PhD project supervised by Professor Celia Lury and Doctor Olga Goriunova (Royal Holloway, London)
Main interests: philosophy and history of science, epistemology, epic poetry, English and American modernism, F.W.J. Schelling and philosophy of nature, naturalism, classical pragmatism, Wilfrid Sellars, the work of Iain Hamilton Grant and Ray Brassier, cybernetics, information and media theory.
In its premises, my PhD project inteded to reconsider the notion of medium in relation to epistemology. Due to the way in which mediums have been theorized throughout the XX century, especially in the context of media theory in alliance with process philosophies and theoretical positions aiming at mind-nature continuity, mediums would seem as though incompatible with epistemology. From the outset, the research has ascribed to an indispensable formal distinction between appearance and reality and has seen the relation between mediums and representation as a crucial point of theorization, in polemical response to anti-representational approaches to mediums, communication and philosophy of technology, which usually prize presence and immediacy. As a working definition, I take mediums (among which I include also language) to constitute irreducible entities through which we inform representations of reality and that entail both reality and ideality - what if, rather than considering language as a medium, we reconceptualised mediums as language in its combined double-function of communication and signification?
Taking epistemology as entailing the question of schemas of genesis (moving from the empirical fact to the logical necessity or vice-versa), I have turned my interests to naturalism, as a commendable philosophical project in its non-reductionist forms. The conceptual framework has then evolved in a slightly idiosyncratic manner, for the interest in naturalism has reached back to F.W.J. Schelling’s Naturphilosophie as a formidable metaphysical project, although apparently incompatible with epistemology. I have been combining the latter with readings on pragmatism and, taking clues from Ray Brassier, the work of Wilfrid Sellars.
Tracing links and discontinuities between Schelling’s philosophy of nature and contemporary trends in pragmatism and realism, I hope to refine a conceptual apparatus within which to situate the question of change of meaning in discourse and the roles that an updated notion of medium can have for this task. The testing ground for these questions will be the one of a speculative contemporary epic poem, which has completely given up notions of origin and sharable experience.
Peer-reviewed, previous work in Middle Eastern studies:
Mollicchi, Silvia. “Displaced protests: the protest-moment as a metaphorical setting in Egyptian contemporary literature.” In Uyun al-Akhbar, studi sul mondo Islamico, IV, 2010, Il Ponte, Bologna.
Mollicchi, Silvia. “Mayy Ziyada e la biografia di Bahithat al-Badiya: una strategia di comunicazione in un contesto di minoranza.” (Mayy Ziyada and Bahithat al-Badiya’s biography: a communication strategy from a minority position.) In Uyun al-Akhbar, studi sul mondo Islamico, III, 2009, Il Ponte, Bologna.
MA, Centre for Cultural Studies, MA, Goldsmiths College, London
MA in Middle Eastern Studies, University of Bologna, Italy
BA in Middle Eastern Studies, University of Bologna, Italy
I have presented my work in conferences and workshops, among which
“Machine Research Workshop”, organized by Aarhus University, Constant and Transmediale at Constant, Brussel, 2016.
“Thinking with Algorithms”, University of Durham, Durham, 2015.
“Collecting Geographies – Global Programming and Museums of Modern Art” at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, 2014.
I acted as editor and coordinator of the publishing project Alternative News Agency, produced by the Contemporary Image Collective in Cairo and presented at the Brighton Photo Biennial 2012 and during the panel: Critical Image Cairo at the biennial's symposium.
Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies
University of Warwick
Email: S dot Mollicchi at warwick dot ac dot uk