1. Primary text 1 item
    1. The divine comedy of Dante Alighieri: [Vol. 1]: Inferno - Robert M. Durling, Ronald L. Martinez 1996

      Book  Please, make sure that you have always have a copy of the Inferno at hand, during the seminars. [Available in the Library and as an e-book]

  2. Week 1 - Introduction 20 items
    Claudia Rossignoli (Italian)
    1. Key Questions 1 item
      1. → What do we mean by the term 'medieval'?

        → What are the problems with using it as a label?

        → How have developments in different disciplines affected the way we approach medieval studies?

        → What do references to the Middle Ages in popular culture reveal about our assumptions?

        → Is Dante a 'Medieval' author? And in what ways can his Comedy be said to be a 'medieval' text?

    2. Primary Materials 4 items
      1. Read chapters 1-3, 40-42 [Barbi edition; these are 1, 29-31 in Gorni's edition] of Dante's Vita Nova in one of the following translations:


      2. La vita nuova (Poems of youth) - Barbara Reynolds, Dante Alighieri 1969

        Book  Read the Introduction, and chapters 1-3, 40-42 (pp. 11-25, 29-33; 96-101)

      3. Vita nuova - Dino S. Cervigni, Edward Vasta, Dante Alighieri 1995


      4. Dante Online - New Life - Dante Alighieri, M. Musa (trans)


    3. Essential Critical Reading 3 items
      1. Understanding Dante - John A. Scott 2004

        Book  Read especially pp.1-63, 107-167

      2. Reading Dante: from here to eternity - Prue Shaw 2014

        Book  [Start reading the chapter 'Friendship' but read as much as you can of this scholarly but extremely accessible introduction to Dante]

    4. Introductory Works on Dante 7 items
      1. Dante - N. R. Havely 2007

        Book  Available in the library and as an e-book.

      2. Reading Dante - Giuseppe Mazzotta 2014


      3. Dante: the story of his life - Marco Santagata, Richard Dixon 2016


      4. Language and style in Dante: seven essays - John C. Barnes, Michelangelo Zaccarello 2013


    5. Further Reading on Periodization 5 items
      1. Medieval polities and modern mentalities - Timothy Reuter, Janet L. Nelson 2006

        Book  Available in the library and as an e-book. Timothy Reuter, ‘Medieval: Another Tyrannous Construct?’ Chapter 2.

      2. Time and the shape of history - Penelope J. Corfield 2007

        Book  Available in the library and as an e-book.

      3. History in practice - Jordanova, L. J. 2000


  3. Week 2 - Text and Transmission: Manuscripts and Editions, Authors and Editors 20 items
    Margaret Connolly (English) and Mark Thakkar (Philosophy)
    1. Key Questions 1 item
      1. → How can we know what Dante and other medieval authors actually wrote?

        → Are individual manuscript copies significant in their own right?

        → Do the answers to these questions vary depending on the genre of the text?

        → What can manuscript copies tell us about a work's reception?

        → Almost 800 manuscripts of the Commedia survive – what can we infer from this?

        → How did the introduction of printing affect texts such as Dante's Commedia?

    2. Primary Materials 4 items
      Please note that the seminar in Week 2 will be in New Park Seminar Room, Richardson Research Library, Martyrs Kirk
      1. We shall be examining one chansonnier manuscript from Special Collections, one facsimile manuscript and a number of digitized manuscripts of the Commedia, considering the merits and shortcomings of each. Prepare by having a look at the following digitized manuscripts:

    3. Essential Critical Reading 5 items
      1. Introduction to manuscript studies - Raymond Clemens, Timothy Graham 2007

        Book Essential There are some specific sections in this textbook that will help you with this week’s session: • read the brief Introduction to Part Two (pp. 67-70) • from the chapter entitled ‘Working with Manuscripts’ read the section on ‘Editions and Editorial conventions’ (pp. 77-79); • then look at the examples of 14th and 15th-century Italian scripts and read through the descriptions of these (pp. 156-58 and pp. 171-78)

      2. Textual Criticism - E.J. Kenney 1975

        Webpage Essential Kenney's article gives a broad introduction to textual editing. Skimming it will help you with the more specific readings below.

