How does Dante speak to us today? And why are we still listening? This postgraduate/early-career
conference, marking the seven hundredth anniversary of Dante’s death in 1321, will examine how
Dante’s works, despite their cultural, linguistic, and historical remoteness, continue to reach us in new
and unexpected ways. Dante has been an iconic figure from his time to the present day; ‘Dante’s
Afterlives’ will therefore explore how Dante’s works, filtered through a variety of forms and contexts, have
produced multiple interpretations (and misinterpretations). Rather than seeing the vast cultural diffusion of
Dante’s works (principally the Commedia) as an interpretive obstacle to be overcome, this conference will
take a step back, focusing instead on how this process has shaped (and continues to shape) the everincreasing
ways in which Dante speaks to us today.
The 2021 anniversary offers a perfect opportunity for considering such issues. By acknowledging and
exploring the processes of mediation which stand between Dante’s time and our own, we can gain a
better understanding of the historical contingency of Dante’s works. Furthermore, such a self-reflective
approach will be useful for understanding how misunderstandings, (mis)representations, scholarly trends,
and cross-cultural transformations all play a role in constructing the various ‘Dantes’ which have emerged
over the centuries.
‘Dante’s Afterlives’ will provide an opportunity for postgraduate and early-career researchers to explore
these very pertinent questions and to reflect on how such issues relate to teaching and public
engagement. Furthermore, ‘Dante’s Afterlives’ will open up productive dialogues between postgraduate
and early-career researchers working on Dante across different institutions in the British Isles and will
provide opportunities for networking and future collaboration.
Potential paper topics will include but are not limited to:
• Representations (and misrepresentations) of Dante in popular culture
• The material transmission of Dante’s texts
• Translations and publication across borders
• (Mis)understanding Dante’s language
• Dante’s afterlives across different media (art, literature, music, cinema, etc.)
• Trends in Dante scholarship and their broader impact
• The mythologising and monumentalisation of Dante and his works
• Historicizing Dante’s lived experience
• Dante and the pandemic
• Pedagogy and public engagement
The conference will be held online and consist of six panels of three papers each, followed by discussion
with invited respondents. Please send submissions of no more than 300 words to: by 15 January 2021.
Organisers: Carmen Costanza, Caroline Dormor, Lachlan Hughes, Elisabeth Trischler
Sponsors: The Leeds Centre for Dante Studies and The Institute for Medieval Studies, University
of Leeds
Funded by: AHC Faculty Interdisciplinary Research Support Award, University of Leeds
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