Scholars share knowledge of Italian culture with students


Dr. Ruggerio, Dr. Mazzotta and Dr. Ricciardelli in the Kiva.

Alissa Reyes

Three world-renowned experts shared their knowledge of Italian culture and history during the Florence in a Flash event Monday.

Giuseppe Mazzotta, a sterling professor of humanities for Italian at Yale University; Fabrizio Ricciardelli, the director of the Kent State University Florence Center; and Rocky Ruggerio, a professor of early Renaissance architecture, shared information such as how Italian geniuses like Michelangelo and Donatello shaped the world with their expressions of love in art.

Gustav Medicus, an associate professor of art history in the School of Art, was the fourth scholar who was supposed to share “Venice and Venus: Espionage, Intrigue, and Passion in the City of Water,” but was unable to make it to the event due to illness.

The scholars also talked about architecture and espionage throughout the Renaissance period of Italy.

Individually, each scholar shared a presentation on their knowledge of the Italian culture. Mazzotta talked about: “Lust, Love and Lyrical Poetry: Seductive Stanzas of Dante’s Divine Comedy and Boccaccio’s Decameron,”and shared the poem, “Dante Vita Nuova XIX.”

Ricciardelli shared information on “Brunelleschi’s Dome: Architecture and Power in the Renaissance,” and Ruggerio shared a presentation on magnificent masculinity in the art of Italy, such as in Michelangelo’s David statue and the mythical Italian bodies.

The purpose of the event was to get students interested in studying abroad in Florence during their time at Kent State and to share more knowledge of the beauty of the culture.

“This event has so many things that students can learn from this, such as the idea that studying abroad gives them opportunities to push themselves out of their boundaries. Also, to be able to learn about other cultures and their literature, art and history and being able to have the opportunity to experience this in its home place,” said Brad Mueller, a graduate assistant at the Office of International Programs and Education Abroad, who hosted the event.

Toward the end of the event, students were able to ask the scholars questions on the topics that they discussed during their presentations.

The event was made possible by students in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Office of International Programs and Education Abroad.

Alissa Reyes is the international students reporter. Contact her at [email protected]