President's Showcase

Hannah Raisner

Poster Presentation, Ballroom D
A Comparative Analysis of References to Dante in American, British, and Italian Politics
Supervising Professor: Dr. Elizabeth Coggeshall
Hannah Raisner is a junior studying Political Science and Creative Writing. She first became interested in research through FSU’s Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), where she worked on the site Dante Today, which introduced her to Dante and his works. After Hannah's UROP project she took two of Dr. Coggeshall’s classes about the Divine Comedy, and became interested in how the Divine Comedy and Dante are interpreted in political circles, which inspired her to pursue the IDEA Grant.


The poet Dante Alighieri and his works have long been referenced and utilized in politics worldwide, by both left-wing and right-wing parties in various countries. While scholars have long examined the origin and impact of such references, the work is often focused on a few specific references or one particular party’s use of the poet’s work. This project attempts to make a wider, comparative analysis of references to Dante’s work in politics by surveying political references to the poet in the United States, United Kingdom, and Italy, each of which have been chosen for their famously polarizing political climates and drastic geographic, cultural, and language differences. In this paper, these references will be compared and contrasted in an effort to understand how each nation understands the poet’s work in the context of politics and uses the literature to justify its own policies and practices or condemn those of another party. In studying how these nations use Dante’s works more can be understood about the cultural significance of Dante–– does changing continents and crossing oceans affect how the poet’s work is used? Is it translation into a new language that affects how frequently and in what way the work is used? Is it a deep understanding of the poet and his work in the nation’s culture that changes how references are made? This project attempts to address all of these questions and begin to form an understanding of how the poet’s work moves around the globe in various political climates.

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