Skip Navigation

Peter Carravetta  


Ph .D. New York University, 1983
M.A. in Italian, City College/CUNY, 1975
B.A. in English, City College/CUNY, 1973 

Harriman Hall 213
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-3750

Tel: (631) 632-7570



Areas of Specialization:

hermeneutics, humanism, method and rhetoric of critique, Italian thought, post-modernity

Carravetta’s overarching concern is with language (as discourse) and interpretation (by way of hermeneutics). He pursues their interconnection through a variety of fields including literary theory and methods (Italian, American, French), social science approaches (anthropology, and media, post-colonial, and political science studies), specific historical periods (Humanist & early Modern, late XIX-Century, Post-Modern). More recent work includes the study of trans-national cultural and social phenomena (migrations, explorations, globalizations, translations, various media), and poetics (rhetoric as philosophy, the avant-gardes, the many lives of the Postmodern, bilingual writing, diaspora texts).

All these forms of discourse intersect in various guises in Carravetta’s investigations as they reveal newer webs of possibilities for critique, raising ever new questions and thus compelling both, a re-reading of various strands of the Western tradition, and forging new tools for inquiry, devising new methods (the Hermes principle, topological critique) for the comprehension of phenomena. The concern remains with beings- in-this-here world, their languages, their places and times, their judgments and movements. Among his authors, he has written on Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Bacon, Campanella, Vico, Peirce, Nietzsche, G. Stein, Husserl, Vattimo, Eco, Lyotard, Ricoeur. He is finishing a scholarly work on the co-origins of colonialism and mass emigration in late XX century Europe, and is writing a theoretical book on philosophy and humanism in the “post-human age.” 

Peter Carravetta, Professor of Philosophy, formerly held the Alfonse M. D’Amato Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies at SUNY/Stony Brook, Department of European Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, 2008-18. Prior to that he taught for 24 years at CUNY (Queens College and in mid-90s the Graduate Center), where he was professor of Italian and Comparative Literature, Chair of the Department of European Languages and Literatures (1995-99) and Director of the World Studies Program (1993-1999).

He is the Founding Editor of DIFFERENTIA review of italian thought (9 volumes, 1986-1999, now accessible online at ), and author of several volumes of critique, including: Prefaces to the Diaphora. Rhetorics, Allegory and the Interpretation of Postmodernity (Purdue UP, 1991), Del Postmoderno. Critica e cultura in America all’alba del duemila ([About the Postmodern: Culture and Critique in America at the Dawn of the XXI Century] Bompiani, 2009), The Elusive Hermes. Method, Discourse, Interpreting (Davies Group, 2012), After Identity. Migration, Critique, Italian American Culture (Bordighera, 2017) and Language at the Boundaries. Philosophy, Literature, and the Critique of Culture (Bloomsbury, 2021). He is also the author of seven books of poetry, including delle voci (Anterem, 1980), The Sun and Other Things (Guernica, 1998), L’infinito (Campanotto, 2013) and The Other Lives (Guernica, 2014) 

Professor Peter Carravetta's CV