ITAL3816 Dante's Divine Comedy: a medieval masterpiece for the modern world

Credit
6 points
Offering
(see Timetable)

If this unit does not have an online alternative, then students who are presently unable to enter Western Australia and whose studies would be delayed by an inability to complete this unit, should contact the unit coordinator (details given on this page) to ascertain, on an individual case-by-case basis, if alternate arrangements can be made to support their study in this unit.

AvailabilityLocationMode
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face Predominantly face-to-face. On campus attendance required to complete this unit. May have accompanying resources online.
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 option in the ITLNB Italian Studies; ITLNI Italian Studies; ITLNA Italian Studies major sequences
  • Level 3 elective
Content
This unit is a study of the Inferno, the first part of one of the great works of world literature, Dante's Divine Comedy. The unit focusses on the structure of the work and the nature and meaning of Dante's journey through the otherworld. From the first line, Dante states that his individual journey is actually the universal journey of the human condition. Though it is now 700 years since the Comedy was completed, interest in Dante continues to grow. The unit will analyse what this medieval masterpiece, so deeply rooted in the Italy of Dante's own time, has to say that appeals to modern readers. The focus will be on the themes of good and evil; suffering, justice and mercy; Church and State; freedom and desire; and how Dante finds poetic expression for the deepest questions that are part of the human condition.
Outcomes
Students are able to (1) demonstrate understanding of this medieval text and its relevance to the contemporary world; (2) relate single episodes in the text to the overall structure; (3) critically compare medieval and modern attitudes to questions of individual morality and social co-existence; and (4) analyse how Dante reworked biblical, classical, mythological and contemporary figures to construct his poetic universe.
Assessment
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) in-class presentation; (2) research essay; and (3) participation in tutorials and online forum. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor John Kinder
Unit rules
Prerequisites:
any Level 2 Italian unit or approval of Convener
Contact hours
Up to 3 hours per week.
Texts

Dante, The Inferno, translated and edited by Robert Hollander and Jean Hollander, Anchor Books.

 

 

 

 

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