University of Notre Dame

Center for Italian Studies


Seminar: "The Representation of Space in Dante's Commedia and in its Earliest Manuscripts" - Anna Pegoretti (Warwick)

Wed Apr 9, 2014 12:00PM - 1:30PM Calendars: Lectures, Seminars, and Workshops

Public Seminar: "The Representation of Space in Dante's Commedia and in its Earliest Manuscripts" by Anna Pegoretti (Warwick)

Wednesday April 9 at 12pm in the Seminar Room, Special Collections, Hesburgh Libraries

This paper will explore the groundbreaking cosmological setting of Dante’s otherworld and the response of the earlieast readers to it. It will do so through a close comparison between Dante's choices and the most important medieval theories on afterlife. Special attention will be devoted to the liminar position of the mountain of purgatory, and to Ulysses' account of his journey: a new interpretation of the expression "di retro al sol" (Inf. XXVI.117) will be offered. The second part of the paper will be devoted to the long-lasting tradition of diagrams of hell, purgatory and heaven, whose very beginnings are traceable in the earliest manuscripts of the poem. These schemata will be contextualized in the complex and fascinating medieval diagrammatic tradition; finally, their impact on the reception of the Commedia will be investigated.

Please contact Anne Leone at for suggested reading materials.

Anna Pegoretti is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Warwick in the AHRC-funded Project "Dante and Late Medieval Florence: Theology in Poetry, Practice and Society", co-led by the Universities of Leeds and Warwick. Within this project, she is investigating Florentine Mendicant schools and libraries in the age of Dante (1280-1300 c.). Anna graduated from the University of Bologna and took her PhD at the University of Pisa in 2009. She was “Frances A. Yates” short-term fellow at the Warburg Institute in 2010 and British Academy Newton International Fellow at the University of Leeds in 2011 and 2012. Her first monograph, Dal “lito diserto” al giardino: la costruzione del paesaggio nel “Purgatorio” di Dante was published in 2007 by Bononia University Press. Her second one, Indagine su un codice dantesco. La “Commedia” Egerton 943 della British Library, devoted to a prominent 14th century illuminated MS of Dante's Commedia, is forthcoming this year.

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