“CROSS-CULTURAL MATCHES: NIZAMI AND DANTE”

On 7 October 2021, an online conference titled “Cross-Cultural Matches: Nizami and Dante” organized by the Nizami Ganjavi International Center in partnership with the Azerbaijan Comparative Literature Association, the Association for Italian Studies (ADI), and the Dante
Group, the Italian Association for Literary Theory and Comparative Literature (COMPALIT), and the Italian Pen Club will commence celebrating the 880th anniversary of the great Azerbaijani thinker Nizami Ganjavi and the 700th anniversary of the famous Italian poet Dante Alighieri. The conference will last for three days (October 7-9). 

The international scientific conference aims at comparing the similarities and differences between the cultures of two distinct poles of creativity using the example of two great medieval writers of the Muslim East and the Christian West: Nizami (1141-1209) and Dante (1265-1321). 

Co-chair of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center Dr. Ismail Serageldin, President of the Italian Association of Literary Theory and History of Comparative Literature Massimo Fusillo, Chair of the Azerbaijan Association of Comparative Literature Professor Rahila Geybullaeva, Professor at Turin University and member of the Italian Academy of Sciences Maria Teresa Chiaveri, Professor at the Università Universitario per l’Arcografi (University of Turin) Nuenzio
Rucchiero, Professor of the Italian Academy of Sciences Dr. Rafael Kocchiero, Professor Orsola Benincasa of Suor University, Professor Kamran Talattof of Arizona University, and Carlo Saccone of the University of Bologna spoke at the plenary session of the conference.

Classical and contemporary music dedicated to the works of Nizami and Dante are performed during the breaks between the conference panel sessions. Works from the times of Dante, modern Italian music, Azerbaijani classical music by Uzeyir Hajibayov, and compositions by
contemporary Azerbaijani authors Hamlet Isakhanli and Naila Isayeva are presented as a manifestation of Azerbaijani-Italian cultural exchange. 

The three-day conference will comprise discussions of the concept of love in medieval literature, folklore, and real life, as well as the role of the symbol of love in religious texts and fiction. In addition, discussions will focus on the didactic genre, and the role played by Nizami and Dante in the development of the genre. 

While in his works, Nizami Ganjavi used the didactic genre to exhort rulers and urge them to meet the needs of the countries and societies they ruled over as well as to carry out fundamental reforms and do justice, Dante Alighieri likewise used love as an educational tool for the spiritual development of rulers and people in general. 

Along with Azerbaijani scientists, about 40 foreign scholars from 12 countries (Algeria, USA, Brazil, India, Egypt, Georgia, Turkey, Italy, UK, Russia, Netherlands, Finland) participated in this conference.