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Roberto Benigni to be honoured with a Degree Honoris Causa by the University of Malta ...


The Senate and the Council of the University of Malta, on the initiative of the Faculty of Arts, have resolved to confer the honorary degree of Doctor of Literature to the Oscar-winning film director, screenwriter and actor. The conferment of  this degree recognizes not only Benigni’s distinctive exploration of the emotional range possible in cinema, but also the significant contribution to Dante scholarship, to the study of literature and, by extension, to the humanities in general. The degree of Doctor of Literature will be awarded to Benigni in a ceremony which will be held on April 22 at the Jesuits’ Church in Valletta. The oration will be delivered by Dr Gloria Lauri-Lucente, Senior Lecturer in Italian and Comparative Literature and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Arts, and will be followed by the acceptance speech of the Honorary Graduand. The Dean of the Faculty of Arts will be sponsoring.

Much to the delight of the numerous Benigni admirers among the faculty members and the university students, many of whom have recently followed on Italian television the enormously successful series of performances TuttoDante, Benigni will also be treating the University of Malta to a “serata dantesca” on April 23 on the University Campus at the Sir Temi Zammit Hall.  The evening will start with a discussion on Dante between Benigni and the eminent Dante scholar Robert Hollander, Professor of European Literature Emeritus at Princeton University and the founding director of the Princeton Dante Project. Following the discussion, Benigni will give a much-anticipated recitation of one of his favourite “canti” from the Divina Commedia. A maxi-screen will also be set up on campus to relay the performance in order to extend the benefit of the “serata” to non-university members.

While in Malta, Benigni will also be inaugurating an exhibition of illustrations of the Divina Commedia by the artist Monika Beisner at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Valletta. The illustrations form part of a translation into English of the Divina Commedia by Robert and Jean Hollander with a Preface by Roberto Benigni published by Edizioni Valdonega in 2007.


Communications & Alumni Relations Office
22 February 2008

 

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