Italian Studies 212: Seminar in Dante, Authority in Person: The Commedia and Beyond

Instructor: Professor Albert R. Ascoli

This course fulfills the elective requirement for the DE in REMS.

Course Conducted in English
Reading Knowledge of Italian or Latin Required
May be taken for 2 or 4 credits

This course will be devoted to a study of the latter half of Dante’s career, particular the Divina Commedia (read in its entirety, but with selective emphases), but also the Latin works (letters; Monarchia; Eclogues) of the later years.  Our focus will be on the problematics of poetic authorship (and readership) and political/ecclesiastical authority that emerge full-blown in the period.  This course is, ideally, the continuation of the fall semester seminar on Dante before the Commedia, but may be taken on its own.  Dante’s works will be viewed through the filter of a series of pertinent late medieval contexts: including the emergence of a romance vernacular canon; proto-humanistic valorization of classical Latin literature; the rhetorical, philosophical and theological traditions; the shifting macro- and micro-politico-social order.

Students are expected to attend and participate regularly.  Students taking the course for two credits will do the reading, plus in-class reports and other short assignments.  Students taking the course for four credits will also develop one of their shorter assignments into a final research paper of 6000-7500 words (25-30 pages).

Section times and locations in the Schedule of Classes