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

Spring 2010


Unique Days Time Location Instructor
37080 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
MEZ 2.112

Course Description

Course Conducted in English; Reading Knowledge of Italian Required This course is the second half of a two-semester sequence focused on Dante's Commedia and his other works. This semester we will read the second half of the Purgatorio (cantos 18-33), the Paradiso, books 2 and 4 of the Convivio, the De vulgari eloquentia, and the Eclogues. Placing our close reading of these texts within a series of literary, intellectual, and historical contexts, we will attend to Dante's engagement with works by classical authors (Virgil, Ovid, Lucan, Statius, Cicero) and other medieval poets, philosophers, and theologians. The Danteworlds commentary and the complementary Web site ( will provide much of this background material and help guide your reading of the Commedia. Since a goal of the course is to become familiar with major voices in Dante Studies, our discussion of Dante's works will be informed by selected works of criticism (all of which are available on reserve in the PCL).

Grading Policy

Two 500-1000 word critical responses (10% each): 20% Take-Home Exam: 20% Research project (paper and presentation): 30% Class preparation and participation: 30%


Required Texts: Purgatorio (Garzanti, 2008); Paradiso (Garzanti, 2006); Convivio (Garzanti, 2005); De vulgari eloquentia (Cambridge, 1996). Optional: The Complete Danteworlds: A Reader's Guide to the Divine Comedy (Chicago, 2009)


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