About the Society

Please follow the links below to learn more about the Dante Society of America, its mission, organization, and leadership:


History, Mission, and Activities

The Dante Society of America was founded in 1881 through the leadership of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, James Russell Lowell, and Charles Eliot Norton, who in turn served as its first three presidents. Our renewed and reinvigorated mission is to encourage the study and appreciation of the time, life, works, and cultural legacy of Dante Alighieri.

Currently under the leadership of its eighteenth president, Albert Russell Ascoli (University of California, Berkeley), the Society publishes the annual journal Dante Studies, sent gratis to all members, and an electronic journal of critical notes (Dante Notes). It also produces an annual American Dante Bibliography, now in collaboration with the Società Dantesca Italiana, and organizes sessions on Dante at various scholarly meetings during the academic year. Since 2014, the Society has also organized annual symposium in conjunction with its annual meeting.

For more information on the history of the Dante Society, you may refer to Wikipedia. A listing of the Society's presidents is available here.

Interested in becoming a member? Please visit our Membership page for more information.

The Society also sponsors two annual essay contests. One is open to undergraduate students, the other to graduates, who are enrolled in North American colleges and universities. Please see the Prizes webpage for submission guidelines.


By-Laws

The current by-laws of the Society, adopted on January 9, 2014, may be downloaded as a PDF document.


Council and Committees

Members of the Society's governing Council are elected annually by the Society's membership for staggered three-year terms. Officers are appointed in turn by elected Councilors. The President appoints committees, committe members, and liaisons. Click here for a listing of current Councilors, officers, and other committee members and liaisons.


Annual Meeting Minutes and Reports

Until 2014, annual reports were published as part of the Society's annual journal. Please refer to the "Access Dante Studies" section of this website, in particular the information and links under the JSTOR subheading. Also posted here are the mintues from the Society's annual membership meetings.