LIT 57 — Dante's "Inferno": A 700th-Anniversary Exploration of The Divine Comedy
Arrayed in one of the earliest works of literature to be written in a vernacular European language rather than Latin, the images and situations in Hell have haunted the minds of believers and nonbelievers alike for centuries. This is a foundational text for Italian culture and, more broadly, for European literature. But to understand the poem is not just to read it, but also to study it, dwell with it, learn about it, discuss it, and travel along its ingenious and poignant path, step by exploratory step. The character Dante portrays as himself was permanently changed by his voyage into the underworld. And we will be too.
The reading for this course will be in English and presupposes no knowledge of the Middle Ages or medieval Italian.
This course is the first in a three-part series on Dante's "Divine Comedy." While these courses build upon one another, each course can be taken independently as well.
Nicholas Jenkins, Associate Professor of English, StanfordNicholas Jenkins is the primary investigator for Kindred Britain, a digital humanities website that traces relationships among nearly thirty thousand British people. He has contributed to the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, The New York Times Book Review, The New Republic, and The New Yorker. He received a DPhil from the University of Oxford.
Textbooks for this course:
(Required) Dante, trans. and eds., Robert M. Durling and Ronald L. Martinez , The Divine Comedy of Dante Alighieri, Vol. 1: Inferno (ISBN 978-0195087444)