HUMS 180, Dante in Translation
This course focuses on Dante’s Divine Comedy, a masterpiece of world literature and a crucial work in the development of Italian culture. After looking at the Vita Nuova (New Life) as the starting point of Dante’s poetic trajectory, we will read the Comedy in its entirety and in light of what it claims to be – a journey to God. Such an approach will not shortchange us of the extraordinary wealth of knowledge that Dante’s Comedy encompasses; rather, it will challenge us to assess the role that knowledge plays in his and any journey to beatitude – i.e., happiness. Special attention will be given to Dante’s appropriation of his pagan sources, his assimilation of the Bible and of Christian doctrine, and his efforts to establish his own text as nothing short of sacred.
Professor Christiana Purdy Moudarres
Christiana Purdy Moudarres is Assistant Professor of Italian Language and Literature. After completing her Ph.D. in Italian literature at Yale, she went on to pursue her interest in Medieval Studies through Yale Divinity School’s M.A.R. program. Her research interests include Dante, the intersection of medieval science and religion, and gender studies. She has published articles on natural philosophy and theology in the Divine Comedy and has edited three volumes on medieval and early modern literature: Table Talk: Perspectives on Food in Medieval Italian Literature, New Worlds and the Italian Renaissance: Contributions to the History of European Intellectual Culture, and Dante’s Volume from Alpha to Omega (forthcoming). An Ahmanson Research Fellow and Visiting Scholar at UCLA’s Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies from 2012-2013, she is currently completing her first book, A Sacred Banquet: Medicine and Theology in Dante’s Commedia, under review with University of Notre Dame Press.