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Dante and Cosmology

William Egginton, Johns Hopkins University

December 9, 2019
6:30 pm

A lecture by
William Egginton, Johns Hopkins University

In the early twentieth century Albert Einstein discovered that time could stretch and space bend, and a multi-dimensional mathematics would eventually be needed to describe the cosmos that his physics predicted. In this lecture, Professor Egginton shows how, by confronting some of the greatest metaphysical problems of their day, Dante and the theologians and philosophers who inspired him anticipated Einstein’s insight in surprising and at times mind-bending ways.

William Egginton is the Decker Professor in the Humanities and Director of the Alexander Grass Humanities Institute. His research and teaching focus on Spanish and Latin American literature, literary theory, and the relation between literature and philosophy. Professor Egginton is the author of numerous books, including How the World Became a Stage (2003), Perversity and Ethics (2006), A Wrinkle in History (2007), The Philosopher’s Desire (2007), The Theater of Truth (2010), In Defense of Religious Moderation (Columbia UP, 2011), The Man Who Invented Fiction: How Cervantes Ushered in the Modern World (Bloomsbury, 2016), and, with David Castillo, Medialogies: Reading Reality in the Age of Inflationary Media (Bloomsbury, 2017). He is also the co-editor, with Mike Sandbothe, of The Pragmatic Turn in Philosophy (2004) and, with David E. Johnson, of Thinking With Borges (2009), as well as the translator of Lisa Block de Behar’s Borges, the Passion of an Endless Quotation (2003).


Organized by Prof. Alison Cornish, “Dante and…” is a series of lectures that focus on Dante’s relevance in today’s world. These lectures feature scholars and experts from many different fields of interest, invited to present their unique readings of the poet’s works.