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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : European Languages and Cultures - Italian

Undergraduate Course: Dante's Comedy: Encyclopaedia and Intertextuality (ELCI10031)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course focuses on Dante's Comedy, aiming to explore the complexity and richness of Dante's poem, including the history of its composition and its intertextual patterns, through a critical consideration of its dialogue with a variety of genres and literary traditions, from Classical poetry to the Bible and Medieval allegorical literature. We will consider the Comedy in a broad cultural and historical context, with particular emphasis on the ways in which the poem adapts, adopts, and responds to different textual forms, the conflictual presence of both Classical and Christian culture, and the role played by the visual arts.

Course description The course introduces and analyses the notions of encyclopaedia and intertextuality in Dante's Comedy, with particular emphasis on their role in shaping
Dante's poetics as well as medieval culture in general. Primary readings include a selection of canti from the Comedy, passages from the classical poets Virgil
and Ovid, and major medieval authors such as Brunetto Latini. Students will also engage with representative works of late medieval art and discuss topics such as the representation of the Other World in medieval religious culture, and the reception of Classical sources in medieval Christian culture. Students will attend two hours of interactive lectures per week. A detailed schedule of readings will be provided, and all students will be required to give short presentations in class on a
set text or topic, for which they will receive formative feedback. Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their achievement of the intended learning outcomes through participation in class discussions, presentations, essays, and the final examination.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Advanced knowledge of Italian (Italian 2 level 08 courses)
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate knowledge and awareness of the historical and cultural context of Dante's Comedy.
  2. Demonstrate skills in analysing key themes, concepts and ideas in Dante's Comedy and other set texts.
  3. Apply knowledge and understanding of the theories of intertextuality and the concept of encyclopaedia to Dante's Comedy and other related texts.
  4. Evaluate critical responses to the research undertaken by others and construct clear, coherent and complex arguments, supported by relevant ideas and examples that demonstrate an in- depth and contextualised understanding of the problems and themes of enquiry.
  5. Demonstrate communication skills and self-confidence in class discussions and presentations, also demonstrating initiative and ability to work with others effectively.
Reading List
. Albert Ascoli, Dante and the Making of a Modern Author (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008).
. Zygmunt Baranski, Sole nuovo, luce nuova. Saggi sul rinnovamento culturale in Dante (Torino: Scriptorium,1996)
. Zygmunt Baranski and Lino Pertile
(eds), Dante in Context, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2015).
. G. Barblan (ed), Dante e la Bibbia
(Firenze: Olschki, 1988).
. Teodolinda Barolini, Dante and the Origins of Italian Literary Culture (New York: Fordham, 2006).
. Peter Hawkins, Dante's Testament. Essays in Scriptural Immagination (Stanford, Stanford University Press,
. Giuseppe Ledda, Dante (Bologna, il
Mulino, 2008).
Marco Santagata, l'io e il mondo. Un'interpretazione di Dante (Bologna: il Mulino, 2011).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsEncyclopaedia,Intertextuality,Mythology,Bible,Visual Culture
Course organiserDr Nicolo Maldina
Tel: (0131 6)50 3642
Course secretaryMiss Fiona Jack
Tel: (0131 6)50 3635
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