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IT317 Introducing Dante's Hell

Module Code: IT317
Module Name: Introducing Dante's Hell
Module Coordinator: Dr Federica Coluzzi
Term 1 Time: TBC
Module Credits: 15

Module Description

In the year of the global celebrations of the 700 Centenary of Dante Alighieri’s death, the module leads students through a multisensory journey into Inferno, the first realm of his grandiose vision of the afterworld, the Inferno (Hell).

The lectures will introduce you to the central figures, themes and stylistic features of the first cantica of the Divine Comedy through the close-reading of selected cantos (full and abridged) in English translation (with facing Italian text). Students will engage in a collaborative exploration of its historical context, narrative complexities and the ethical issues Dante poses and which are still relevant in the contemporary world (including, but not limited to, desire and sexuality, freedom of thought, punishment and expiation).

The seminars will further the thematic reading from the perspective of their afterlife in modern and contemporary literary and visual, material and digital culture, reflecting upon the sources and implications for ‘mediation’. The seminar will enable you to trace and discover the many reverberations and reconfigurations of Dante’s Inferno in literature, film, comic books, theatre, videogames, and TV series.

For 2021-22 this module is open to students across SMLC including those who are not taking Italian language. The core text is available in Italian with an English parallel translation. Options include include Robin Kirkpatrick (Penguin, 2006); Robert and Jean Hollander (Doubleday, 2003); Charles Singleton (Princeton University Press, 1991)


3000-3500 word essay: 85%
5-7 minute class presentation: 15%