Alan R. Perry is Professor of Italian at Gettysburg College, where he teaches courses in Italian language, literature, history, and culture. Trained as a generalist in all areas of Italian literature, each fall he teaches the popular seminar “Dante’s Divine Comedy: The Poet, The Pilgrim, The Prophet.” Prof. Perry holds a Ph.D. in Italian literature from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Praise for Alan Perry
“Alan Perry is quite simply one of the greatest college professors teaching in America today. His knowledge of Italian language, literature, and culture is exhaustive, but he wears his learning lightly, so his lectures are much more like enthusiastic conversations with a wise old friend than a dry recitation of facts. Listen at length to Alan Perry and you will learn a great deal about Dante and Petrarch and Boccaccio, to be sure, but you will gain much more than that: you will learn to understand and to appreciate how these figures have much to teach us about our own lives today, how the Italian Renaissance shaped the modern world, and how it provides us with a valuable vantage point from which to peer back further into antiquity.”
–Christopher R. Fee, Professor of English, Gettysburg College
“Alan R. Perry is known at Gettysburg College for his outstanding teaching. Because of this strength as an effective teacher and communicator, he has also taught on several occasions at Middlebury College’s Scuola Italiana, a summer full-immersion experience in learning Italian language and culture. He brings a passion to his teaching that matches up with in-depth preparation. As a well-rounded and genuine humanist, he teaches Dante; his seminars on the Italian poet are very popular. In all these areas of scholarship he has made important and lasting contributions.”
–Dino S. Cervigni, Professor Emeritus of Italian, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
“It is hard to speak of Professor Perry in anything but superlatives. As well as having top-level research strengths, Professor Perry has proven to be an excellent teacher, mentor, curriculum developer, and leader in the field of Italian studies. His list of professional achievements points to an active researcher who is able to turn research expertise into engaging lectures in the classroom. He cares passionately about his work, his students, and his classes.”
–Michael Lettieri, Professor of Italian and Vice-Dean, University of Toronto, Mississauga
“With a wealth of valuable experience in teaching Dante’s Divine Comedy to undergraduates, Alan Perry now extends his knowledge of and enthusiasm for the poem – its beauty, grandeur and lessons – to a much broader and receptive audience. Alan has that rare ability to make the reading of the Comedy become a personal journey for his students, a pilgrimage through the three realms of the afterlife in the multiple quest for an understanding not only of the nature and punishment of sin (Inferno), but also of the dynamic, transformational quality of penitence (Purgatory) and the ethereal beauty and eternal joy of salvation (Paradise). Just as Dante had Virgil and Beatrice as guides in his pilgrimage, new readers today will benefit from having Alan Perry as their mentor on their voyage of discovery through the poem.”
–Christopher Kleinhenz, Carol Mason Kirk Professor Emeritus of Italian, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Dr. Sebastian Mahfood, O.P., Ph.D., is Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and Vice-President of External Affairs and Governmental Compliance at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. He holds a doctorate in literature from Saint Louis University along with several master’s degrees in the fields of comparative literature, philosophy, theology, and educational technology. He is the author of Radical Eschatologies: Embracing the Eschaton in the Works of Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Nuruddin Farah, and Ayi Kwei Armah (St. Louis University, 2006) and the co-author (with Ronda Chervin) of Catholic Realism: A Framework for Refuting Atheism and Evangelizing the Atheists (En Route Books and Media, 2015). He is a lay Dominican of the Queen of the Holy Rosary Chapter in the Province of St. Albert the Great.
Praise for Dr. Mahfood
“Sebastian Mahfood is an engaging, enthusiastic lecturer with a probing interest in everything from medieval literature and theology to post-modern Arab writings. He developed an online course on Dante’s Divine Comedy, which was enthusiastically received. I am happy to see that this course will now be available to the general public.” – Rev. Msgr. Michael John Witt, Kenrick-Glennon Seminary