This opening chapter aims to provide a theoretical introduction that further informs the analyses conducted in subsequent chapters. Divided into three sections, the first summarizes some of the most salient critical proposals related to the emergence of the concept since the last quarter of the 20th century in various academic research fields ranging from engineering social sciences, to the humanities, by manifesting the semantic multiplicity that affects the notion of vulnerability. This is a necessary step to sketch an operational frame in which to contextualize the literary research endeavor of the collection. The second section ponders on the ethical and aesthetic features that make possible the integration of complementary and competing configurations of vulnerability in the production of literary texts and explores the salient elements that place literature as a privileged site of expansion, critical reflection, and challenge of vulnerability both as a universal condition and a particular and specific manifestation in historical, geopolitical, social, and cultural and natural dimensions. Finally, the chapter closes with a brief description of the 11 chapters collected in this book by discussing their organizational logics and their distinct contribution to the volume.