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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "EN/ITS 295"
COURSE NAME: "Dante's Divine Comedy"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2019
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: James Schwarten
EMAIL: jschwarten@johncabot.edu
HOURS: MW 10:00-11:15 AM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: EN 110 with a grade of C or above
OFFICE HOURS:

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
The course is an introduction to a critical reading of Dante’s Divine Comedy in its historical, philosophical, religious, and poetic contexts. Readings of Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise seek to identify Dante’s stylistic and thematic contributions to the literary world as well as to understand their relationship with medieval politics, philosophy, and culture. This course is taught in English.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:
This course is designed to introduce students to Dante’s Divine Comedy through close readings of specific cantos coupled with selections of pertinent literary criticism and commentary. In-class discussion will reference Dante's personal life, novel aspects of the Divine Comedy, the classical tradition, and theological concerns. Visual aids will also complement the course.

Student Responsibilities:

Students are expected to:

- arrive punctually for the start of class
- not leave the classroom once class has begun
- not use electronic devices during class
- submit assignments on time (late submissions will receive a grade of zero)
- complete assigned readings on their due dates
- take exams on their scheduled dates

NO LATE ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE CONSIDERED.

The assessment criteria listed below refer to all assessment methods in the course.

REQUIRED READINGS:

Selected readings from:

Teodolinda Barolini, The Undivine Comedy Detheologizing Dante. Princeton UP, 1992.

Joan Ferrante, The Political Vision of the Divine Comedy. Princeton UP, 2014.

John Freccero, In Dante's Wake. Reading from Medieval to Modern in the Augustinian Tradition Edited by Danielle Callegari, and Melissa Swain. Fordham UP, 2015.

Robert Hollander, Allegory in Dante's Commedia and Dante: A Life in Works, Princeton UP, 1969.

Joseph Anthony Mazzeo, Medieval Cultural Tradition in Dante's Comedy. Cornell UP, 1960.

Christian Moevs, The Metaphysics of Dante's Comedy. Oxford UP, 2008.                 

Additional critical readings will be assigned during the course.
LEARNING OUTCOMES:

Upon completion of this course students will be able to:

- Identify the structural and formal aspects of The Divine Comedy and discuss poetic and political circumstances of its composition.

- Discuss the significance of the major religious, historical, and cultural allusions in the Divine Comedy.

- Critically relate Dante’s key-themes to the culture of Medieval Italy.

- Understand the varied ways in which Dante nurtured the imagination of subsequent writers and artists.
TEXTBOOK:
NONE
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
The Divine ComedyAllen Mandelbaum (Dante Alighieri)Everyman's Library USA978-0679433132  
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Participation mid-termAssessed qualitatively and quantitatively and includes such practices as active participation in class discussions, offering insightful comments and asking pertinent questions, note-taking, and remaining attentive during class meetings.5
Midterm Exam 25
In-class Oral PresentationStudents will prepare their own "Lectura Dantis" based on a specific canto and drawing from scholarly research (minimum 3). Handouts will be provided.10
Participation end-termAssessed qualitatively and quantitatively and includes such practices as active participation in class discussions, offering insightful comments and asking pertinent questions, note-taking, and remaining attentive during class meetings.5
Research PaperResearch paper (4,000 words) based on a topic relevant to the course and carried out using academic sources. Handouts will be provided.25
Final Exam 30

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course.
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluate theory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture and reference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:

Letter grades and corresponding percentages for this class

94 – 100 points = A

90 – 93.99 pts = A-

87 – 89.99 = B+

83 – 86.99 = B

80 – 82.99 = B-

77 – 79.99 = C+

70 – 76.99 = C

60 – 69.99 = D

59.99 – 0 = F 

ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS AND EXAMINATION POLICY

You cannot make-up a major exam (midterm or final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed. The final exam period runs December 9-13.

Course-specific absence policy: Each unjustified absence (for whatever reason) beyond the third will incur a 3% penalty in the final grade calculation.
ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

The course schedule is subject to modification. Ancillary readings will be made available throughout the semester.


Session

Session Focus

 

Assignment

Exam Dates

WK 1A

2 Sep

Course introduction, syllabus, goals and expectations, research paper, introductory discussion of the life and literary works of Dante Alighieri and genesis of the Divine Comedy

 

 

 

WK 1B

4 Sep

Continuing discussion of the life and literary works of Dante Alighieri and genesis of the Comedy, introduction to Inferno


 

 

WK 2A

9 Sep


Inferno I, II, III, IV

 

 

WK 2B

11 Sep

Inferno V, VI, VII, VIII



 

WK 3A

16 Sep

Inferno IX, X, XI, XII


 

 

WK 3B

18 Sep

Inferno XIII, XIV, XV, XVI


 

 

WK 4A

23 Sep

Inferno XVIII, XIX, XXI, XXII


 

 

WK 4B

25 Sep

Inferno XXIII, XXIV, XXV, XXVI

 

 

 

WK 5A

30 Sep

Inferno XXVII, XXVIII, XXIX

 


 

WK 5B

2 Oct

Inferno XXX, XXXI, XXXII

 

 

WK 6A

7 Oct

Inferno XXXIII, XXXIV 

 

 

WK 6B

9 Oct

Conclusions on Inferno

Begin preparing for Midterm exam

 

WK 7A

14 Oct

Review for Midterm Exam

 

Paper topic, research question, outline, and full bibliography due

 

WK 7B

16 Oct

 

 

 

MIDTERM EXAM

WK 8A

21 Oct

Introduction to Purgatory; Purgatory I, II

 

 

WK 8B

23 Oct

Purgatory III, V, X



WK 9A

28 Oct

Purgatory XV, XVI, XVII

 

WK 9B

30 Oct

Purgatory XVIII, XIX, XX

 

 

WK 10A

4 Nov

Purgatory XXI, XXII, XXIII

Research paper final draft due

WK 10B

6 Nov

Purgatory XXIV, XXVII, XXIX

 

 

WK 11A

11 Nov

Purgatory XXX, XXXI, XXXII


WK 11B

13 Nov

Purgatory XXXIII, conclusions on Purgatory

 

 

WK 12A

18 Nov

Introduction to Paradise; Paradise I, II

 

 

WK 12B

20 Nov

Paradise IV, V, XI, XII

 

 

WK 13A

25 Nov

Paradiso XV-XVIII

Begin preparing for Final Exam


 

WK 13B

27 Nov

Paradise XXIII, XXIV, XXVIII, XXX

 

 

 

WK14A/14B

3/5 Dec

Paradise XXXI-XXXIII, conclusions on Paradise and Divine Comedy 

FINAL EXAM WEEK: DEC 9-13