Francesca Cernia Slovin

Category : Education, Philosophy, Women

Photo: Francesca Cernia Slovin. Via http://www.danilodemarco.it/figure/cernia-slovin-francesca/. Web. 19 Jul 2017.

Author: Carmen Hendershott, Librarian, The New School

Francesca Cernia Slovin (March 14, 1952-April 2, 2017) taught at The New School from Spring 1996 to Fall 2000, and once again in Fall 2003. Her courses focused on the tension between emotion and reason in philosophy, the importance of imagination in expressing philosophical ideas, philosophers as agents of social change, and misogyny as reflected in Western philosophy. Some examples include: Misogyny and Social Thought (Spring 1996); Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the Challenge to Reason (Fall 1997); The Challenge to Reason (Spring 1998); Myths, Utopias, and Philosophical Imagination (Fall 1998); “Think Different”: The Philosophy of Transgression (Fall 1999); Utopia and Philosophy (Fall 2000); and Philosophy and Imagination (Fall 2003).

Professor Slovin edited Gli Anni di Plastica (The Plastic Years) (1983) and authored three other books: Obsessed by Art: Aby Warburg: His Life and Legacy (2006; originally published in Italy in 1995); The Last Walk: Life and Death of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (2009); and Eretz Israel: A Seed of Time (2011). Of her published work, the book on Aby Warburg was especially notable – it garnered the Italian “Comisso’s Prize” for best biography when it came out in Italy and was also well-received in translation. It traces the history of a German Jewish scholar who developed an outstanding collection of art history texts on the Italian Renaissance that later became, in expanded form, London’s Warburg Institute Library. [1]

Francesca Slovin also served as a member of the Board of Directors of the New York Council for the Humanities, as a consultant to the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, and as the executive director of the American Friends of Warburg Institute. In private life, she was the wife of Bruce Slovin, founder and board co-chair (through YIVO) of the Center for Jewish History whom she married in December 1985, and the mother of a daughter, Karen French.


[1] “A Tribute to a Great Art Historian and His Legacy – Author Francesca Cernia Slovin Shares the Life and Legacy of Aby Warburg Through a Stunning Literary Biography”; accessed June 7, 2017, https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2006/12/13/352424/110386/en/A- Tribute-to- a-Great-Art- Historian-and- His-Legacy- Author-Francesca- Cernia-Slovin- Shares-the- Life-and-Legacy-of- Aby-Warburg- Through-a- Stunning-Literary- Biography.html.

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