John Cabot University Participates in Virtual Flashmob in Honor of Dante 

This year, the Italian government launched Dantedì (Dante Day), in preparation for the 700th anniversary of the death of the renowned medieval poet in 2021. Each year on March 25, Italy will lead international celebrations of the author of the Divine Comedy, whom many consider the father of the Italian language.

The first edition of Dantedì occurred at a particularly difficult moment, in the midst of the Covid-19 emergency, so most initiatives were moved online, tagged with #Dantedì and #IoleggoDante (#IreadDante).  Born in Florence in 1265, Dante Alighieri is being embraced as a symbol of Italian culture to unite the country in this challenging time.

John Cabot University Reads DanteThe first Dantedì saw the participation of schools and cultural institutions throughout the world.  Ambassador Umberto Vattani, former Secretary-General of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and President of Venice International University, invited John Cabot University to participate in a virtual flash mob organized by the weekly magazine Panorama. Faculty members of the Departments of English Language and Literature and Modern Languages and Literature were happy to oblige, and came up with a video collaboration. Participating professors were assigned several verses from the first Canto of the Inferno, and asked to record themselves reciting the lines, which each did according to their own style. JCU Webmaster Riccardo Pugliese used his film editing skills to put the finishing touches on the project. Panorama.it published the video on March 31.

“It was both fun and poignant to see everyone’s contribution from our various locations in lockdown, and to connect our voices in celebration of our love of literature,” English professor Shannon Russell said of the collaboration.

“This video is a beautiful and moving tribute to Dante and it shows the uniqueness of John Cabot University,” said JCU President Franco Pavoncello.

Watch “John Cabot University Reads Dante

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