CfP: "Dante and the Sciences of the Human" PSMEMM

Dante and the Sciences of the Human: Medicine, Physics, Soul

Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting, March 30 – 2 April 2022 

In October 2021, the Center for the Study of Medicine and the Body in the Renaissance (CSMBR) will join the worldwide celebrations for the 700th anniversary of Dante Alighieri’s death (1321–2021) with an international online symposium dedicated to Dante’s poetry and science. Gathering scholars who approach his work and times from interdisciplinary perspectives, the webinar will address how Dante shaped an understanding of the human body and mind, and his relationship with medical and scientific thought in his philosophical and literary production.  


Building on this interdisciplinary event, and sponsored by the Dante Society of America, this panel intends to continue the conversation on Dante’s legacy in the early modern era. The panel will address how Dante shaped an understanding of the human body and mind, and how his solutions had an influence in early modern times. By analyzing Dante’s early modern legacy within medical and scientific thought, this panel aims to reassess the multifaceted reuses of Dante’s philosophical and literary oeuvre. 


We invite papers and ongoing research projects on different disciplinary and methodological perspectives, included but not limited to: 


  • Medieval science and medicine, and their legacy in the early modern debates; 
  • Dante’s approaches to the body/soul problem, and its influence in later discussions; 
  • The reception and influence of Dante’s philosophical prose, especially for questions related to medicine and science; 
  • Vernacular poetry and science between the Middle Ages and the early modern era; 
  • Science, medicine, and literature in the commentary tradition to the Commedia; 
  • Early modern rewritings of Dante, with a focus on medical and scientific questions; 
  • Dante and the visual arts, approaching the body; 
  • Questions of embodiment in the reception of Dante. 


The panel is open to scholars and researchers from various fields and career stages. As per RSA policy, graduate students who are currently working on completing their final degree program will be considered as well, if their materials are directly related to their advanced degree (i.e., not term papers).  


Please send your proposals to Dr. Matteo Pace by June 15th, and in your submission please include: paper title (15-word maximum); abstract (150-word maximum); curriculum vitaePhD or other terminal degree completion date (past or expected).