The Privileged Place of Poetry: Petrarch and Renaissance Humanism with Dr. Kristin Stasiowski

The Privileged Place of Poetry: Petrarch and Renaissance Humanism with Dr. Kristin Stasiowski


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Discover the poetic power and passion of Petrarch in this seminar designed to introduce participants to selected works by one of Italy’s greatest authors.

“You will, perhaps, have heard something about me…” writes Francesco Petrarca in his Letter to Posterity. Indeed Petrarch’s unique place in history has been celebrated by poets, philosophers, and scholars for nearly 700 years. One of the so-called “Three Crowns” of Italian literature alongside Dante and Boccaccio, and considered “the Father of Humanism” for his contribution to the philosophy that ignited the Renaissance, Petrarch has long challenged readers to devote themselves to the ideas and ideals of classical antiquity and the life of the mind. From his celebrated poetry, the Rerum vulgarium fragmenta, to the moral autobiography Il Secretum and beyond, Petrarch’s writing has long been fertile ground from which artists and thinkers have drawn inspiration. Through his work, we have a new understanding of the role of poetry in navigating human affairs and in shaping human lives.

Led by an expert in International Education, Kristin Stasiowski, Ph.D., this seminar will introduce participants to major themes and central issues in a selection of Petrarch’s most famous works including the Canzoniere and Il Secretum. We will discuss his works comparatively within the Italian poetic traditions established by Dante; his friendship with Boccaccio, and the major concerns that led him to an innovative poetic style that prefigured Renaissance humanism.

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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