Skip to main content Skip to navigation

IT327 Love, Desire and Poetry in Dante and the Italian Middle Ages

Module Code: IT327
Module Name: Love, Desire and Poetry in Dante and the Italian Middle Ages
Module Coordinator: Dr Fabio Camilletti
Not Running 2019-20
Module Credits: 15

Module Description

Reading List

The Middle Ages invent love in the modern sense. Born at the conjunction of Southern and Northern Europe, and of classical antiquity and Christian ethics, courtly love – the sorrowful worship for an absent Lady, sublimated into poetry-making – establishes a 'lover's discourse' that still reverberates in contemporary culture: the idea that love is in some sense the most noble literary subject, the evaluation of un-exhausted desire over possession, the irremediable gap between subject and the object of desire.

By focusing on Dante's Vita Nova (circa 1295), this module aims to give you an overview of courtly love between Provence and medieval Italy, an essential aspect for understanding Dante's later works – and most notably the Comedy – and the centrality of love in the Western literary canon. We will use the Vita Nova as the starting point for a broader reflection on love, desire, memory, and poetry, through a strict dialogue with contemporary theory.‚Äč


One of the following options:

4,000-4,500 word essay (Assessment code A)
3,500-4,000 word essay (85%) and presentation (15%) (Assessment code A1)
2,000-2,500 word essay (50%) and 1 hour exam (50%) (Assessment code C)
1,000-1,500 word essay (35%), presentation (15%), 1 hour exam (50%) (Assessment code C1)

Dr Fabio Camilletti

F dot Camilletti at warwick dot ac dot uk

Dott.ssa Paola Roccella

P dot Roccella at warwick dot ac dot uk