Teaching Dante

Samford University
Birmingham, AL • October 25-27, 2018

In a 1921 encyclical marking the 600th anniversary of Dante’s death, Pope Benedict XV praised the great Florentine poet as “that noble figure, pride and glory of humanity.” Few writers have shaped the Christian intellectual tradition and imagination more than Dante, this noble figure whose work stands between two worlds, embodying the creative genius of the Middle Ages while anticipating and shaping the Renaissance to come. “Teaching Dante” will bring together more than thirty scholars from across the disciplines to explore effective strategies for introducing a new generation of students to Dante’s achievement and influence.

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Plenary Speaker

Albert Ascoli

Albert Ascoli

Albert Russell Ascoli is Gladyce Arata Terrill Distinguished Professor of Italian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and currently serves as President of the Dante Society of America. He is the author of three books—Ariosto’s Bitter Harmony (1987); Dante and the Making of a Modern Author (2008) and A Local Habitation and a Name: Imagining Histories in the Italian Renaissance (2011)—as well as numerous essays and several co-edited books and journal issues, including, most recently, The Cambridge Companion to Petrarch (with Unn Falkeid, 2015). He has held a number of fellowships, including the NEH-Mellon Rome Prize at the American Academy in Rome (2004-2005), and he was recently elected “membro straniero” of the Academy of the Istituto Lombardo. His current research project is a study of the problem of fede (faith) as promise and belief in the early modern period.

Theodore J. Cachey, Jr.

Theodore J. Cachey Jr.

Theodore J. Cachey Jr.is a Professor of Italian and the Albert J. and Helen M. Ravarino Family Director of Dante and Italian Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He earned his B.A. from Northwestern University and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. Professor Cachey specializes in Italian Medieval and Renaissance literature, in particular Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio, the history of the Italian language, and the literature and history of travel. He has authored or edited several books, including Le isole fortunate; appunti di storia letteraria italiana (1994); Pigafetta’s First Voyage Around the World (1995; 2nd revised edition, 2007); Dante Now: Current Trends in Dante Studies (1995); Petrarch’s Guide to the Holy Land (2002), Le culture di Dante (2004), and Dante and Petrarch: Anti-dantism.


The conference fee is $125 for faculty and $50 for graduate students. Three meals are provided (an opening plenary dinner and lunches on Friday and Saturday), as well as light breakfast provisions and transportation to and from the conference hotel.


Conference Hotel

A special rate of $149 per night is available for participants at the Aloft Hotel in downtown Homewood. Please reserve rooms before September 24.


Conference proceedings will be published in Religions, a peer-reviewed, open access journal devoted to the interdisciplinary study of religions. The proceedings will appear as both a special issue of the journal and a printed volume, and all participants are invited to submit.

Conference Co-Directors

Bryan Johnson, Director of the University Fellows Program
Chris Metress, University Professor

Conference Coordinator

Will Featherstone (Samford University Fellow and Political Science Major)

For more information on our 2014 and 2016 conferences, please visit “Augustine Across the Curriculum” and “Teaching the Reformations.”

For more information on all of our Teaching the Christian Intellectual Tradition events, publications, and partnerships, please visit the TCIT homepage.