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Celebrating Seven Centuries of Dante’s Divine Comedy

Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts > News, Events & More > Celebrating Seven Centuries of Dante’s Divine Comedy

In celebration of the seven hundredth anniversary of Dante Alighieri’s death in September 1321, Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts has dedicated the 2020-2021 academic year to a commemoration of the poet and his masterwork, also completed in 1321.

This yearlong celebration includes formal lectures by faculty and guests, student presentations, performances of scenes and cantos from the poem, and other activities focused around receiving and enjoying Dante’s work. Our anno di Dante is born not only out of shared love for his poem, but also out of a recognition, to which Dante himself bore witness, that communal festivity is the crown of the intellectual life.

Dr. Erik van Versendaal explains why the college is celebrating anno di Dante: “Dante’s masterpiece depicts a vision of creation, history, community, salvation, and beatitude which will never fail to inspire, enlighten, and transform us. The poem rightly stands at the heart of Magdalen’s Humanities curriculum.”

Upcoming events:

Lectures on The Divine Comedy
Dr. Brian FitzGerald and Dr. Erik van Versendaal
February 12, 2021, 1:30-2:45pm

Staged Readings from Dante’s Purgatorio
Student-directed performances of cantos from The Divine Comedy. 
February 26, 2021, 8:00-9:00pm

Lectures on The Divine Comedy
Dr. Mary Mumbach and Dr. Anthony Esolen
March 19, 2021, 1:30-2:45pm

Student Conference
Students will deliver their faculty-nominated papers on The Divine Comedy to their peers.
March 20, 2021, 9:00-10:30am

“San Giovanni Baptistery” Poetry Night
Student recitations of poems by authors read in the curriculum, in honor of Dante.
March 20, 2021, 7:30-9:30pm

Staged Readings from Dante’s Paradiso
Student-directed performances of cantos from The Divine Comedy. 
April 30, 2021, 8:00-9:00pm

These celebratory events are just a snapshot of the academic life at Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts. Learn more about the Academic Program at Magdalen College.

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