The ”Vanity” Affair: The Prophecy, Politics, and Passions of Girolamo Savonarola with Dr. Kristin Stasiowski

The ”Vanity” Affair: The Prophecy, Politics, and Passions of Girolamo Savonarola with Dr. Kristin Stasiowski


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Perhaps one of the most engaging, mysterious, and fiery figures of the Italian Renaissance, Girolamo Savonarola’s rigorous critique of Medici excess rocked the very heart of 15th Florentine politics. A charismatic, devout, and unapologetically radical Dominican monk during a time of enormous political upheaval, Savonarola prophesized a return to civic renewal, claimed a future of Christian glory, and praised the destruction of secular art and literature that resulted in the infamous “Bonfire of the Vanities” in which even Boccaccio’s Decameron went up in smoke! Later himself accused of heresy and burned at the stake in the very same piazza as his bonfire, Savonarola’s story captures the spirit of an age of Italian Renaissance intrigue marked by enormous transition, creativity, and political disruption. 

Led by an expert in Italian literature and culture, Kristin Stasiowski, Ph.D., this interactive seminar will introduce participants to the historical figure of Girolamo Savonarola through an in-depth discussion of the intellectual, historical, and political contexts in which he operated and offer a glimpse into the scandalous life and times of one of history’s greatest “influencers.”

Kristin Stasiowski, Ph.D. is the Assistant Dean of International Programs and Education Abroad for the College of Arts and Sciences and is also an Assistant Professor of Italian Language and Literature in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at Kent State University. She received her Ph.D from Yale University in Italian Language and Literature and has taught Italian language, literature, cinema, history and culture in both the United States and Florence, Italy prior to arriving at Kent State. Her current research is on Italian author Clemente Rebora.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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