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Project Paradiso: A Gateway to Dante’s Heaven – Episode Five – The Sun (Paradiso 10–13) and The Body of Knowledge (Paradiso 14)

December 22 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 am  |  Virtual Event


Dante’s Paradiso is the least studied and the least understood of the three parts of the Commedia. Yet it is arguably the most important for the dynamism and originality of the literary, theological, and philosophical inquiries that take place there. It is also a singularly important interpretive guide for a full understanding of the entire Commedia. It is a poem that asks to be tackled by a community of engaged readers: here it’s your opportunity! This year-long series of webinar workshops led by world-renowned scholars will take you on a deep reading of the Paradiso and an unforgettable journey to the heart of Dante’s universe. This virtual series will reward both first-time and expert readers of the Commedia with an opportunity to delve deep into one of the most complex and daring speculative poems ever written. We’ll be meeting online almost every other week from October to May. See the Project Paradiso page for full schedule.


Filippo Gianferrari is originally from Modena, Italy. He has received a BA and MA in Letteratura italiana from the Università degli Studi di Bologna, and a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from the University of Notre Dame. After completing his Ph.D., he taught at Vassar College and Smith College. He has been part of the Literature Department at UCSC since 2019. He works on Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio, lay education, and political theology in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. He is interested in the ways literature and education (particularly literacy) intersect with and inform each other. He has published mostly on the topic of Dante’s intellectual formation and he has completed a monograph titled “Dante’s Education: Latin Schoolbooks and Vernacular Poetics.” The book investigates Dante’s debts to his earliest school readings and his critical stance toward contemporary education. His attention is now devoted to the study of vernacular theories and visions of political charity and eschatology.

Ron Herzman is Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus at the State University of New York, Geneseo. In addition to Geneseo, where he continues to teach Dante, he has taught Dante at Georgetown University, St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New York University, Regis High School, and Attica Correctional Facility. He has directed eighteen Summer Seminars for Schoolteachers through the National Endowment for the Humanities, twelve of which were on Dante in Italy. With his colleague Bill Cook, he teaches the Divine Comedy through a twenty- four-lecture course available through the Great Courses series produced by The Teaching Company. Together with Cook, he was the recipient of the first CARA Award for Excellence in Teaching Medieval Studies from the Medieval Academy of America. He has written over fifty articles and reviews on Dante, with emphasis on Dante and the Franciscans, and on Dante and the visual arts. The Medieval World View (Oxford University Press, with Bill Cook), now in its third edition, has been in print since 1984. With Richard Emmerson, he is the author of The Apocalyptic Tradition in Medieval Literature (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1994)


December 22
9:00 am - 10:30 am