This review essay examines the work of Justin Steinberg as exemplary of humanities scholarship that, while firmly ensconced in the specialized discipline of Dante Studies, nevertheless has considerable potential for addressing audiences and issues of much wider scope concerning the nature of justice and the epistemology of the law. Intertwined with these themes, Steinberg’s case is used to probe some of the limits imposed by professionalization in the academy on the freedom of spirit on which humanities studies nevertheless depend in order to thrive.