FRIT-M501 with Professor Helena Phillips-Robins
Dante’s Divine Comedy is a searching exploration of human existence and of the capacities, and limits, of language and poetry. The poem begins with Inferno – Dante’s exploration of the evil that human beings can do to themselves – and ends with Paradiso – Dante’s exploration, in dialogue with thinkers from Aquinas to Bernard of Clairvaux to Ovid, of what human existence could be, if it was fully shaped by love. This course offers the opportunity for in-depth study of the Comedy, the medieval worlds that produced it, and its later global reception. Students will be encouraged to develop their own research interests within and beyond the Comedy. We will also focus explicitly on different methodological approaches to study of the Middle Ages.