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Project Paradiso: A Gateway to Dante’s Heaven – Episode Six – Politics and Prophecy: Past, Present, and Future (Paradiso 15–18)

January 12 @ 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.



The Rev’d Dr Claire Honess is an ordained priest in the Church of England and a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Leeds (UK), where she was until 2021 Professor of Italian Studies. Her research focuses on the intersections between Dante’s political thought, his theological understanding, and his poetic innovation: themes that come together in particularly interesting ways in the canti of Cacciaguida in Paradiso. She is the author of From Florence to the Heavenly City: The Poetry of Citizenship in Dante (Legenda, 2006) and the translator of four of Dante’s political letters (MHRA, 2007) and of numerous articles on related themes. Before her ordination, she taught at the Universities of London, Reading and Leeds, and served as Head of the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies and Dean of the Doctoral College at the latter. She served as Senior Editor of the journal The Italianist, Chair of the Society for Italian Studies, and was a co-founder and co-director of the Leeds Centre for Dante Studies.

Presented by the Humanities Institute and the Department of Literature Italian Studies. Sponsored by the University of California Humanities Research Institute, Siegfried and Elizabeth Mignon Puknat Literary Studies Endowment, and Porter College


January 12
9:00 am - 10:30 am