The Cosmos of Dante's Comedy|
Spring 2017 not offered
ITAL 226, COL 234, RELI 218, MDST 226|
In this course we will explore Dante Alighieri's 14th-century masterwork as a point of entry into concepts that have been at the core of Western literature, philosophy, and science: What does the afterlife look like? What is the soul's relation to the divine? What are our obligations to each other? We will study intensively Dante's encyclopedic poem in relation to the culture and history of Medieval Europe. Major topics include concepts of modernity and antiquity in the Middle Ages; shifting notions of authorship during the 13th and 14th centuries; gender and genre in Dante's poem; intertextuality and imitation; poetics in the "vulgar" tongue (that is, not Latin) and the different medieval literary genres; the culture and materiality of manuscripts in the Middle Ages; classical and medieval language theory; the role of the classics in the Middle Ages; Dante's concepts of governance; myth and theology in Dante's Christian poetics; the reception history of Dante's work 14th century to the present. This course will be conducted in English.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (COL)(ITST)(MDST-MN)(MDST)(MDST-Art/Arch)(MDST-History)(MDST-Lang/Lit)(MDST-Phil/Reli)(RELI-MN)(RELI)(RMST)(SISP-Reli Conc)
DANTE ALIGHIERI, Vita nova (The New Life) --any unabridged edition
DANTE ALIGHIERI, The Divine Comedy-- any complete edition of the three canticles (Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso) with commentary (eds. R. M. Durling and R. L. Martinez, recommended; ed. R. Hollander; ed. Ch. Singleton)
JACOFF, Rachel (ed.), 2011. The Cambridge Companion to Dante. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
|Examination and Assignments: |
Oral presentation, midterm take-home exam, discussion questions, final take-home exam, digital project
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This class will be discussion-based with lectures offering historical and cultural contextualization. Students will be expected and encouraged to participate fully in discussion and in guided classroom activities. We will combine a close analysis of Dante's literary strategies, with exercises in critical writing and in multimedia translation and adaptation, aimed at prompting critical reflection on the ways in which present cultural practices are built upon the practices of the past. This course counts towards the Religion Department major "Historical Traditions" requirement.
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