      3. Editing Medieval Texts - Craig Baker

        Chapter Essential Baker's chapter narrows down the focus to the Middle Ages and gives a balanced overview of the important controversies. This is what every medievalist needs to know.

      4. Everything you always wanted to know about Lachmann's method: a non-standard handbook of genealogical textual criticism in the age of post-structuralism, cladistics, and copy-text - Paolo Trovato, Michael D. Reeve, Federico Poole 2017

        Book Essential The required reading is just the Introduction and Chapter 1 ('Lachmann’s Method'), i.e. pp. 39–75. If you find this particularly interesting, I suggest you press on with Chapter 2 ('Bédier's Schism'), which engages directly with the controversy at the heart of this topic.Useful further reading can be found in chapter 9, ‘A Very Complicated Tradition: Dante’s Commedia’ (pp. 299–333). Available on short loan and online via Google Books.

    4. Further Critical Reading 10 items
      1. The Grammarian's Craft: A Professional Talk - Ludwig Bieler 1958

        Article Recommended Bieler's classic essay provides a good starting-point for further reading about textual editing. (Trigger warning: he assumes that you're comfortable with Latin.)

      2. Optimist and Recensionist: ‘Common Errors’ or ‘Common Variations’? - L. Boyle 1976

        Chapter Recommended Boyle's piece gives a much-cited critique of 'best-manuscript' editing.

      3. The Psychology of Editors of Middle English Texts - E. Talbot Donaldson

        Chapter Recommended Don't be fooled by the title: like the other ostensibly language-specific items on this list, Donaldson's provocative rant makes theoretical claims that are of quite general application.

      4. Transmission and Translation - Thomas Williams 2003

        Chapter Recommended Although Williams's chapter focusses on scholastic philosophy, it deals with some important issues that also arise with other kinds of texts. [Available in the library and as an e-book.]

      5. Reflections on the Practice of Textual Criticism in the Study of Midrash Aggada. The Legitimacy, the Indispensability and the Feasibility of Recovering and Presenting the (Most) Original Text - Chaim Milikowsky 2006

        Chapter Recommended Milikowsky's chapter provides a great opportunity to see the debate over textual criticism exploding in a new field – specifically, rabbinical exegesis. Once again, you don't need a particular interest in this field to appreciate the theoretical concerns.

      6. The Logic of Textual Criticism and the Way of Genius: The Kane–Donaldson Piers Plowman in Historical Perspective - Lee Patterson 1987

        Chapter Optional This is essential reading if you have an interest in Middle English.

      7. The Edition of Medieval Latin Texts in the English-speaking World - Michael Lapidge 1998

        Article Optional The first half of this article gives a quick tour of seven publication series. This is useful in its own right, but the real interest lies in the second half, which gets theoretical and a little combative.

      8. The Textual Tradition of Dante’s Commedia and the ‘Barbi Loci’ - Peter Robinson 2012

        Article Optional As with Trovato's Chapter 9, Robinson's article is mainly just here to give you a sense of the difficulty of reconstructing the original text of the Commedia.

      9. Probable truth: editing medieval texts from Britain in the twenty-first century - Vincent Gillespie, Anne Hudson 2013

        Book  A useful collection of essays – see especially Derek Pearsall ‘Variants re Variance’ (pp. 197-205), and also the Introduction for a succinct and up-to-date account of editorial practices

  4. Week 3 - Fictionality and Historicity 13 items
    Frances Andrews (History) and Justine Firnhaber-Baker (History)
    1. Key Questions 1 item
      1. → What do we mean by 'history'? What do historians do?

        → How can we use Dante's poetry to construct history? What are some questions it might answer? What are some questions it can't?

        → Let's think about genre: How do the aesthetics of Dante's poetry affect the kinds of information it can offer? How does that compare with Dino Compagni's more 'historical' work?

