Envisioning the Afterlife: Dante and the Irish Visionary Tradition



Daragh O'Connell | Lectura Dantis - PURGATORIO X


New Voices in Ireland and the UK

11-12 November 2022
University College Cork

Organised by the Centre for Dante Studies in Ireland (University College Cork) & the Leeds Centre for Dante Studies (University of Leeds): Camilla Bambozzi (Leeds), Elsina Caponetti (UCC), Carmen Costanza (Leeds), Dario Galassini (UCC)


Irish composer and cellist

Inferno solo cello and recorded parts


Professor of Italian at the Università di Bologna

Keynote Lecture 

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Elliot Timothy Murphy’s "Inferno"


Thursday 30 September saw a truly unique event celebrating two outstanding creative responses to Dante: premiere of cellist/ composer Elliot Timothy Murphy’s "Inferno" against the backdrop of Liam Ó Broin’s 100 lithographs inspired by Dante’s “Commedia” in Dublin Castle (See the CDSI’s online version of exhibition here: www.commediadivinaonlineexhibition.com). In attendance, the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins and the Italian Ambassador to Ireland Paolo Serpi. A wonderful evening organised by the OPW. The work of our Centre for Dante Studies in Ireland was roundly recognised at the event. To get a glimpse of the making of Elliot Murphy’s “Inferno” see this 8-minute film by Irish Times journalist John Fleming:

Alma Dante 2021


The CDSI was well represented at the 2021 Congresso Dante Internazionale in Ravenna (15-18 September), with all members participating in various panels, including the specific CDSI roundtable. Centre Director Dr Daragh O’Connell also spoke at the plenary session ‘Gli studi su Dante nel mondo’ (see video from 1.23), detailing the many activities of the CDSI over the course of this ‘anno dantesco’.

An Irish Dante? Precursors to an Irish Afterlife
- Dr Daragh O'Connell


Dante nell'ultimo Caproni: dall'intertesto al macrotesto
- Prof. Paolo Zublena


"La Commedia Divina" - 100 Litographies by Liam O Broin
Online Exhibition Launch


Launch of Centre for Dante Studies in Ireland (1 March 2021)


Ad Astra per Aspera

As a corollary to the series, in 2015  to celebrate Dante’s 750th anniversary of Dante’s birth – in conjunction with Trinity College DublinFriends of the National Gallery and the Italian Cultural Institute – the Department of Italian set up Ad Astra per Aspera a public reading in eleven languages over 3 days of Dante’s Divine Comedy made up of 100 cantos, in the National Gallery (Inferno, Sat 28 November), The Glucksman Gallery, UCC (Purgatorio, Friday 4 December), and Trinity College Chapel (Paradiso, Friday 11 December).

President Michael D. Higgins read the first canto: https://www.irishtimes.com/culture/dante-s-inferno-runs-circles-round-hellish-weather-1.2448185




Inferno Exhibition: Liam Ó Broin

In 2014 the Department of Italian also organized an exhibition in conjunction with the Boole library on a series of lithographs inspired by Dante by the Irish artist Liam Ó Broin. 

Dante’s Inferno (Liam Ó Broin), Boole library, Jan-March, 2014

Video of exhibition:



Members of the Centre have already been at the forefront of ground-breaking collaborative research initiatives with a notable international dimension. These collaborations have further enhanced the Department of Italian’s role in the study of Dante.

Re-reading Dante’s Vita nova

Re-reading Dante’s Vita nova (https://rereadingdantesvitanova.wordpress.com/events/) is a collaborative research project involving researchers from University College London, University College Cork, University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, University of Leeds, University of Notre Dame, University of Oxford, University of Reading, and the University of Warwick. Dr David Bowe is the main organizer of it, and it brought together an international group of scholars at various locations to discuss elements of Dante’s Vita nova. Each ‘Re-reading Dante’s Vita nova’ event focused on a different section of the Vita nova, its contexts, and its implications:

28 April, 2017 – Chapters 1-4, University of Leeds Research Hub

10 November, 2017 – Chapters 5-12, University College London, Institute for Advanced Studies

2 February, 2018 – Chapters 13-18, University of Oxford, Taylor Institution, St. Giles.

27 April, 2018 – Chapters 19-24, University of Bristol

10 September 2018 – Chapters 25-27, University of Reading

7 December 2018 – Chapters 28-34, Selwyn College, University of Cambridge

1 February 2019, Chapters 35-39, University of Warwick

May 16-17 2019, Chapters 40-42, University of Notre Dame, Rome Global Gateway.

The project involved Dr David Bowe, Dr Federica Coluzzi and Dr Daragh O’Connell from UCC, and an edited volume is currently in preparation with University of Notre Dame Press to be published in 2022.

‘Mediating Dante’: A Multidisciplinary Conversation

 ‘Mediating Dante’: A Multidisciplinary Conversation (UCC, 21 June, 2019) 

Organized by Dr David Bowe and Dr Federica Coluzzi, this one-day workshop brought together researchers from fields including Dante Studies, Medieval Studies, Medievalism Studies, Reception Studies, Translation Studies, Visual Culture, and Film Studies to explore the many ways in which the works of Dante have been mediated over the centuries since the completion of his Divine Comedy, how these mediations are anticipated in Dante’s writing, and the impact of these mediations on cultural histories across and beyond Europe.

Speakers from the University of Cambridge, UC Berkeley, NUI Galway, University College London, University of Manchester and the University of Verona attended the event.

A Special Issue of Italian Studies (2022) based on the papers delivered on the day is currently in preparation. (https://mediatingdante.wordpress.com/)

Lectura Dantis Andreapolitana

Members of the Centre are regularly invited to participate at International Dante conferences and Seminars, as the Lectura dantis andreapolitana (http://lecturadantisandreapolitana.wp.st-andrews.ac.uk/).

Lectura Dantis (‘reading of Dante’) is a public reading and explanation of all 100 cantos of Dante’s Divine Comedy canto by canto. Each canto of the Commedia is discussed by a different scholar. Since 2009 the University of St Andrews has hosted a very prestigious series, inviting international scholars from around the world to discuss each canto. Both Dr Daragh O’Connell (3 times) and Dr David Bowe (1 time) have bene invited to speak at the series:


2019 Cork Discovers: Experiencing Dante – To Hell and Back