Divine Adaptations: New Perspectives on Dante's Influence in Popular Culture

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Northeast Modern Language Association (Aril 3-6, 2014)
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In Inferno V, 137 Francesca da Rimini explains to Dante how both book and author are responsible for her and Paolo's 'mal perverso' that led to their ultimate death and eternal damnation. However, further investigation reveals that Francesca's incrimination of the author, in addition to the text of the tale of Lancelot and Guinevere, is a misreading on the part of Francesca. According to Franco Masciandaro, the attempt to recreate the adulterous kiss, "brought about … sterility and death," and in addition, "imitatio, with its potential creativity, was adulterated." Masciandaro's critique of the lovers' misinterpretation and Francesca's distaste of the author both recall early criticism of adaptation theory. This dissatisfaction also includes late 19th century and early 20th century adaptations and performances of Dante's works, specifically the Commedia and stories about the poets' life. The objective of this panel is to analyze the relationship between Dante's text and contemporary representations of the Commedia. This panel aims to reopen the conversation of Dante's influence in popular culture by focusing on the medieval poet's presence in cinema, theatre, and television. Papers addressing theoretical understanding of medievalism, adaptation, performance studies, and popular culture studies are particularly welcomed. Please send 300 word abstracts and brief bio to Carmelo Galati at carmgalati@gmail.com by September 30, 2013.

Deadline: September 30, 2013
Please include with your abstract:
- Name and Affiliation
- Email Address
- A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)