        → How does Dante approach human events? How does that differ from Dino Compagni? How does it differ from historians today? 

    2. Primary Materials 2 items
      1. Prepare in particular cantos 6, 8, 10, 18-19 of the Inferno, but look also at Cantos 6, 9, 14 of the Purgatorio and 6, 15-16 of the Paradiso (Durling-Martinez, vol.II, pp.92-109, 142-157, 222-241; and vol. III, pp.122-147, 302-331)

      2. Dino Compagni's chronicle of Florence - Dino Compagni, Daniel Ethan Bornstein 1986

        Book  Read book 2, ch. 25-30 (pp. 52-58)

    3. Essential Critical Reading 3 items
      1. Dante for the new millennium - Teodolinda Barolini, Wayne Storey 2003

        Book  For this seminar read the essay by Ronald Martinez, ‘Dante’s Jeremiad. The fall of Jerusalem and the Burden of the new Pharisees, the Capetians and Florence’ (pp. 301-319)

      2. Dante in context 2015 (electronic book)

        Book  Read the chapter by William Caferro, ‘Empire, Italy and Florence' (pp. 9-29)

      3. History: a very short introduction - John Arnold 2000 (electronic book)

        Book  Read especially Chapter 7 (chapter 4-5 are also recommended)

    4. Further Critical Reading 7 items
      1. Dante Alighieri: four political letters - Claire E. Honess, Dante Alighieri 2007


      2. A history of Florence 1200-1575 - John M. Najemy 2006

        Book  Available in the library and as an e-book.

      3. The Italian city-republics - Daniel Philip Waley, Trevor Dean 2010

        Book  Please make sure you do not use any of the earlier editions of this book)

      4. Medieval Italy: texts in translation - Katherine Ludwig Jansen, Joanna H. Drell, Frances Andrews 2009

        Book  Available in the library and as an e-book.

      5. The towns of Italy in the later Middle Ages - Trevor Dean 2000

        Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book

      6. Allegory and autobiography - John Freccero

        Chapter  Available in the library and as an e-book.

  5. Week 4 - Cultural Frameworks 10 items
    George Corbett (Divinity) and James Palmer (History)
    1. Key Questions 1 item
      1. ■ How original is Dante's moral system? What are his key sources?

        ■ What criteria does Dante employ to judge that some sins are worse than others and, conversely, that some goods are more valuable than others?

        ■ What does Dante's moral system indicate about his wider political and theological outlook?

        ■ Can non-Christians be saved? and is there a space for 'atheism' in Dante's moral system?

        ■ Can Christianity teach us anything new about moral good and evil? What is the difference between natural and distinctively Christian ethics? 

    2. Primary Materials 9 items
      1. Please read closely these very short passages from Dante's Comedy:

        → The Moral Structure of Hell (Inferno 11)

        → The Gate of Hell (Inferno 3: 1-12)

        → The Inbetweeners (Inferno 3: 22-69)

        → Limbo (Inferno 4: 23-45)

      2. Bede's Ecclesiastical history of the English people - Bertram Colgrave, R. A. B. Mynors, Steven Runciman, Bede 1969

        Book  Please read V. 12-13. Please note that there are other editions and translations available but this is the one most commonly referred to in an academic context.

      3. Essential Critical Reading 3 items
        1. The two Dantes, and other studies - Kenelm Foster 1977

          Book  Please read the chapter ‘An Introduction to the Inferno’ (pp. 1-11)

        2. Dante and the medieval other world - Alison Morgan 1990

          Book  Please read in particular the chapter ‘The classification of sin’ (pp. 108-43)

      4. Further Critical Reading 4 items
        1. Dante and the origins of Italian literary culture - Teodolinda Barolini 2006 (electronic book)

          Book  In particular the chapter ‘Medieval multiculturalism and Dante’s theology of Hell’ (pp. 102–21)

        2. Studies in Dante: 2nd series: Miscellaneous essays - Edward Moore 1968

          Book  In particular the chapter 'The classification of sins in the Inferno and Purgatorio’ (pp. 152–209)

  6. Week 5 - Sources, Models, and New Turns 19 items
    Emma Buckley (Classics) and Lenia Kouneni (Art History)
    1. Key Questions 1 item
      1. a) Dante as Hero

        What model(s) of heroism are foregrounded in the Commedia? Do any of these bear reference to notions of heroism we find in the Aeneid?  Think esp. about

        → How Dante 'the hero' and Dante 'the poet' interact.

