Project Paradiso: A Gateway to Dante’s Heaven

Filippo Gianferrari
UC Santa Cruz

This lunchtime webinar series will offer an accessible reader’s guide to the third canticle of Dante’s Commedia, Paradiso. The Paradiso is the least studied, taught, and understood of the three parts of the Commedia, and yet it is arguably the most remarkable, both because of the dynamism and originality of its literary, theological, and philosophical inquiries. It is also a singularly important gateway to the poet’s personal experience as an exile, which, I argue, is at the core of his daring experimentalism and desire to reform his contemporary political reality to build a more just and peaceful human society. There is currently no work that sees as its primary audience those coming to the Paradiso for the first time, and those who teach them. The scholars involved in the project bring a wide spectrum of different disciplinary perspectives, and a wealth of pedagogical experience. I see this webinar series as digital support for a Dante course, as well as a project with a strong public humanities profile. This project also seeks to make the study of the Paradiso more inclusive toward non-Western readers. The webinar series will provide the basis for an edited textbook to be published by Routledge.