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Celebrating 700 Years of Dante’s Florence and the Divine Comedy with Kate Bolton-Porciatti and Dr. Kristin Stasiowski
Join two of Context’s most experienced scholar-guides, Kristin Stasiowski and Kate Bolton-Porciatti, for this special event in celebration of the 700th anniversary (1321-2021) of the death of Dante Alighieri, Florence’s beloved literary son and author of the Divine Comedy.
We will meander through the storied streets and alleys of Dante’s Florence, to reveal its medieval treasures (and secret tales) and to introduce learners to the architectural, artistic, and cultural monuments that shaped the poet’s life and the contours of his literary masterpiece. From the Baptistry to the Bargello, from the legendary ‘Dante Stone’ to the Badia Fiorentina, and from the Palazzo Vecchio to Santa Croce, each destination will introduce participants to the places that marked Dante’s life journey and illuminated his imagination.
Partly recorded on location in Florence, this geo-poetical tour will explore the significance of these places to the Tuscan poet and their inherent connection to the Divine Comedy. A mix of readings, commentary, and music will expose learners to the rich and complex intersections between life and art that shaped the man and the myth of Dante Alighieri. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an appreciation for and understanding of Florence as seen through the eyes of Dante and of the poem that shaped the literary destiny of a nation.
About the Experts: Kate Bolton-Porciatti is a professor of Italian cultural history and music at the Istituto Lorenzo de’Medici in Florence, where she teaches BA and MA courses in the humanities. She also lectures at the British Institute, Florence, and at the Chigiana Music Academy in Siena. Kate has published extensively as an academic and a journalist; she is a music critic for BBC Music and a travel writer for The Daily Telegraph, UK. Before moving to Italy permanently in 2005, she was a senior producer and broadcaster for BBC Arts & Classical Music in London and has won prestigious Jerusalem and Sony Awards for her programs. She did her M.Phil. thesis in Italy, exploring the musical culture of early Renaissance Florence.
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 Florence, Italy, and at Kent State. She recently published a chapter entitled A Divine Comedy for All Time: Dante’s Enduring Relevance for the Contemporary Reader in Italian Pop Culture: Media, Product, Imageries. Rome, Italy: Viella Editrice s.r.. Her current research is focused on Dante, Boccaccio, and the modern poet Clemente Rebora.
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.