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David Birdsong, Chair 201 W 21ST STREET STOP B7600, HRH 2.114A, AUSTIN, TX 78712 • 512-471-5531

Spring 2009

ITC 349 • 2-DANTE

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
36585 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
HRH 2.112

Course Description

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.

Danteworlds ( You are expected to use this multimedia Web site, created specifically for the course, for writing assignments and class and exam preparation. In addition to detailed entries, audio recordings, and study questions, the site contains hundreds of images from works by Sandro Botticelli, an anonymous 16th-century artist, John Flaxman, William Blake, Gustave Dorè, and Suloni Robertson.

Grading Policy

Written responses to study questions: 5% Two In-class examinations (25% each): 50% Formal literary essay (1250-1500 words): 20% Class participation and preparation (including unannounced quizzes): 25%

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.



Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso (Trans. Allen Mandelbaum)

Vita Nuova (Trans. Barbara Reynolds)


Danteworlds: A Reader's Guide to the Inferno (Univ. of Chicago Press)


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