        → 'heroic virtue' (pietà) in Inf. Does it have anything to do with Virgilian pietas?

        → Dante as Christian hero (on model of Paul, II.32)

        → Dante as an 'Aeneas' figure (despite II.32?)


        b) Dante as Poet

        In what sense(s) does Dante take on or appropriate the vates-role (prophet-poet) the voice of 'Virgil' plays in the Aeneid?  You may wish to consider

        → How both present themselves as prophet-poet (vates), including moments of explicit prophecy, and how both foretell some kind of new order.

        → To what extent Dante deliberately points to failings or problems with the Virgilian 'vatic' voice.


        c) The role of Virgil (1): character

        What role(s) does Virg play in the Inferno? Some pointers...

        → Is V. meant to be read in an allegorical sense? (as expression of 'Reason' or the 'rational capacity of man'?)  Cf. Purgatorio XVIII, 46ff, which associates Virg with reason

        → Is V. meant to be read as an historic figure, meant to be understood historically?  Cf. Virg.'s own self-introduction in the Inf.

        → What is the connection between Virgil the poet and Virgil the magician? What were the legends surrounding his name?


        d) The role of Virgil (2): literary influence

        → What role(s) does the literary influence of the Aeneid play...

        → At the 'allusive' or 'intertextual' level?

        → At the structural and thematic levels?

        → Consider too the nature of literary influence.  Is Dante venerating the Aeneid, trying to render it obsolete, or both?


        e) Dante and Antiquities

        → How does Dante treat the antique works of art he mentions? Does he describe them in detail? What role do they serve? Does he show any aesthetic appreciation?

        → Is Dante's treatment of these works indicative of the general attitudes toward antiquities in late medieval Italy? 

        → What is the connection between Virgil the poet and Virgil the magician? What were the legends surrounding his name?

    2. Primary Materials 1 item
      1. Read books 1-2, 4, and 6 of Virgil's Aeneid (the recommended translation, because it is close to the Latin, is the Penguin edition, translator David West). Pay particular attention to:

        → (bks 1-2) the characterisation of Aeneas as leader of men (bk 1) and as doomed hero (bk 2).

        → (bks 1 and 4) the characterisation of Aeneas as lover, and agent/victim of Fate

        → (bk 6) the depiction of the Underworld in Aeneid 6, and the character of the Sybil.

        → then re-read Inferno, concentrating on Cantos 1-3, and considering how Dante's Inferno may provoke a re-appraisal of the same issues in the Aeneid.


        Read also

        Inferno 13: 143-50, Paradiso 16: 136-47 (on the statue of Mars in Florence)

        Inferno 31: 58-9 (on the pigna in Rome)

        Purgatorio 10: 70-96 (on marble relief depicting Trajan's Justice)

        Purgatorio 3:25-7 (on Virgil's tomb in Naples)

    3. Essential Critical Reading 5 items
      1. A companion to the Classical tradition - Craig Kallendorf 2007

        Book  Read Chapter 17, ‘The Middle Ages’, and Chapter 20, 'Reception' [Available in the library and as an e-book.]

    4. Further Critical Reading 12 items
      1. A companion to Vergil's Aeneid and its tradition - Joseph Farrell, Michael C. J. Putnam 2010

        Book  Read Chapter 11 by Rachel Jacoff, ‘Vergil in Dante’ [Available in the library and as an e-book.]

