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Lorraine and Tom Pangle, Co-Directors BAT 2.116, C4100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-6648

Irene Eibenstein-Alvisi

Lecturer Ph.D., Cornell University

Lecturer, Department of French and Italian


CTI 345 • Boccaccio's Decameron

34190 • Spring 2011
Meets MWF 900am-1000am MEZ 1.216
(also listed as EUS 347, ITC 349 )
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COURSE DESCRIPTION: In this masterpiece of the western canon, ten young Florentines flee the horrors of the Black Plague of 1348 and use storytelling in order to overcome their fears and console their grief. Through the analysis of these 100 tales and their relationship to the characters who narrate them, we will discuss how Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375) explores the basic elements of the human condition - love and desire, power and politics, virtue and fortune - while at the same time exposing the ambiguities of language and the pitfalls of representation. Considering its reputation as a proto-feminist text and the major scholarly discussion around this notion, we will pay particular attention to the depiction of women and their roles.

The class will be held in English and we will read the Decameron in its entirety in English translation.

BOOK: Giovanni Boccaccio, Decameron, trans. Musa and Bondanella (Penguin/Mentor Books)

Grading Policy

Study questions: 40% 
 Analysis paper and rewrite based on teacher comments: 20%
 Short research paper: 10% 
 Quizzes: 10%
 Creative paper: 10% 
 Class participation: 10% Final exam: No

Substantial Writing Component: Yes


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