Dante's Divine Comedy

FRIT-M236 — Fall 2020

Akash Kumar
Days and Times
4:55P-6:10P TR
Course Description

Fulfills GenEd World Cultures and A&H requirements. 

We are quickly approaching the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death (2021) and his Comedy remains very much present in modern culture, whether in the form of new translations, film adaptations and visual art, or video games. But it is by no means universally accepted: in 2012, a UN-sanctioned charity organization (Gherush92) proclaimed that Dante’s Divine Comedy is a homophobic, racist text and should not be taught in any classroom. Our reading of the poem will focus on these issues, among other matters of social justice, and explore what it means to read an almost 700-year-old text in the present day. We will ask difficult questions of ourselves and of the poem, exploring its radical nature both in its own historical moment and in the continued controversies surrounding various aspects of the Dantean afterlife. Should we read it? Does it still matter? We will immerse ourselves in the moral universe that Dante creates within the text, delving into the details and idiosyncrasies of his Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise, and form our own assessment of the poem’s continued value and influence.

Image attribution: www.impawards.com [Public Domain]


Interested in this course?

The full details of this course are available on the Office of the Registrar website.

See complete course details