E 322 • Dante
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
The Divine Comedy offers a remarkable panorama of the late Middle Ages through one man's poetic vision of the afterlife. However, we continue to read and study the poem not only to learn about the thought and culture of medieval and early modern Europe but also because many of the issues confronting Dante and his age are no less important to individuals and societies today. Personal and civic responsibilities, governmental accountability, church-state relations, economics and social justice, Dante's influence on artists and other writers, benefits and limitations of interdisciplinarity--these are some of the themes that will frame our discussion of the Divine Comedy. Although you will read the poem in English, a bilingual edition will enable you to study and learn famous lines in the original Italian. The course is taught in English.
1500-word essay on the Inferno: 20%
Major rewrite of this essay (1500 words) based on teacher comments: 20%
Take-home writing assignment on Purgatorio and Paradiso (1500 words): 20%
Quizzes (4): 20%
Class participation and preparation (including a writing journal containing responses to study questions): 20%
Regular attendance is required: No student who misses more than 6 classes (3 weeks) for any reason can complete the course with a passing grade.
No final examination.
Danteworlds (http://danteworlds.laits.utexas.edu/): You are expected to use this multimedia website, created specifically for the course, to prepare for class and review for quizzes.
Required Texts: Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso (Trans. Allen Mandelbaum), Vita Nuova (Trans. Barbara Reynolds)
On Reserve (PCL): A New Life of Dante (Bemrose), Foundation Sacrifice in Dante's "Commedia" (Quinones), The Undivine "Comedy" (Barolini), The Cambridge Companion to Dante (Jacoff, ed.), Dante: The Poetics of Conversion (Freccero), Divine Dialectic (Raffa)