Dante's Divine Comedy–Purgatory: A Three-Part Course with Dr. Kristin Stasiowski - Context Travel

Dante's Divine Comedy–Purgatory: A Three-Part Course with Dr. Kristin Stasiowski


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Discover why Dante's Divine Comedy has inspired writers and readers for nearly 700 years in this engaging, interdisciplinary discussion of some select canti (sections of poems) from the Purgatorio (Purgatory).

We will delve deep into the fantastical world of Dante's imagined afterlife and discuss his writing not only in its medieval context but also with an eye to its enduring relevance to modern-day readers.

This course is an introduction to Dante and the history of Florence through critical reading and discussion of the Divine Comedy. Close readings of select canti will explore the literary, political, theological, and philosophical concerns of the poem to understand Dante's work within the intellectual and social context of the Middle Ages.

Some of the central topics of the course will include Dante’s relationship to Florence, his relationship to the people he encounters, and the unique aspects of his vision of the afterlife, including a variety of thematic concerns such as Dante’s understanding of poetry, grace, love, and divine justice. We will also discuss how the Divine Comedy offers an enduring message for today.

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 the second volume 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.

Lecture 1: The Mountain of Purgatory

This lecture will cover the first few canti of the Purgatorio and offers an introduction to the major themes and issues of the historical and theological idea of Purgatory.

Lecture 2:  The Poetry of Purgation

This lecture will offer an in-depth discussion on the many poets of Dante's Purgatory and the way that art and literature inform the soul.

Lecture 3:  A Ring of Fire: Virgil's Long Goodbye

This lecture will discuss the final canti of the Purgatorio including Virgil's farewell to Dante and Dante's fateful meeting with Beatrice.

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.

How does it work?

This is a three-part series held weekly and hosted on Zoom. Please check the schedule for the specific dates and times for each lecture.

Is there a reading list in advance?

Though the course is open to participants with no background on this topic, there are suggested readings for further investigation. You will receive this soon after course registration.

How long are the lectures?

Each lecture is 90 minutes long with time for Q&A.

How much is the course?

The course is $105 for three lectures.

Is a recording available?

Yes. If you need to miss a lecture, you will be sent a recording after the event.

This course is not suitable for children under age 16

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
83%
(5)
17%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
W
W.T.
Excellent Class

A superb class, given by a knowledgeable, enthusiastic, charming expert on Dante's great work.

D
D.K.
Jumping into Dante

For a novice in the worlds of the Divine Comedy, jumping in Kristin was challenging but rewarding. The connections she drew to the Inferno (part of a separate course) were very useful. I am glad I can go back and replay the session - there was so much to absorb and pause to think about.

S
S.M.

This is my first introduction to Dante. I was overwhelmed by Dr, Stasiowski's knowledge and the amount of material she presented. As a librarian, I am eager to have a chance to learn whatever she has to say.

K
K.H.

Dr. Stasiowski is brilliant!!! I have taken many courses on Dante over the years, but she is the best of the best!!! The depth of her knowledge and her passion absolutely take my breath away!!! Never a pause or an "um". I can hardly wait for her lecture next week. I would highly recommend any and all of the presentations that she does with Context.

M
M.R.

Brilliant and inspirational, challenging and very rewarding. She treats her students like the adults we are. I love she goes over the text so closely which especially important with Dante. She gives so much of herself in her presentation.

Customer Reviews

Based on 6 reviews
83%
(5)
17%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
W
W.T.
Excellent Class

A superb class, given by a knowledgeable, enthusiastic, charming expert on Dante's great work.

D
D.K.
Jumping into Dante

For a novice in the worlds of the Divine Comedy, jumping in Kristin was challenging but rewarding. The connections she drew to the Inferno (part of a separate course) were very useful. I am glad I can go back and replay the session - there was so much to absorb and pause to think about.

S
S.M.

This is my first introduction to Dante. I was overwhelmed by Dr, Stasiowski's knowledge and the amount of material she presented. As a librarian, I am eager to have a chance to learn whatever she has to say.

K
K.H.

Dr. Stasiowski is brilliant!!! I have taken many courses on Dante over the years, but she is the best of the best!!! The depth of her knowledge and her passion absolutely take my breath away!!! Never a pause or an "um". I can hardly wait for her lecture next week. I would highly recommend any and all of the presentations that she does with Context.

M
M.R.

Brilliant and inspirational, challenging and very rewarding. She treats her students like the adults we are. I love she goes over the text so closely which especially important with Dante. She gives so much of herself in her presentation.