Academic Programming

The Devers Program offers a wide range of academic programs and interdisciplinary research initiatives on Dante, in particular in the areas of Medieval and Italian Studies at Notre Dame, through the sponsorship and organization of events that take place at local and international venues.



Devers conferences draw together Dante scholars and students from many different universities and centers around the world to address vital topics in the field of Dante studies. 

The Devers Program sponsors an annual conference at Notre Dame's Rome Global Gateway. This year's conference, to which a number of prominent Dante scholars from Italy, the UK, Germany and the US have been invited, focuses on Dante's Paradiso and will take place on 19-20 May, 2016.

Past conferences are listed in the conference archive, and upcoming conferences are listed on the conference events page.


The Devers Program offers seminars that promote and further the study of Dante through collaborative learning among students and faculty and by stressing interconnections among different fields of study. Upcoming seminars are listed on the seminar events page, and past seminars may be found on the calendar archive.


The Program sponsors lectures that bring leading Dante scholars and students together to discuss emerging issues in Dante and Italian Studies. Upcoming lectures are listed on the lectures events page, and past lectures may be found on the calendar archive.

Projects and Collaborations

By partnering with international institutions and scholars, the Devers Program holds a variety of colloquia, workshops, and exhibits focusing on a variety of topics and issues related to Dante and Italian Studies. Our goal is to establish long-term institutional relationships within which research projects and exchanges of faculty and graduate students can be developed in a meaningful and enduring manner. The Devers Program connects and supports various initiatives and collaborative research projects with faculty in leading universities, academies and research centers in Italy, the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

Opera del vocabolario italiano

The TLIO is a historical dictionary of the Italian language before 1375. Since June 2008 several members of the Notre Dame community, with support from the Devers Program, have been conducting research on early Italian texts and writing entries for the TLIO dictionary. Please see the collaborations page of the Italian Studies website for further information about the OVI project as well as a list of entries written by Notre Dame faculty and students.

Notre Dame's Rome Global Gateway

The Devers Program at Notre Dame sponsors an annual conference at Notre Dame's Rome Global Gateway. This year's conference, to which a number of prominent Dante scholars from Italy, the UK, Germany and the US have been invited, focuses on Dante's Paradiso and will take place on 19-20 May, 2016.

University of Leeds and University of Warwick

The University of Notre Dame has a privileged relationship with the Department of Italian in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Leeds (UK).  The Department is home to The Leeds Centre for Dante Studies, which promotes the study of Dante from a variety of disciplinary and methodological perspectives.

A new initiative was begun in 2014-15, which will continue throughout 2015-16: a research collaboration between Notre Dame and the AHRC-funded Project “Dante and Late Medieval Florence: Theology in Poetry, Practice and Society,” which is co-led by the Universities of Leeds and Warwick. In September 2014, a workshop was held at Notre Dame to introduce scholars here to the project being undertaken at Leeds and Warwick. In 2015-16, Notre Dame will develop its own related branch of the project which will include the sponsorship of a postdoctoral researcher, Luca Lombardo, who will undertake further research related to the issue of “Dante’s Vernacular Culture.”

University of Cambridge                                                                                                      

Italian Studies at Notre Dame with support of the Devers Program is in the third year of its collaboration with the University of Cambridge: Cambridge Vertical Readings in Dante’s Commedia, a four-year long series of workshops via teleconference investigating collaboratively all 100 cantos of Dante’s most famous work. Scholars and students from the Universities of Cambridge, Leeds and Notre Dame participate in the workshops to collaborate on the project; in 2014-15, scholars at Notre Dame’s Rome Global Gateway joined the discussions. Please see the program of the workshops for further information.

The Graduate Exchange Program, initiated by Zygmunt Barański who joined Notre Dame’s Faculty from Cambridge in 2011, provides the opportunity for graduate students in Italian to forge international ties with prominent scholars in their fields. Each year, one PhD student from Notre Dame and one from the University of Cambridge exchange places for a semester. The first exchange took place in Fall 2011 between Damiano Benvegnù (Notre Dame), who studies animal imagery in Primo Levi, and Beatrice Priest (Cambridge), who studies issues of fertility in Dante. In the Spring of 2013, Sara Troyani (Notre Dame) and Ambrogio Camozzi Pistoja (Cambridge) participated in the exchange. In the Fall of 2014, Courtney Smotherman (Notre Dame) and Helena Phillips-Robins (Cambridge) participated in the exchange. Articles on the program have been published in the newsletter for the College of Arts and Letters, and in the Observer.

Biblioteca Ambrosiana

The Italian Studies Program at Notre Dame has initiated several collaborative projects with the Ambrosiana Library in Milan, one of the most famous libraries of the world and the oldest in Europe. These programs include a joint bibliographic project; a seminar on paleography and the history of the book; support for the digital reproduction of selected manuscripts; and participation by senior Notre Dame scholars in the Ambrosiana research groups. 

Teachers as Scholars

The Devers Program does outreach to the South Bend community with the Teachers as Scholars program, helping to foster collaboration between public and private school teachers and the faculty at the University of Notre Dame.


The Sixth Centenary Festival of Dante

A spotlight exhibit in Rare Books and Special Collections (102 Hesburgh Library) 

Happy Birthday, Dante! In May of 1865, the city of Florence honored the 600th birthday of Dante Alighieri with a lavish three-day festival that included public celebrations of the author's works, concerts, and exhibitions. Our current spotlight exhibit displays some of the literary and commemorative publications released in conjunction with this important festival. The exhibit runs concurrently to the special lecture series "Dante's Other Works" 2015: A Celebration of the 750th Anniversary of Dante’s Birth sponsored by the William & Katherine Devers Program in Dante Studies and Italian Studies at Notre Dame.

The exhibit was curated by Tracy Bergstrom, Curator, Zahm Dante and Early Italian Imprints Collection, and was open to the public through December 18, 2015.

Renaissance Dante in Print

This online exhibition presents Renaissance editions of Dante's Divine Comedy from the John A. Zahm, C.S.C., Dante Collection at the University of Notre Dame, together with selected treasures from The Newberry Library.