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  & 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, in the lens of continental philosophy, through a variety of fields of interest including literary theory and methods (Italian, American, French),  social science approaches (anthropology, and media, post-colonial, and policy 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 (such as: migrations, explorations, globalizations, translations, various media), and poetics (rhetoric as philosophy, the avant-garde’s challenges, the many lives of the Postmodern, bilingual poets, 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 the various strands of tradition (such as they are, and often discovering previously unseen ones in the process), as well as forging new tools for inquiry, devise new methods, discover  alternate theories for the comprehension of phenomena. The concern remains with beings- in-this-here world, their languages, their places and times, their judgments and movements. Carravetta has written on Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Bacon, Campanella, Vico, Peirce, Nietzsche, Husserl, Vattimo, Eco, Lyotard, Ricoeur. He is gathering many of his papers on poetics, spanning 25 years, in a forthcoming volume. He is also 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) 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 ([Of 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), and After Identity. Migration, Critique, Italian American Culture (Bordighera, 2017). 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