Published on October 2, 2018 by Sean Flynt  
Albert Russell Ascoli and Theodore J. Cachey, Jr.
Albert Russell Ascoli and Theodore J. Cachey, Jr.

Samford University will host two distinguished scholars of the medieval Italian poet Dante Alighieri as part of the university’s third biennial Teaching the Christian Intellectual Tradition (TCIT) Conference: Teaching Dante Oct. 25-27.

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., is 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 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, Pigafetta’s First Voyage Around the World, Dante Now: Current Trends in Dante Studies, Petrarch’s Guide to the Holy Land, Le culture di Dante and Dante and Petrarch: Anti-dantism.

Cachey’s lecture "Mapping Hell" is free and open to the public Oct. 26 at 4 p.m. in Reid Chapel.

Under the leadership of the University Fellows Program, and in partnership with local and national organizations, the TCIT project seeks to promote a national conversation about the place of the Christian intellectual tradition in higher education. In particular, it seeks to help faculty from across the disciplines to develop effective strategies for teaching this tradition, cultivating younger scholars who are still mastering their craft while providing opportunities for more experienced faculty to explore new pedagogies. Since its inception in 2014, the TCIT project has supported the work of faculty from more than 50 institutions.

For the 2018 conference, University Fellows has partnered with Samford’s Howard College of Arts and Sciences, Core Texts program, School of the Arts and The Frances Marlin Mann Center for Ethics and Leadership.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.