Italian Language and Literature

Two Saints, Two Levels of Admiration: St. Francis and St. Dominic in the Divine Comedy – May 5

Friday, May 5th, 2023 – 6:30pm
San Francisco Italian Athletic Club
1630 Stockton Street San Francisco, CA 94133

A lecture by 2022 Leonardo Award winner Donatella D’Aguanno (Stanford University). Presented by Prof. Elisabetta Nelsen.

Brought to you by The Leonardo da Vinci Society in collaboration with ISSNAF and San Francisco-Assisi sister cities

Donatella D’Aguanno, winner of the Leonardo Award 2022 for the Humanities, was born in Italy. She studied in Italy and Spain and taught Italian in Spain, Spanish in England, and Italian at the Dante Alighieri Society in Quito, Ecuador. In 2013 she moved to the US, earning an MA in English at Youngtown State University. After that, she earned an MA in Italian at the University of Pittsburgh. Currently, she is a Ph.D. candidate in Italian at Stanford University under the supervision of Prof Robert Harrison and Prof Sarah Prodan. At Stanford, she is also serving as the Event Coordinator of the Center of Medieval and Early Modern Studies.

Her lecture will focus on Dante’s spiritual vision based on faith, love, and intellect. Within the Commedia, these three elements are represented by the two major founders of two respective Medieval religious orders: Saint Francis and Saint Dominic.
While focusing in particular on Cantos XI and XII of Dante’s “Paradiso,” D’Aguanno will show that Saint Francis is not only considered an example of humility and devotion but also the ultimate model to which Dante, the worshippers, as well as the entire Church, must look to save themselves and regenerate.