Umberto Eco, maestro
editor Redazione Ocula
deadline: 29 February 2016
In the months and years to come, a lot shall be written about Umberto Eco. He was remarkable in every one of the various activities that made up his extraordinary career. Yet all the members of Ocula's editorial board met him as a professor and we all believe that, first and foremost, he was an outstanding teacher. We therefore decided to gather the reflections of Eco's students in an open series of articles, in order to build a flow and then a collection of documents that we would like to share with the international community of scholars, researchers and Eco readers.
In order to launch an open-ended call for articles on Eco as a teacher we chose the word "maestro" as a title: an expression that exists in almost all Western languages, though with slight semantic variations. In Italian, as indeed in English, "maestro" means "a master in an art, especially a composer, conductor, or music teacher", while it also denotes a school teacher, a professor or an intellectual figure whose work inspires and influences that of others.
We shall keep the issue open to contributions over the next few months.
Here are the rules:
1. Contributors to this special issue must have attended at least one course or seminar by Umberto Eco (not just one or more public lectures), or have been tutored by him in a thesis or dissertation, or have had him as the editor of a book or an article. We would like to collect testimonies of direct working experiences with Umberto Eco. Please include or attach a brief biographic note to explain how you came to work with him.
2. We are not interested in collecting biographical data about Umberto Eco. Such background information may be included in the article but the main focus must be on Eco as a teacher, as a tutor or as a research director. His style, suggestions, interests, rebukes, approvals, everything the Author believes to have been important and original in her/his learning experience. We all know that Eco's teaching activity was not restricted to the classroom, but tended to overflow in other more informal contexts: typically, at dinner or over drink(s), given that his lectures and seminars were often continued in bars and restaurants, where groups of students, friends and colleagues used to gather to keep the flow of conversation going. In short, the question we are asking now is "What did you learn (directly) from Umberto Eco?"
3. Articles will not be peer reviewed. The editorial board will be the only filter. Revisions or improvements might be requested.
4. Please send your proposal or article to:umbertoeco_maestro[at]ocula.it