Convention / Congress

Fable between East and West

La Favola tra Oriente e Occidente
11 October 2022
12 October 2022
13 October 2022
Palazzo Paolo Prodi - Via Tommaso Gar 14, Trento
Room 007
Target audience: 
Contact details: 
Department of Humanities
0461 281788


Across centuries and across cultures, no genre has been more adaptable and persistent than the Aesopic fable. Disguised in unexpected contemporary forms, the fable remains in precarious balance between writing and orality. Its moral and anthropological implications, dynamic engagement with the animal mask, and immediacy of expression have ensured the fable’s survival and spread from East to West and back again in a game of continuous transformation and textual contamination. In this process, the persistence of the Greco-Latin tradition, the influence of medieval syncretism, and the Christianizing work of the Jesuits at the dawn of the modern age have played a key role. Since the mid-19th century, the study of fable has been limited to a series of one-dimensional approaches—comparative, mythological, anthropological, idealistic. This international conference, born of a collaboration between Italian and American institutions, brings together specialists from various disciplines to explore some significant stages of this long, dynamic history, winding through literature, art, folklore and pop culture.

Tuesday, October 11

14.15 Conference opening session

14.30 Opening lecture

Franco Cardini (SUM, Firenze), Il raccontare, in Oriente e in Occidente

Session I - Contemporary world

  • Chair: Jeremy Lefkowitz (Swarthmore College, PA)

15.30 Yao Dadui (Hainan University), Aesop Fables in Modern China: Localization, Back-Translation, and Imitative Writings 
16.00 Luciana Cardi (Osaka University), La volpe nella favola esopica e nel folklore giapponese

17.00 Coffee break

  • Chair: Margherita Rubino (Università di Genova)

17.30 Manuel Giliberti (movie director), Apuleio, la favola, la scena, il cinema
18.00 Alessandro Giglio (Giglio Group/Teatro Nazionale di Genova), L’influenza delle favole orientali sui videogames

Wednesday, October 12

Session II – Modern and Medieval periods 

  • Chair: Paolo Tamassia (Università di Trento)

 9.00 Patrick Dandrey (Université Sorbonne, Paris IV), L'inspiration orientale dans les fables de La Fontaine
 9.30 Nathalie Le Luel (Université Catholique de l’Ovest), Esopo e La Fontaine sul Monte Fuji: rappresentare gli animali nelle favole del Giappone di fine Ottocento
10.00 Paola Cifarelli (University of Torino), Favole in viaggio: dal Kalila et Dimna alla novella francese del Rinascimento

10.30 Coffee break

  • Chair: Agostino Paravicini Bagliani (SISMEL/Université de Lausanne)

11.00 Jan van Ginkel (Freie Universität Berlin), How Kalila and Dimna ended up in the Latin West? On Transmission and Variation.
11.30 Tovi Bibring (Bar-Ilan University, Israel), The Aesopic tradition in medieval Hebrew fables
12.00 Paolo Lucca (Università di Venezia), Esopo nella favolistica armena tardoantica e medievale

15.00 Presentation of the book of P. Gatti, Per fabulas

C. Mordeglia - A. Degl’Innocenti, Firenze, Sismel, 2022 (FABULA. FABLES FROM ANTIQUITY TO MODERN AGE, 1). 

Margherita Rubino (Università di Genova) - Agostino Paravicini Bagliani (SISMEL/Université de Lausanne)

Coordinates: Walter Lapini (Università di Genova)

Session III – Antiquity and the Near East

  • Joseph Farrell (University of Pennsylvania)

16.00 Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst (Freie Universität Berlin), Aesop and the Sogdian Tales
16.30 Ursula Gärtner (Universität Graz), Greek-Oriental elements in Phaedrus' fables
17.00 Francesco Morosi (University of Pisa), Aristofane favolista
17.30 Justin Strong (University of Mainz), From Ahikar to Esop

Thursday, October 13

Session IV - Origins?

  • Walter Lapini (Università di Genova)

10.00 Alberto Pelissero (Università di Torino), La favola nella letteratura sanscrita: classificazioni, ricezione, animali raziocinanti
10.30 Antonio Rigopoulos (Università di Venezia), Uomini e animali nel folklore indiano

11.00 Paolo Rossi, Stand up Fedro!

12.30 Closing remarks


The event is free, registration is recommended but not mandatory.

Project of:

  • Caterina Mordeglia (Università di Trento)
  • Jeremy Lefkowitz (Swarthmore College, PA)

Organised by

  • University of Trento - Department of Humanities
  • Swarthmore College - Pennsylvania (PA)
  • Transcultural Conference of Unione Académique Internationale/ International Union of Academies (UAI, Bruxelles)

In collaboration with

Centro Culturale Santa Chiara
FABULA. From Antiquity to Modern Times


Provincia Autonoma di Trento
IPRASE – Istituto provinciale per la ricerca e la sperimentazione educativa / Trento