At the VIIth International Congress on Rheology, which was held in Goteborg in 1976, Proceedings were for the first time printed in advance and distributed to all participants at the time of the Congress. Although of course we Italians would be foolish to even try to emulate our Swedish friends as far as efficiency of organization is concerned, we decided at the very beginning that, as far as the Proceedings were concerned, the VIIIth International Congress on Rheology in Naples would follow the standards of time liness set by the Swedish Society of Rheology. This book is the result we have obtained. We wish to acknowledge the cooperation of Plenum Press in producing it within the very tight time schedule available. Every four years, the International Congress on Rheology represents the focal point where all rheologists meet, and the state of the art is brought up to date for everybody interested; the Proceedings represent the written record of these milestones of scientific progress in rheology. We have tried to make use of the traditions of having invited lectures, and of leaving to the organizing committee the freedom to choose the lecturers as they see fit, in order to collect a group of invited lectures which gives as broad as possible a landscape of the state of the art in every relevant area of rheology. The seventeen invited lectures are collected in the first volume of the proceedings.