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Boccaccio: The Black Death and the Birth of Erotica
FIST 247
Fall 2015 not offered
Crosslisting: ITAL 247, MDST 248

Boccaccio's Decameron, a collection of 100 tales narrated by ten young Florentines fleeing the Black Death of 1348, is arguably the first great European novel. While often seen as a representation of Renaissance culture, it is mainly famous due to the amount of overtly erotic-sexual and humorous-comical material. The text's "low" or "humble" aspects have alternately been celebrated as inherently "modern" but also denigrated as "immoral." The stories have thus been censured by the Church; provided material for porno-erotic films in the 1970's and 80's; and inspired authors such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Poe, and Pasolini. This interdisciplinary seminar explores why Boccaccio's erotic text has provoked contrasting responses, as well as why it continues to be relevant today, by drawing on ideas from literary theory to cultural studies and theology. We will read selections of the book in translation (students of Italian will consult the original), and survey its reception in literature, art, and film.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA RLAN
Course Format: DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ITST)(RMST)

Last Updated on JUL-18-2024
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