CO.AS.IT. is proud to invite you to the 3MBS Dante700 Festival, a musical-artistic-literary tour de force across the inspiration provided by the work of Dante Alighieri for over seven centuries. As event partners of the Festival’s lecture series, we, together with the Dante Alighieri Society of Melbourne, look forward to welcoming you to the four talks that will take place at CO.AS.IT.
The 3MBS Dante700 Festival celebrates the 700th anniversary of Dante Alighieri’s death. The festival is curated by 3MBS presenters, Margot Costanzo and Karen van Spall and commemorates the poet’s legacy through a lecture series, a broadcast festival, live performances and an Illumination’s streamed audio documentary series.
The 3MBS Dante700 Festival offers something for everyone:
  • For the curious or the informed Italophile, a lecture series, Out of Exile explores the Divine Comedy, Dante’s poetic achievements and the art that it inspired.
  • For regular 3MBS listeners and new listeners, a broadcast festival from 13 September to 20 September 2021 will feature live-to-air performances and interviews from the curators and presenters of the Out of Exile series.
  • For live-music lovers, live performances of work inspired by the Divine Comedy will feature in a program called The Love that Moved the Stars during September.
  • For anyone in the world, the opportunity to listen at your leisure to the whole 10 hours of the Dante in Music series, presented by Margot Costanzo and technically produced by Karen van Spall, streamed from the 3MBS Dante700 Festival.

Full information about the 3MBS Dante700 Festival is available on the Festival website, here.

Margot Costanzo, Why Should the General Reader Care about Dante?
Postponed to March 2022. Details forthcoming early next year.
This lecture proposes reasons why the Divine Comedy is surprisingly relevant to the reader’s life today. It adopts Erich Auerbach’s description of Dante as a poet of the secular world, with examples from about fellow poets, the sinner Francesca da Rimini andlife as a political refugee after Dante’s exile. The lecture concludes with a suggestive exploration of Dante’s poetic apprehensions of Paradise as a space/time continuum.
Margot Costanzo with Karen van Spall is the Co-Producer of the 3MBS Illuminations Series Dante in Music which charts the course of the Dante Alighieri journey through to heaven to reveal the music it inspired. She studied the three books of la Commedia as an undergraduate at the University of Melbourne 40 years ago, becoming hooked on the great work and its many translations.
Simon West, The Poetic Beauty of Dante
Postponed to March 2022. Details forthcoming early next year.
Robert Frost once defined poetry as what gets lost in translation. Fortunately this hasn’t discouraged the many translators from Chaucer to Clive James who have grappled with Dante’s poetry. Accompany Simon and Dante’s translators on a journey into the beauty of the language of the Comedy, its rhyme, metre, metaphor, and what Dante called the – the musical and harmonious connections.
Dr Simon West is a poet and an Italianist. He teaches Italian literature including a long running subject called To Hell with Dante and a close reading experience through all three books of the Divine Comedy. His publications on Dante include Squaring the Circle:Dante, Memory and the Project of Writing. His most recent book is a collection of essays entitled Dear Muses: Essays in Poetry (Puncher and Wattman 2019).
Petra Kayser and Anna Welch, The Dante Collection from the National Gallery of Victoria and the Holdings from the State Library of Victoria
Postponed to March 2022. Details forthcoming early next year.
The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) and State Library Victoria (SLV) have rich holdings of material related to Dante in their collections. In this lecture, Petra Kayser will discuss the world-renowned watercolours by William Blake in the NGV collection, and Anna Welch will take us through some of the highlights of the SLV collection, from 16th-century Italian editions to contemporary Australian artists’ books by artists such as Bruno Leti, Peter Lyssiostis, Angela Cavalieri and Alex Selenitsch, with a special feature on the exciting recent acquisition of Tom Phillips’ Inferno.
Dr Petra Kayser is Curator of Prints and Drawings at the NGV. Her special interests include the production, iconography and reception of German Renaissance art, and the cultural history of early modern prints. She has curated and co-curated numerous exhibitions, including Goya: Drawings from the Prado Museum (2021), The Four Horsemen: Apocalypse, Death and Disaster (2012) and The Satirical Eye: Comedy and Critique from Hogarth to Daumier (2009).
Dr Anna Welch is Senior Librarian of History of the Book & Arts at State Library Victoria. She is co-curator of the library’s World of the Book exhibition, which this year features a special focus on Dante, including prints on loan from the NGV collection. Anna has researched and published across a number of interests, including book history, medieval manuscripts, early printing, and medieval Italian culture.
Diana Glenn, The Women of the Divine Comedy
Postponed to March 2022. Details forthcoming early next year.
Over the centuries, the female figures in the Commedia, with the exception of Beatrice, have often been represented as marginal to the role of the male figures. In reality, Dante removes women from the margins and grants them singular agency and voice. Through its nuanced portrayal of female characters, their role, function and ambits of activity, the Commedia incorporates traditional and contemporary images of women who speak of their personal lives, with some incorporating narratives of historical specificity. The characters include pagan, biblical, historical, literary and contemporary figures.
Professor Diana Glenn is currently National Head of the School of Arts at the Australian Catholic University. She is the author of Dante’s Reforming Mission and Women in the Comedy (2008) and has published numerous scholarly articles nationally and internationally. She has jointly edited the volumes, Dante Colloquia in Australia (1982–1999) in 2000, Flinders Dante Conferences 2002 & 2004 (2005), Imagining Home: Migrants and the Search for a New Belonging (2011), The Shadow of the Precursor (2012), ‘Legato con amore in un volume’: Essays in Honour of John A. Scott (2013), and with Graham Tulloch, Border Crossings (2016) and Italian Identities (2020).