 1810-1812."


- July 2: Paper on Male Domination, Freedom, Right. Sarah Grimké in the interregnum of American democracy, as part of the conference "Generation of fundamental rights and female subjectivity," Sapienza, University of Rome.


- January 12: Seminar for the Doctoral School of Humanities University of Warsaw. Title of talk: Notes for a feminist critique of technosocietal relations.

- March 7: Lecture in the series "Democracy between Risk and Uncertainty. Constituent and Constituted," organized by the PhD in Political Science. History of Political Thought and History of Institutions, University of Catania. Title of lecture: Women's movements.

- May 26: Lecture within the doctoral course in Philosophy, University of Padua. Title of seminar: Carla Lonzi: Equality and homologation, difference and revolt.

- June 7: Lecture within the doctoral course in Political Studies, University "La Sapienza," Rome on Marx and the modern theory of colonization.

- Dec. 21: speaker at the panel discussion "Feminisms. Theories and Practices," at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, with Cinzia Arruzza, Carlotta Cossutta, Simona Forti.


- March 6: lecture as part of the seminar series "Trust, Power, Institutions From Reason of State to the Tyranny of the Algorithm," University of Catania, with a talk entitled Recognition, Representation and Redistribution in the "algorithmic turn"

- April 6: Lecture as part of the "Philosophical colloquiums" at the New School for Social Research - New York. Lecture title: Feminism as a Politics of Articulation: bell hooks and the Trouble of Identities.

- June 7: Invited speaker at the seminar "Studying Political Thought: Methods and Approaches," organized by the Italian Association for the History of Political Thought. Talk title: History of political thought, historiography and feminist political theory.

June 26-27: Invited speaker at the international conference "Women, knowledge and academic institutions: a Paduan debate three hundred years later" - University of Padua. Title of talk: Challenging Man's Monopoly on Reason: Margaret Cavendish's Politics of Rhetoric and Science.

Oct. 5-6: Invited speaker at the national conference "Dialogues on Jeremy Bentham: Ethics, Law, Politics," University of Pisa. Title of paper: Equality, Exchange, Equivalence. Bentham and women in the social order.

Nov. 8: Discussant in the seminar Revolution and Democracy in the History of Feminism, speaker Anna Dawson (King's College London), organized as part of the Lecture Series 'Revolutions and Democracy in the Modern Era' of the PhD in Historical Studies, University of Milan.


- March 13: Discussant by Wendy Brown (University of California, Berkeley), as part of the international lecture series "Voices from Contemporary Philosophy," Department of Humanities, University of Trento.

Research groups

PRIN 2006 Disuguaglianza: gerarchia, ingiustizia, pluralità. Con edizione di testi

PRIN 2008 Verso una nuova semantica del diritto e della politica. Crisi e trasformazioni dei lessici

PRIN 2010 Governamentalità biopolitica: inclusione e felicità. Genealogia storica e concettuale, sfide presenti e prospettive future di una politica per l'uomo e la società

2010-2015: International research project Iberian Postcolonialities: A Metahistory of Material Practices of Power

Editorial Experience

Editorial board of the journal "Filosofia Politica" (member)

Editorial board of the journal "Annali Sismondi" (member)

Editorial board of the journal "Storicamente" (member)

Editorial board of the journal "Scienza&Politica. Per una storia delle dottrine" (member)


On 31/01/2022 she obtains the National Scientific Abilitation as full professor of History of Political Thought

Member of the Italian Association for the History of Political Thought

2014-2022: Member of the Scientific Commettee of the Fondazione Istituto Gramsci dell'Emilia-Romagna.

Member of the International Society for Utilitarian Studies

From May 2014 to May 2016 she has been the Representative of Fellow Researchers in the Department Counsel

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