Global Dialogs

Spring 2024

  • Dr. Jelena Todorović

    Why is the world corrupt? Avarice the Omnipresent Sin in Dante’s Divine Comedy

    January 29, at 12:30 PM. ALC 5104.

    Why is the world corrupt? And how can this corruption be solved? These are the two central questions of one of the world’s greatest literary classics, the Divine Comedy, written by Dante Alighieri some seven hundred years ago. The answer, time and again, is the same for Dante: avarice, that is greed, is the root cause of all corruption. In his unrivaled genius, Dante Alighieri saw very clearly where untampered greed leads: to utter destruction. Not only of the greedy sinner but also of the world around him. The fall of the world of virtue and even that of decent, normal life, begins and ends with greed. This presentation will trace the span of the presence of greed in the Divine Comedy, from its first iteration in Inferno 1, to the last reference to human history and this world in Paradise 30. In examining its various iterations, we will also study what greed does to human psyche and how it ruins individuals as well as communities and even entire societies. We will think together if Dante’s lessons can be applied to our world today and what lessons for our own lives, we could learn from this seven-hundred-years old text. 

    Dr. Jelena Todorović is Associate Professor of Italian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She researches and teaches literature of the Italian Middle Ages, chiefly poetry of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and Dante Alighieri and Giovanni Boccaccio. She also studies text circulation in medieval manuscripts and in the early printed book. Her essays were published in numerous leading journals. She serves as a Council member of the Dante Society of America and as a board member of La rivista di studi danteschi internazionali.

    • Dr. Shu-chin Tsui

      “Ecological and Environmental Turns: (Re)mapping China’s Socioeconomic Landscape through the Lens of Eco-cinema”

      February 13th, at 3:30 PM. Via Zoom (Meeting ID: 849 3379 7202. Passcode: TWzCu4)

      How might we redefine the relationship between nature and culture to go beyond binary oppositions and anthropocentric perspectives? How can we establish interdisciplinary crossings between environmental and cinema studies? How should we reconsider environmental issues as transnational and global interactions? And to what extent can our research and teaching in the humanities help to provide our students with the means to better understand the alarming changes in the world around us?  

      In response to these questions, Ecological and Environmental Turns invites readers to make turns away from an anthropocentric view of the world towards ecological-environmental perspectives. To do so, the manuscript calls for pragmatic turns: specifically, to the environment, the landscape, the material, and the animal world. 

      Dr. Shu-chin Tsui is Bowdoin Professor of Asian Studies and Cinema Studies at Bowdoin College. She is the author of Eco-Environmental Turns: (Re)mapping China’s Sociocultural Landscape through the Lens of Eco-cinema; Gendered Bodies: Toward a Women’s Visual Art in Contemporary China; (En)gendering: Chinese Women’s Art in the Making (editor); Women Through the Lens: Gender and Nation in a Century of Chinese Cinema and extensive list of book chapters and journal articles. Her research and teaching interests extend across interdisciplinary fields, such as film studies, visual culture studies, and environmental documentaries. 


    Fall 2023