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, a semiannual Newsletter, and an electronic version of the American Dante Bibliography, also printed each year in Dante Studies. The Society sponsors sessions on Dante at various scholarly gatherings during the academic year, publishes an electronic journal of critical notes (Dante Notes), and invites speakers to address the membership both at the MLA Convention in January and at the annual meeting of the Society each May.

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.


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

Council and Committees

Mmebers 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 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.

  • 2017 Annual Report (forthcoming)
  • 2016 Annual Report (forthcoming)
  • 2015 Annual Report (forthcoming)
  • 2014 Annual Report