      2. Dante and the idea of Rome - Charles Till Davis 1957


      3. Vergil in the Middle Ages - Domenico Comparetti, E. F. M. Benecke 1895


      4. Medieval texts & contemporary readers - Laurie Finke, Martin B. Shichtman 1987

        Book  Read the Chapter by R. Jacoff, ‘Models of Literary Influence in the Commedia’ (pp.158-76)

      5. The ancient flame: Dante and the poets - Winthrop Wetherbee c2008


      6. Commentum quod dicitur Bernardi Silvestris super sex libros Eneidos Virgilii - Julian Ward Jones, Elizabeth Frances Jones, Bernard Silvestris, Bernardus Carnotensis 1977

        Book  For the medieval (pre-Dante) reception of Virgil

      7. Studies in Dante - Robert Hollander 1980


      8. A companion to classical receptions - Lorna Hardwick, Christopher Stray 2008

        Book  Please read the chapter by F. Budelmann and J. Haubold, ‘Reception and Tradition’ (pp. 13-25)

      9. Dante and the Greeks - Jan M. Ziolkowski c2014


  7. Week 7 - Gender Constructions 16 items
    Vicky Turner (French) and Justine Firnhaber-Baker (History)
    1. Key Questions 1 item
      1. ■ What kind of male/female qualities and roles do we find in the Inferno? Think about:

        • → The representation of (human) nature
        • → The extent to which agency can be described as 'gendered'

        ■ How does Dante represent the relationship between sexuality, desire and gender?

        ■ What does a focus on gender and sexuality add to our understanding of marriage practices and customs in medieval Florence?

    2. Primary Materials 1 item
      1. In light of the key questions, please read Cantos 5 and 14-16 of the Inferno as well as the following Essential Critical Readings, making notes of your own thoughts and summarising the main arguments of the critical texts.

    3. Essential Critical Reading 3 items
      1. Premodern sexualities - Louise Olga Fradenburg, Carla Freccero, Kathy Lavezzo 1996

        Book  Read the chapter by Bruce W. Holsinger, ‘Sodomy and Resurrection: The Homoerotic Subject of the Divine Comedy’ (pp.241-74)

    4. Further Critical Reading 11 items
      1. Dante for the new millennium - Wayne Storey, Teodolinda Barolini 2003

        Book  For this week's topic, read the essays: -T. Barolini, ‘Beyond (Courtly) Dualism: Thinking about Gender in Dante’s Lyrics’ (pp.65-90) -G. P. Cestaro, ‘Queering Nature, Queering Gender: Dante and Sodomy’ (pp.90-104)

      2. Dante readings - Eric Haywood, University College Dublin. Foundation for Italian Studies 1987

        Book  Read the chapter by D. O’Grady, ‘Women Damned, Penitent and Beatified in the Divine Comedy’

      3. Family forms in historic Europe - Richard Wall, Jean Robin, Peter Laslett 1983

        Book  Read the chapter by J. Hajnal, ‘Two Kinds of Household Formation Systems’ (pp. 65-104)

      4. Law, family & women: toward a legal anthropology of Renaissance Italy - Thomas Kuehn 1991

        Book  Read the chapter by T. Kuehn, 'Women, Marriage and Patria Potestas in Late Medieval Florence’ [Available in the library and as an e-book.]

  8. Week 8 - Science and Magic in the Commedia: Knowledge and its Classification in the Later Middle Ages 19 items
    Ana del campo (History and Mark Thakkar (Philosophy)
    1. Key Questions 1 item
      1. → What is "science"? Was there a distinction between science and pseudo-science in the Middle Ages?

        → Were the boundaries between licit and illicit knowledge in the Middle Ages clear-cut or blurred? Why?

        → Why did Dante emphasize the relationship between fraud and magic? And ultimately, why did the poet link fraud with simony and heresy?

        → What societal values did Dante promote by placing magicians, soothsayers and diviners in the deepest ring of Hell?

        → How can we tell what scientific sources (if any) Dante was relying on?

