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Nuccio Ordine

Princess of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities 2023

Nuccio Ordine (Diamante, Italy, 18th July 1958 - Cosenza, Italy, 10th June 2023) graduated in Modern Literature from the University of Calabria’s Faculty of Philosophy and Letters in 1982 and earned his PhD in Literary Sciences: Rhetoric and Techniques of Interpretation in 1987. He lectured in Italian Literature in the Department of Humanistic Studies at the university in his home region and has been visiting professor at American universities such as Harvard, Yale and New York, and European universities such as the EHESS and ENS, both in Paris, the Warburg Institute in London, the Max Planck Society (2013 Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation) in Berlin and the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt (Germany).

Philosopher, writer and expert in literary theory, he was recognized worldwide as one of the leading experts on Renaissance thought and literature, and, specifically, on the figure of Neapolitan humanist Giordano Bruno. One of his outstanding books on this subject is Giordano Bruno and the Philosophy of the Ass (English translation, 1996). Author of numerous essays on the Cinquecento and in the field of literary theory and aesthetics, he has published numerous articles in both individual and collective works. In his books L'utilità dell’inutile: Manifesto [The Utility of the Useless. Manifesto] (2013), and Classici per la vita: Una piccola biblioteca ideale [Classics for Life. A Small Ideal Library] (2016), works with which he managed to reach the general public, he reflects on the peripheral situation of the humanities in today’s world and vindicates them as necessary disciplines in the civic formation of the human being and in the creation of fundamental critical thinking for development and social well-being. A staunch defender of education not based on the trend towards pragmatism, he advocated instilling in students the pleasure of and curiosity for knowledge. According to his view, a broad base of general culture constitutes the best tool for young people to be able to successfully face the variables of the labour market in the future. He delves deeper into this line of thought in his book Gli uomini non sono isole. I classici ci aiutano a vivere [Men are not Islands. The Classics Help Us Live] (2018), in which he offers his proposal of essential books from world literature.

He was an honorary member of the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, a member of the Royal Academy of Belgium and a founding member of the Italian Association for Theory and Comparative History of Literature. In addition, he chaired the Centro Internazionale di Studi Telesiani, Bruniani e Campanelliani (Cosenza, Italy) and sat on the executive board of the Italian Institute of Philosophical Studies. He was an advisor to the publications Albertiana and Journal de la Renaissance, and co-directs the Giordano Bruno and Biblioteca Italiana collections at Les Belles Lettres publishing house in Paris, and Sileni, Theatrum Sapientiae and Umbrae idearum for various publishing houses in Italy, in addition to other collections in different countries, such as Russia, Romania and Brazil. He was a regular contributor to the Corriere della Sera newspaper. In addition to those already mentioned above, his book Tres coronas para un rey. La Empresa de Enrique III y sus misterios [Three Crowns for a King. The Endeavour of Enrique III and its Mysteries] was published in Spanish in 2022.

Holder of honorary degrees from the Brazilian universities of Rio Grande do Sul, Caxias del Sur and Porto Alegre, the University of Valparaíso (Chile), the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium), the Pontifical University of Comillas (Spain) and the Sello Ateneo of the University of Urbino (Italy), he was Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (2018), Knight and Commander of the Order of the Academic Palms (2009 and 2014) and Knight of the Order of the French Legion of Honour (2012). He was awarded the Siracusa Philosophy Award (Italy, 2007), the Il Sogno di Piero Award from the Urbino Academy of Fine Arts (2015), the Liberpress Prize for Literature (Gerona, Spain, 2019), the Special Prize from the Carical Foundation (Italy, 2020) and the International Prize for Humanism and Renaissance of the Egyptian Lyceum Museum (León, Spain, 2021), among many others.

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