Machiavelli: Ethics, Politics, and Persuasion in The Prince with Dr. Kristin Stasiowski

Machiavelli: Ethics, Politics, and Persuasion in The Prince with Dr. Kristin Stasiowski


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Often seen as divisive, if not downright diabolical, this seminar will introduce participants to the historical, literary, and political contexts of Niccolò Machiavelli, author of The Prince.

The Jesuits labeled him “the devil’s partner in crime,” and Frederick the Great of Prussia called him “a monster” who wished to destroy humanity. His name frequently appears in Shakespeare’s plays to reference nefarious and murderous characters. Vilified and demonized almost immediately after his book’s publication, the very name Machiavelli has divided readers and critics, clerics and kings for centuries: is he evil, or merely pragmatic—or perhaps even good?

Led by an expert in Italian literature and culture, Kristin Stasiowski, Ph.D., this interactive seminar will introduce participants to the historical figure of Niccolò Machiavelli through an in-depth discussion of the context of his seminal work. We will introduce readers to the major themes of The Prince against the backdrop of the historical, political, and philosophical climate of 15th and 16th century Florence to unravel the complex mystery and mythology surrounding this towering figure of Renaissance thought. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of Machiavelli’s complicated genius.

Kristin Stasiowski, Ph.D. is the Assistant Dean of International Programs and Education Abroad for the College of Arts and Sciences and is also an Assistant Professor of Italian Language and Literature in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at Kent State University. She received her Ph.D from Yale University in Italian Language and Literature and has taught Italian language, literature, cinema, history and culture in both the United States and Florence, Italy prior to arriving at Kent State. Her current research is on Italian author Clemente Rebora.

This conversation is not suitable for children under age 16

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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