    2. Primary Material 2 items
      1. For this seminar, please focus on a close reading of cantos 11, 19-20, and 34 of the Inferno, but look also (if you can) at Purgatorio 5, 21, and 25.

    3. Essential Critical Reading 3 items
      1. The magician, the witch and the law - Edward Peters 1978

        Book  Read Chapter 3, "Learning and Magic in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries" (pp. 63-84), and Chapter 4, "The Systematic Condemnation of Magic in the Thirteenth Century" (pp. 85-109)

      2. A history of natural philosophy: from the ancient world to the nineteenth century - Edward Grant 2007

        Book  Read chapter 7, 'Natural Philosophy after the Translations: Its Role and Place in the Late Middle Ages' (pp. 143–78)

    4. Further Critical Reading 13 items
      1. The Organization of Knowledge - Joan Cadden, David C. Lindberg, Michael H. Shank


      2. God and reason in the Middle Ages - Edward Grant 2001

        Book  Read chapter 5, 'Reason in Action: Natural Philosophy in the Faculty of Arts', pp. 148-206 [Available in the library and as an e-book.]

      3. Magic in the Middle Ages - Richard Kieckhefer 1989


      4. Magic and divination in the Middle Ages: texts and techniques in the Islamic and Christian worlds - Charles Burnett 1996

        Book  In particular the chapter on 'Talismans: Magic as Science? Necromancy among the Seven Liberal Arts'.

      5. Astrology in medieval manuscripts - Sophie Page, British Library 2002


      6. Astronomy and Astrology - John North, David C. Lindberg, Michael H. Shank


      7. You may also want to look at the following primary texts:

        Simon Magus in The Acts of the Apostles 8: 9–24.

        -Simon Magus in The Acts of Peter, 4-29; cfr. J.K. Elliott (ed.), The Apocryphal New Testament. A Collection of Apocryphal Christian Literature in an English Translation (Oxford, 2009), pp.  401–21.

        -(e) St Augustine, The City of God against the Pagans, ed. and trans. by William M. Green et al. (Cambridge, 2014), book X, chapters 9-12 and book XVIII, chapter 18,  pp. 287–311 and 421–27. [On the types of magic and which is acceptable.]

        -Bernard Gui, The Inquisitor's Handbook (Practica Officii Inquisitionis Heretice Pravitatis), section on sorcerers, diviners and invokers of demons; cfr. John Shinners (ed.), Medieval Popular Religion, 1000-1500. A Reader (Peterborough, 1997), pp. 457–59.


  9. Week 9 - Intertextuality: Authority, authorship, self-referentiality, scripturality 14 items
    Mark Elliott (Divinity) and Alex Wolf (History)
    1. Key Questions 1 item
      1. → In what way is the bible a cultural background or prescriptive for Dante?

        → What is the difference between the allegory of the theologians and the allegory of the poets?

        → To what extent is the bible received through the interpretations of theologians such as Aquinas?

        → What is the nature of 'authority' in the Middle Ages?

    2. Primary Materials 1 item
      1. For this seminar, please focus on a close reading of Canto 34 of the Inferno.

    3. Essential Critical Reading 5 items
      1. Books and ecclesiastical offices (De libris et officiis ecclesiasticis) - Stephen A. Barney, W. J. Lewis, J. A. Beach, Oliver Berghof

        Chapter  Available in the library and as an e-book.

      2. The biblical Dante - V. Stanley Benfell 2011


      3. Dante and the Bible - Peter S. Hawkins

        Chapter  Available in the library and as an e-book.

      4. Dante and allegory - Albert R. Ascoli

        Chapter  Available in the library and as an e-book.

