Wonder begins with difference

Chiara T. Ricciardone is an interdisciplinary scholar and writer.

She is currently a PhD candidate in Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley. This year she holds the Frank E. Ratliff Fellowship in Classical Antiquity.

At the core, Ricciardone's work is motivated by the question of how humans individually and collectively navigate difference. When does difference inspire wonder, and when does it engender discomfort and fear?

Ricciardone's dissertation, Disease and Difference in Three Platonic Dialogues, develops a theory of difference out of Plato's images of disease. Drawing on research in Rhetoric, Classics, Philosophy, and Ancient Medicine, she argues that Plato's metaphors of disease in Gorgias, Phaedo, and Timaeus force his readers to confront uncomfortable differences – whether in the city, psyche, body, cosmos, or argument – which help transform them into philosophical thinkers.

Ricciardone's work is influenced by her upbringing in the Middle East as the daughter of a U.S. Ambassador, and especially by the wave of protests that began there in 2011. In 2012, she co-founded Boutique Activist Consultancy to apply her philosophical insights and rhetorical expertise to understanding and sparking social democracy movements.

Chiara Ricciardone will complete her PhD in Rhetoric with the designated emphasis in Critical Theory from UC Berkeley in 2017.

Read some of Ricciardone's scholarly work here

Email thyme@berkeley.edu or talk on Twitter