English major studies Dante’s Divine comedy on Eastern Europe’s literature


My name is Andrii Shadrin. I am a rising civilian sophomore student. I am majoring in both English and Communications with a minor in Chinese. I am an international student from Ukraine. Here on campus, I am also the president of the Slavic Club and a Guidon reporter.

 My research sounds like: “The Influence of Dante’s Divine Comedy on the Literature of Eastern Europe: Alexandr Pushkin, Lesya Ukrainka, and Anna Akhmatova.” The Divine Comedy is an epic poem written by Dante Alighieri. It is world-famous as one of the great masterpieces of world literature. Written in the first person, it contains whimsical orthodox theology, folk ideas about the afterlife, and a medieval worldview. The poem consists of three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso.

Dante is undoubtedly a famous writer.

It would be unreasonable to analyze the Divine Comedy since this work has already been very well studied before us. Our work explores how Dante influenced Eastern Europe’s literature. Having done a preliminary search, we found out that the theme of Dante is not well studied in the context of countries of Eastern Europe.

The relevance of the research topic we have chosen lies in the study of the historical and artistic context of the formation of Lesya Ukrainka’s, Anna Akhmatova’s, and Alexander Pushkin’s poetry under the influence of Dante’s Divine Comedy. The attempt to translate and interpret these poetries into English makes the work relevant now.

An analysis of the influence of Dante’s Divine Comedy is allowed to deepen our understanding and conceptually anticipate the subsequent study of the literature of Eastern Europe. We set ourselves the task to write a literature review for more extensive work, which will be more global and scholarly.

In middle school, I took an additional course in World Literature. One of the books I studied there was Divine Comedy. As a result, the idea of Hell and Afterlife stuck in my head. Since I was just a kid (about 12 years old), I became obsessed with this dark side of religion. And I always enjoyed reading some fiction or even religious books about God. Studying religions was fascinating, although I didn’t believe in God. When I came to Dr. Carl Martin, I didn’t have a plan for my research. I just wanted to work with something related to Hell. After several productive meetings with Professor Martin, we realized Divine Comedy was not studied in Slavic Contexts. Since I am a native speaker of both Ukrainian and Russian, I can access many materials in those languages, and losing such a chance would be silly. So, this research project’s idea is mine and my mentor’s.

Even though Dante is a very well-studied writer, he has yet to be considered in the context of the work of Eastern European poets. This makes our piece unique because we are doing a new experiment. Pushkin, Ukrainka, and Akhmatova are also quite famous writers in the borders of Eastern Europe and the world. However, they were only slightly described in the context of Dante.

 One of the reasons why I am doing this research is my future goals. I don’t want to waste time and wait till senior year when I will be worrying about my future career. I want to continue studying until I receive Ph.D. The summer research program is a perfect opportunity to develop my skills and do what I love.