RIT’s ‘Viva L’Italia!’ Series Presents ‘Dante’s Politics in Hell’

Professor Joseph Fornieri will discuss the politics of ‘Dante’s Divine Comedy’

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Joseph Fornieri

The Viva L’Italia! lecture and performance series will host a political discussion of Dante’s Divine Comedy, a prominent work of Italian literature.

In “Dante’s Politics in Hell,” political scientist Joseph Fornieri will show how Dante’s political teaching concerning the Holy Roman Empire in De monarchia is reflected in his allegorical depiction of Inferno as 13th century Florentine politics.

The lecture will be held 10–11:50 a.m. March 24 in the College of Liberal Arts auditorium, room A205. The Viva L’Italia! series celebrates the richness of Italian culture and the 150th anniversary of Italy’s unification as a single country on March 17, 1861.

Dante’s Divine Comedy profoundly influenced Italian culture and language as the first great literature written in the vernacular. While primarily thought of as Christian epic poetry, the Divine Comedy is actually a multifaceted work of politics, theology and ethics.

Fornieri, a professor of political science at RIT, is the author of several books on Abraham Lincoln and political thought. His current research is on Mazzini’s political thought and its resonances with American political theory.

For more information about the Viva L’Italia! series, go to www.rit.edu/cla/vivaitalia/index.php.