The Palio of Siena: Passion, Prayer, and Place with Dr. Kristin Stasiowski

The Palio of Siena: Passion, Prayer, and Place 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.

The Palio of Siena is one of the most historic horse races in the world, yet for many visitors and guests, it is an event whose rituals remain hidden behind a veil of misunderstanding and confusion. Shrouded in mystery and infused with a rich, enduring mythology, the Palio is so much more than a race; to the Sienese, the Siena is an expression of life itself. This seminar will explore the rich historical, cultural, and spiritual contexts of Siena’s oldest horse race.

Led by an expert in Italian literature and culture, Kristin Stasiowski, Ph.D., this interactive seminar will introduce participants to the history, ritual, and culture of Siena as it is expressed through the Palio. We will explore and discuss the medieval foundations of the race; the rivalries and allegiances; the spiritual and religious connection to the Madonna, and much more.

Participants will develop a deep cultural awareness of the way that the identity of Siena is inherently tied to this twice-yearly event and will learn to look beyond the bold colors and bright sights of the race to understand the truly magnificent splendor of Siena’s most precious treasure. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with a nuanced understanding of and appreciation for the historical and cultural appreciation of the Palio of Siena.

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.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 13 reviews
85%
(11)
15%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
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C
Cynthia Futter (Santa Monica, US)
So much fun!!

I absolutely loved this tour. Not only the subject matter, but the enthusiasm and personal experience as a member of a Contrada that Dr. Stasiowski has made this subject and experience absolutely delightful.

K
Karen Ekman-Baur (Ehningen, DE)
Parsing the Palio

Having witnessed the Palio de Siena in August of 1976 from behind the bleachers and looking between the legs of people sitting on those bleachers (because my sister and I hadn't even known that the Palio was going to be going on when we went to Siena), I was excited to find out more about what the distinctive race was all about. Dr. Stasiowski provided comprehensive and entertaining insight into this long-standing Sienese tradition - the good, the bad, and the ugly.

M
Mickey (Youngstown, US)
Wonderful

Great fun! History, insight and boundless energy. Kristin is the best!

A
Anonymous (Asheville, US)
Outstanding Presentation

I didn't want this presentation to end! Dr. Stasiowski's extensive knowledge and her infectious enthusiasm made this one of my favorite Context conversations.

J
Jennifer Esposito (Oak Park, US)
Terrific Virtual Visit to Siena!

We very much enjoyed learning more about the history of the Palio. We visited Siena Nov-2019 & stayed at an apartment facing the Piazza del Campo. Our host shared a bit of 2019 Palio & her contrada came in 2nd place. We could not imagine all the people, it was great to learn & see photos. Cannot wait to visit Siena again one day.

Customer Reviews

Based on 13 reviews
85%
(11)
15%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
C
Cynthia Futter (Santa Monica, US)
So much fun!!

I absolutely loved this tour. Not only the subject matter, but the enthusiasm and personal experience as a member of a Contrada that Dr. Stasiowski has made this subject and experience absolutely delightful.

K
Karen Ekman-Baur (Ehningen, DE)
Parsing the Palio

Having witnessed the Palio de Siena in August of 1976 from behind the bleachers and looking between the legs of people sitting on those bleachers (because my sister and I hadn't even known that the Palio was going to be going on when we went to Siena), I was excited to find out more about what the distinctive race was all about. Dr. Stasiowski provided comprehensive and entertaining insight into this long-standing Sienese tradition - the good, the bad, and the ugly.

M
Mickey (Youngstown, US)
Wonderful

Great fun! History, insight and boundless energy. Kristin is the best!

A
Anonymous (Asheville, US)
Outstanding Presentation

I didn't want this presentation to end! Dr. Stasiowski's extensive knowledge and her infectious enthusiasm made this one of my favorite Context conversations.

J
Jennifer Esposito (Oak Park, US)
Terrific Virtual Visit to Siena!

We very much enjoyed learning more about the history of the Palio. We visited Siena Nov-2019 & stayed at an apartment facing the Piazza del Campo. Our host shared a bit of 2019 Palio & her contrada came in 2nd place. We could not imagine all the people, it was great to learn & see photos. Cannot wait to visit Siena again one day.