Dante's Enduring Influence in Popular Culture with Dr. Kristin Stasiowski

Dante's Enduring Influence in Popular Culture with Dr. Kristin Stasiowski


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Can't make this time? A video recording will be sent to all participants after the seminar.

“You’re a rose, you’re Inferno’s Dante,” sings Ella Fitzgerald in the cover of “You’re the Top” from the 1956 studio album “Ella Fitzgerald Covers the Cole Porter Song Book.” Former US President John F. Kennedy famously stated: “The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality,” about the Divine Comedy. And 20th-century American poet T.S. Eliot remarked “Dante and Shakespeare divide the world between them. There is no third.”

In over 700 years of the Divine Comedy, artists, poets, filmmakers, musicians, politicians, and more have sung the praises of Dante’s epic masterpiece and offered allusions; imitated passages, or devised elaborate—if obscure—meditations on, and in homage to, Italy’s greatest poet. What about Dante’s poem makes it such an important artistic and cultural point of reference for so many people all over the world?

In this seminar, we will explore and discuss Dante’s enduring influence on a wide range of modern and contemporary mediums and disciplines. Whether they be 20th-century poets like T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and William Butler Yeats, or contemporary novelists such as Dan Brown (The Inferno), Jodi Picoult (The Tenth Circle), Nick Toches’ (In the Hand of Dante), and Matthew Pearl (The Dante Club and The Dante Chamber), we will examine how Dante’s poetic moral imagination has inspired generations of writers. We will also take a look at how some filmmakers too have been influenced, like Martin’s Scorsese’s 1991 film “Cape Fear,” Ridley Scott’s 2001 film “Hannibal,” and the recent television hit “American Horror Story.”

Led by an expert in Italian literature and culture, Kristin Stasiowski, Ph.D., this interactive seminar will introduce participants to Dante and the Divine Comedy through an in-depth discussion of popular culture’s adoption and adaptation of this masterpiece of world literature. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the ways that Italian literature presents us with themes still relevant to us today.

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.

Not suitable for children under age 13 (sensitive content).

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 15 reviews
93%
(14)
0%
(0)
7%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
C
C. (Maisons-Laffitte, FR)
Thanks as always for an enlightening seminar !

It is obvious from the audience reaction that Dr. Stasiowski has star appeal as a Context lecturer. I am proud to count myself as one of her devoted groupies, even if I live in an EU timezone and can only watch the videos afterwards. This seminar was a wonderful way to sum up the 5-part Dante course done earlier this year. It would have been an interesting seminar on its own, but it was great to reinforce the messages of the original course. (And now I have a list of modern books and movies to seek out.). Brava !

A
A. (Philadelphia, US)

Dr. Stasiowski is a wonderful presenter -- very well informed, amusing, interesting, and passionate about her subject.

C
C.G. (New York, US)
Excellent

Dr Stasiowski continues to delight with her vision and knowledge of Dante

C
Clyde G Min (Honolulu, US)
Better aware of Dante's Influence in today's world ... who knew!!!

Comfortably engaging presentation that holds your attention. Dr Stasiowski' s well prepared and eloquent discussion is masterful to someone who is not well read in the classics.

M
Monty Blanchard (East Hampton, US)
A most engaging presenter!

Dr S is erudite, engaging and educational. She has a broad range of references and she really helps us understand "what's goin' on." (And a good sense of humor!) She picks great art to emphasize her points, while at the same time giving us the text onscreen so we can follow the intellectual points. I'll look for her seminars in the future!

Customer Reviews

Based on 15 reviews
93%
(14)
0%
(0)
7%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
C
C. (Maisons-Laffitte, FR)
Thanks as always for an enlightening seminar !

It is obvious from the audience reaction that Dr. Stasiowski has star appeal as a Context lecturer. I am proud to count myself as one of her devoted groupies, even if I live in an EU timezone and can only watch the videos afterwards. This seminar was a wonderful way to sum up the 5-part Dante course done earlier this year. It would have been an interesting seminar on its own, but it was great to reinforce the messages of the original course. (And now I have a list of modern books and movies to seek out.). Brava !

A
A. (Philadelphia, US)

Dr. Stasiowski is a wonderful presenter -- very well informed, amusing, interesting, and passionate about her subject.

C
C.G. (New York, US)
Excellent

Dr Stasiowski continues to delight with her vision and knowledge of Dante

C
Clyde G Min (Honolulu, US)
Better aware of Dante's Influence in today's world ... who knew!!!

Comfortably engaging presentation that holds your attention. Dr Stasiowski' s well prepared and eloquent discussion is masterful to someone who is not well read in the classics.

M
Monty Blanchard (East Hampton, US)
A most engaging presenter!

Dr S is erudite, engaging and educational. She has a broad range of references and she really helps us understand "what's goin' on." (And a good sense of humor!) She picks great art to emphasize her points, while at the same time giving us the text onscreen so we can follow the intellectual points. I'll look for her seminars in the future!