Research Seminar & Book Launch

2 Dec 2016
Research Seminar & Book Launch

Florentinus et exul inmeritus: Dante as Prophet’  Professor Claire Honess, University of Leeds.

Friday, 9 December 2016, 4.00 pm, ORB 1.24


Department of Italian, School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Research Seminar & Book Launch

Florentinus et exul inmeritus: Dante as Prophet’

Professor Claire Honess, University of Leeds

Friday, 9 December 2016, 4.00 pm, ORB 1.24


There are any number of ‘classic’ images which evoke Italy: the Coliseum, the Grand Canal, the Leaning Tower of Pisa; the Vespa, the Cinquecento; pizza, spaghetti and ice-cream.  Alongside these stands the image of a man, inevitably shown in profile, with a hooked nose and gloomy expression, wearing a while coif and pinkish cap, often topped with a laurel wreath.  Anachronistically, but inescapably, the image of Dante has come to stand as one of the images of Italy.  This paper will explore the way in which Dante’s own self-presentation as a prophet (understood in a political as well as a religious sense) following his exile from Florence, both characterised his ongoing long-distance relationship with his home-town and set him up to stand as the avant-la-lettre poster boy for an Italian identity that he himself would not have recognised, in the Risorgimento and beyond.

Bio: Claire Honess is Dean of Postgraduate Research Studies and Professor of Italian Studies at the University of Leeds.  Her doctoral degree at the University of Reading concerned the image of the city in Dante's writing and Dante is still her main area of research interest. Her book, From Florence to the Heavenly City: The Poetry of Citizenship in Dante, appeared in 2006; she has a continuing interest in medieval political poetry and, in particular, in the way in which Dante uses political ideas and imagery. She has translated four of Dante's Latin letters on political themes into English. She has also written and taught on modern Italian authors, including Elio Vittorini and Primo Levi.

After the talk, at 5.00 pm, in An Seomra Caidrimh, O’Rahilly Building, Dr Clodagh Brook (University of Birmingham) will officially launch:

Identity and Conflict in Tuscany (Firenze University Press, 2015), edited by Silvia Ross and Claire Honess

This book is the result of a project entitled ‘Identity and Conflict in Tuscany,’ sponsored in part by the UCC Strategic Research Fund. For more information on the volume see:…/identity-and-conflict-in-tusc…/2953



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