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Dante in the Americas
A Conference at the University of California Los Angeles
Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies

April 7-9, 2011

The literary appropriation of Dante over the last century has been enormous. His influence has been front and center in all major modern literary traditions—from T. S. Eliot to William Butler Yeats, from Albert Camus to Jean-Paul Sartre, from Jorge Luis Borges to Derek Walcott, from Giorgio Bassani to Giuseppe Ungaretti. Why such fascination? What are the textual characteristics of Dante’s Commedia that make it an ideal vehicle for literary appropriation, thereby allowing it to enjoy a sustained cultural afterlife? What, moreover, are the more accidental factors (e.g., taste, world view, political agenda, religious, and mystical convictions) which account for the popularity of Dante—after 300 years of neglect during which the Florentine poet was relegated to the shadows of Petrarch and his works—among artists, novelists, poets, playwrights, and cinematographers? This symposium, co-organized by Professor Massimo Ciavolella (Italian, UCLA), Professor Efraín Kristal (Comparative Literature, UCLA), and Heather Sottong (Italian, UCLA), considers these questions, concentrating on Dante’s influence in North America and especially in Latin America.

This symposium is generously supported by the Ahmanson Foundation, with additional funding provided by the Franklin D. Murphy Chair in Italian Renaissance Studies.

UCLA, Royce Hall 314
4:00 pm Coffee and refreshments
4:30 pm Screening of Dante’s Inferno, a film by Sandow Birk
6:00 pm Q & A with Sandow Birk, chaired by Massimo Ciavolella (UCLA)
6:30 pm Reception
DAY 2: FRIDAY, APRIL 8, 2011
UCLA, Royce Hall 314
9:30 am Coffee and pastries
10:00 am Welcoming Remarks:
Brian Copenhaver, Director, Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies (UCLA)
Massimo Ciavolella, Symposium Co-organizer (UCLA)
10:15 am SESSION I — Chair: Andrew Hiltzik (UCLA)

“Mapping Dante’s Studies in the Americas During the 21st Century”
Rossella Pescatori (El Camino College)

“H.W. Longfellow, Dante, and the Italians: Considerations on the First Fortune of Dante’s Divine Comedy
Marco Veglia (University of Bologna)

“American Francesca: The Tour of a Romantic Myth from Rimini to New York City, 1816-1984”
Ferruccio Farina (University of Urbino)

12:30 pm Lunch Break
1:45 pm SESSION II — Chair: Nancy Silva (UCLA)
English translations are available for the first two papers.

“Irradiazioni di Dante nella letteratura ispanoamericana”
Raffaele Pinto (University of Barcelona)

“Dos Visiones Mexicanas del Inferno: Pedro Páramo de Juan Rulfo y La Gruta del Toscano de Ignacio Padilla”
Dulce María de Zúñiga (University of Guadalajara)

3:15 pm Coffee Break
3:30 pm “The Modern Poetics and Poetry: Dante and Octavio Paz”
Rossend Arqués (Autonomous University of Barcelona)

Purgatorio in Three Latin American Writers: Jorge Luis Borges, Jorge Wiesse, and Tomás Eloy Martínez”
Efraín Kristal (UCLA)

UCLA, Royce Hall 314
9:30 am Coffee and pastries
10:00 am SESSION III — Chair: Brittany Asaro (UCLA)

Dante’s Influence on the Brazilian Novelist Machado de Assis”
Carlos Quicoli (UCLA)

“Dante in Peruvian Narrative: El hablador by Mario Vargas Llosa and El corrido de Dante by Eduardo González Viaña”
Heather Sottong (UCLA)

“Dante’s Journey as Modern Utopia: The Extraordinary Story of Palacio Barolo in Buenos Aires and its Ethnophilological Suggestions”
Francesco Benozzo (University of Bologna)

12:15 pm Closing Remarks

Download the schedule as a PDF (592 kb)

Advance registration is not required. No admission fee. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

UCLA Parking Information
Please use the Self Pay Parking in UCLA Lots 2, 3, and 5. Or visit the Parking Services kiosk at Hilgard and Westholme Avenues. Follow this link for more parking information and maps on the UCLA website.

Need More Information?
Contact the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies
cmrs@humnet.ucla.edu / 310-825-1880


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