    4. Further Critical Reading 7 items
      1. Dante the philosopher - Étienne Gilson, David Moore 1948


      2. Dante's testaments: essays in scriptural imagination - Peter S. Hawkins 1999

        Book  In particular chapters 1-4

      3. Dante and the vulgate Bible - Carolynn Lund-Mead, Amilcare A. Iannucci 2012


      4. Dante's Commedia: theology as poetry - Vittorio Montemaggi, Matthew Treherne 2010

        Book  Read especially chapter 1 by R. Kirkpatrick, ‘Polemics of Praise: Theology as Text, Narrative, and Rhetoric in Dante’s Commedia’ (pp. 14-35); chapter 10 by C. Moevs, ‘Il punto che mi vinse”: Incarnation, Revelation, and Self-Knowledge in Dante’s Commedia’ (pp. 267-285); and chapter 11 by D. Turner, ‘How to Do Things with Words: Poetry as Sacrament in Dante’s Commedia’ (pp. 286-307)

  10. Week 10: Language and Languages 8 items
    Margaret Connelly (English) and Tim Greenwood (History)
    1. Key Questions 1 item
      1. ■ Why does Dante privilege the vernacular?

        ■ Does Dante's decision to use the vernacular constitute a philosophical or a political choice?

        ■ What does Dante's use of the vernacular in the Commedia tell us about the audience that he anticipated for that work?

        ■ Consider the story of Ugolino in Canto 33 alongside lines 2407-62 of Chaucer's 'The Monk's Tale' paying particular attention to similarities and differences between the two texts. How does Chaucer respond to Dante's text when retelling the tragedy of Hugelino in Middle English?

    2. Primary Materials 2 items
      1. Dante, De vulgari eloquentia - ed. & trans. Steven Botterill 1996

        Book  Available in the Library and as an e-book

      2. Chaucer, 'The Monk's Tale', in the Canterbury Tales [accessible from the Harvard Chaucer site:  where you will find the Middle English text with an interlinear translation: read at least the section that pertains to Hugelino, Comite de Pize (lines 2407-62 of 'The Monk's Tale') and more widely within 'The Monk's Tale' if you have time. The tale is just over 770 lines in length, divided into sections: reading a few more sections than only that pertaining to Ugolino will give you a good sense of the whole.

    3. Essential Critical Reading 5 items
      1. Latin and the Romance languages in the early Middle Ages - Roger Wright 1996

        Book  Read the essay by M. Danesis, ‘Latin versus romance in the Middle Ages: Dante’s De vulgari eloquencia reconsidered’ (pp. 248-58)

      2. The idea of the vernacular: an anthology of Middle English literary theory, 1280-1520 - Jocelyn Wogan-Browne 1999

        Book  This volume is good for general browsing. See two essays in particular: 'The Notion of Vernacular Theory', by the editors (pp. 314-30) and 'The Politics of Middle English Writing', by Nicholas Watson (pp. 331-52)

  11. Week 11: Intermediality, Receptions and Returns 6 items
    Chris Jones (English)
    1. Key Questions 1 item
      1. This seminar will consider the Irish poet Seamus Heaney's productive reception of Dante as a specific case study. Students will each be assigned a different poem by Heaney, and give a short presentation on its relationship to, and use of, Dante's Inferno.


        Questions to be addressed during presentation of poems:


        1) What does your Heaney poem do with Dante?

        2) Why does your Heaney poem use Dante in this way?


        General questions for seminar discussion:


        1) Does Dante 'help the contemporary world understand itself'? (Gragnolati, et al.) If so, how?

        2) It has been claimed that Dante has an 'obsessive presence within modernity'. Is this claim surprising or not? If we accept it is true, what reasons might there be for that?

        3) Is reproducing Dante in the contemporary world always political or can it be a purely aesthetic act?

    2. Essential Critical Reading 1 item
    3. Further Critical Reading 4 items
      1. Dante's modern afterlife: reception and response from Blake to Heaney - N. R. Havely 1998

        Book  Read the chapter by B. O’Donogue, ‘Dante’s Versatility and Seamus Heaney’s Modernism’ (pp. 242-257)

      2. Seamus Heaney and medieval poetry - Conor McCarthy 2008

        Book  Read especially the second chapter on ‘Station Island’ (pp. 53-85)

      3. A theory of adaptation - Linda Hutcheon 2006

        Book  Available in Library and as an e-book.

All rights reserved ©