UCI Center for the Study of Early Cultures
Guest Speaker
Akash Kumar
UC Berkeley
Island Time: Dante’s Purgatory and Archipelagic Thought

This talk will consider Dante’s Purgatory through the lens of Édouard Glissant’s archipelagic thought and how such a perspective might ask us to see Dante’s island as resonating in particular ways with Caribbean voices such as Derek Walcott and Lorna Goodison. By drawing attention to the island as a space of cultural intermingling, reframing justice, and new forms of identity construction, we can appreciate both Dante’s world creation in its historical moment and the global reception of his island voice that asks us to continue the work of thinking archipelagically, transforming the way we relate one land to another, one part of the world to the next.

October 27, 2023, 3pm
Humanities Gateway 1010
Light Refreshments


BurkPurg w surfboard and suv

Akash Kumar is Assistant Professor of Italian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on medieval Italian literature through the lens of Mediterranean and global culture, from the history of science to the origins of popular phenomena such as the game of chess. Recent work on a global Dante has appeared in the volume Migrants Shaping Europe, Past and Present (Manchester UP, 2022), MLN (2022), and the Blackwell Companion to World Literature (2020). Akash also serves as Editor of Dante Notes, the digital publication of the Dante Society of America.

All images by Sandal Birk