130A: Dante’s Inferno

MWF 3-4 | 219 Dwinelle | Instructor: Steven Botterill

Units: 4 Satisfies L&S Philosophy & Values OR Arts & Literature breadth requirement.

Taught in English, using a parallel-text edition of Inferno.

 A close introductory reading of Dante’s Inferno, aimed at guiding readers through a complex and challenging poetic narrative, situating Dante and his work in their intellectual, historical, and cultural context, and discussing the questions of ethics, aesthetics, interpretation, and critical practice raised by the provocative presence of this medieval masterpiece in the early twenty-first century.

Prerequisites:  None.

Students will be expected to participate in class discussion and write several very short (1-2 pages) response papers in the first half of the semester; thereafter, in consultation with the instructor, they will devise an individual project on which they will write a research paper.  There will be no midterm or final exam.

Italian Studies majors (and intending minors) may, if they wish, count this as one of their taught-in-Italian courses, on condition that all written work for the course is done in Italian.

Text: Dante Alighieri, Inferno, translated by Stanley Lombardo (Hackett), ISBN: 978-0872209176