2 – 4 Apr 2009

Dante's Plurilingualism

Authority, Vulgarization, Subjectivity

Already in 1929 Erich Auerbach highlighted the innovative character of Dante’s oeuvre which, in contrast with its traditional interpretation as the culmination and summa of a medieval Weltanschauung, he associated with a modern representation of the human being in its individuality and historical reality. This conference gathered scholars from different disciplines (literary studies, history, linguistics, philosophy, queer theory, theatre) to discuss the role that language plays for Dante. In particular, the question with which this conference engaged is to what extent Dante’s linguistic theory and praxis, which can be understood in terms of a strenuous defense of the vernacular language, in tension with the prestige of Latin, both informs and reflects a new constellation of  authority, knowledge and identity, which is imbued with a significant element of subjectivity and opens up towards modernity. The conference also included a dialogue with Giorgio Pressburger on his recent Nel regno oscuro and a performance based on Dante and Pasolini.


ICI Berlin
(Click for further documentation)


Albert Russell Ascoli
Zygmunt Baranski
Emma Bond
Gary Cestaro
Sara Fortuna
Stefano Gensini
Carlo Ginzburg
Manuele Gragnolati
Agnese Grieco
Ruedi Imbach
Giulio Lepschy
Laura Lepschy
Elena Lombardi
Lino Pertile
Irène Rosier-Catach
Francesca Southerden
Mirko Tavoni

Organized by

Sara Fortuna
Manuele Gragnolati
Jürgen Trabant
Generously funded by the Volkswagen Stiftung

In English

First published on:
Rights: © ICI Berlin
Cite as: Dante’s Plurilingualism: Authority, Vulgarization, Subjectivity, conference, ICI Berlin, 2–4 April 2009 <>