Seated woman speaking at an FRN event while other attendees listen attentively

To Hell and Back: Dante for Today

The explosion of videos, podcasts, op-ed pieces, articles, and conferences in honor of the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri this year testifies to his astonishing relevance for the present. We will become part of that ongoing conversation by reading and discussing selections from The Divine Comedy, Dante’s spectacular three part journey to the afterlife. We will begin our five day journey by talking about the poem and its importance in general and by suggesting strategies for how best to approach it. For each of the next three sessions we will read selected cantos from the Comedy that foreground the following still very timely topics: Politics and Religion; The Self and the Other; Sex and Gender. We will conclude by giving our own assessment of “Dante for Today,” that is, why and how he still matters.

Seminar Schedule. Seminars run Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with a midday communal lunch. Seminar conveners may adjust the class schedule in response to participant needs. Special events may also be held during the week. Participants are required to attend the full week of seminar meetings and maintain 90% attendance overall.

Seminar Materials. Eligible participants are provided with all required seminar materials (books, articles, laboratory equipment, and entrance fees).

Accommodations & Meals. Limited housing accommodations are provided to participants who live more than 50 miles from the program site. All admitted participants are provided with some meals during the program period.

Application Procedure. Applicants should submit the completed application along with all of the following:

  • A statement of intent that indicates how the seminar participant will apply what is learned at the home institution
  • A current CV
  • A letter of support from either the division dean or department head, who is well-acquainted with the applicant’s area of research
  • Their institutional liaison officer’s approval