Women in Hell

Francesca da Rimini & Friends

Between Sin, Virtue, and Heroism


Donne all’inferno
Francesca da Rimini & Co. tra peccato, virtù ed eroismi



VI Edizione

Los Angeles CA, april 21, 2012


Hell, and even Dante’s hell is not populated only by Francesca, to whom for years days of study have been dedicated first in Rimini and this year also in Los Angeles.

It seems in fact that often the infernal feminine condition is under evaluated, or even set aside, at times with ill-concealed disgust. And not only in Dante, but also in society, and therefore also in literature, which is always in some way a mirror of society. 


This conference seeks to contribute to settling the score and to filling the lacuna. We will consider, therefore, literary women thrown into some form of hell (real or metaphorical) for their sins, for their passions, for what was once defined as madness, by choice, or simply on account of their nature as women, often innocent. It is an aspect of the feminine condition to be discovered and reflected upon even today. So, yet again, the true Francesca, that of Rimini, will receive the proper consideration that is due to her as the first, perhaps, of these women (some celebrated, but many almost anonymous like her) to have elevated their damnation to a symbol or a metaphor of an exemplary life: even, and above all, in pain, in “sin,” and in alienation. All thanks to Dante, of course.


The conference in Los Angeles is the sixth annual international gathering in honor of Francesca of Rimini, held to discuss and reflect upon the significance and the value of her myth, one of the most widespread, popular, deeply-rooted, and enduring myths of western culture. Over the last two centuries, the myth of Francesca has spread to all of the continents and to all forms of artistic expression.

Previous conferences held in Rimini at the "Museo della Città" include – Francesca Je t’aime (2007), Un bacio, un mito…(2008), Parola di Donna (2009), Le Passioni (2010), Legger d’Amore (2011). Prestigious scholars of various disciplines (history, literature, theater, music, and figurative arts) from both European and American universities and institutions gathered to enrich with their contributions the knowledge of this extraordinary phenomenon of modern culture.

The interest and the approbation of the public and of scholars and the collaboration of international institutions has permitted the realization of a sixth event in 2012, in Los Angeles, under the auspices of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the Department of Italian at UCLA. This event will maintain and develop the aspects that have determined success in the past: that quality of content and an international and interdisciplinary character.



Organizing Committee:
Massimo Ciavolella and Ferruccio Farina

Scientific Program Committee :

Massimo Ciavolella, Valeria Cicala, Ferruccio Farina, Roberto

Fedi, Giuseppe Mazzotta, Piero Meldini, Deirdre O’Grady,

Raffaele Pinto, Piotr Salwa, Natascia Tonelli, Nadia Urbinati



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