Each year, thanks to the Albert J. and Helen M. Ravarino Family Endowment for Excellence, the Center for Italian Studies sponsors a public lecture by a distinguished scholar of Italian Studies.
In 2021, the lecture will be delivered by Peter S. Hawkins, Professor of Religion and Literature at the Yale Divinity School, and will concern the question of Dante and religious culture in the United States and will be a part of the events planned in commemoration of the 700th anniversary of Dante's death.
Past lectures have been:
1. Lino Pertile, Harvard College Professor and Carl A. Pescosolido Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, Emeritus, Harvard University, on "Uses and Abuses of Intelligence from Dante to Machiavelli" (2017);
2. Abigail Brundin, Reader in Early Modern Literature and Culture and Fellow of St Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge, on "Hidden Spaces, Private Lives: Getting Inside the Italian Renaissance Home" (2018);
3. Lucia Re, Professor of Italian and Gender Studies, UCLA, on "Ulysses or Penelope? Women Writers Rethink the Mediterranean" (2019).
4. In 2020, the Ravarino lecture was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
5. Peter S. Hawkins, Professor of Religion and Literature, Yale Divinity School, Yale University, on "'Nel mezzo del cammin': Finding a 'Spiritual' Dante in American Religious Culture" (2021);
6. William Caferro, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of History and Professor of Classical and Mediterranean Studies, Vanderbilt University (2022).