of Architecture


Cattedra Borromini


With the establishment of the Cattedra Borromini, an annual high-level guest professorship in the humanities (to be conferred once every two or three years, starting in the academic year of 2012-2013), the Università della Svizzera italiana, the Mendrisio Academy of Architecture and its Institute for the History and Theory of Art and Architecture – ISA wish to underline its commitment to the humanities in their widest sense in relation to the integral part they have played and continue to play in artistic and architectural creation. The Cattedra Borromini consists generally of two lecture courses, open to all levels at the Università della Svizzera italiana as well as a public lecture cycle devoted to a specific theme, the Borromini Lectures, to be published afterwards under the auspices of the Academy’s Institute for the History and Theory of Art and Architecture – ISA. 


Lecturer  Title Date
Giorgio Agamben Archeologia dell’opera d’arte 18 October 2012
  L’opera dell’uomo 22 November 2012
  L’uso dei corpi 7 March 2013
in collaborazione
con ISI Istituto di studi italiani
21 March 2013
  Il capitalismo come religione 11 April 2013



  • Series
    • L’Opera dell'uomo.
    • Archeologia della politica
  • Lecturer
    • Giorgio Agamben

Giorgio Agamben

Philosopher, graduated in 1965 from the University of Rome with a thesis on the political thought of Simone Weil. In Rome in the sixties he was close to Elsa Morante, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Ingeborg Bachmann and participated in seminars with Martin Heidegger at Le Thor. In the seventies he lived in Paris, where he was Italian lecteur at the Université de Haute-Bretagne, studied linguistics and medieval culture and formed friendships with Pierre Klossowski and Italo Calvino. Conducted research in 1974-1975 at the library of the Warburg Institute in London and worked on his book Stanze. La parola e il fantasma nella cultura occidentale (Torino 1977). Returning to Italy, in 1978 he was appointed general editor of Einaudi’s edition of the complete works of Walter Benjamin, for which he discovered important manuscripts.
From 1986 to 1993 he was Directeur de programme at the Collège International de Philosophie in Paris.
He taught Aesthetics at the University of Macerata and the University of Verona, and from 2003 to 2009 was full professor in the Faculty of Arts and Design at the Università IUAV in Venice.
In the nineties he began working on political philosophy and developed a theory of the relations between law and life and a critique of the concept of sovereignty (Homo sacer I. Il potere sovrano e la nuova vita, followed by Homo sacer II. Stato di eccezione, Torino 1995 and 2003).
Since 1994 he has been a regular visiting professor at American universities (Berkeley, Harvard, Princeton, Los Angeles, Evanston). Appointed Distinguished Professor at New York University in 2003, he resigned in protest at U.S. government policy. He is honorary professor of the Universities of Fribourg (Switzerland), Buenos Aires and Rio de la Plata, and Albertus-Magnus-Professur of the University of Cologne.