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Approaches to Teaching Dante's Divine Comedy

Editor(s): Carole Slade

Pages: xiii & 177 pp.
Published: 1982
ISBN: 9780873524780 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780873524773 (hardcover)

"This collection of essays and bibliographies is an immensely valuable volume for the beginning and seasoned teacher alike. One can only wonder why a pedagogical book such as this has not appeared before.... [It] should be on every Dante shelf."

The contributors to this collection believe that Dante can be enjoyed by college students at every level whether or not they are literature or language majors. Primarily addressing instructors who teach the poem in translation, sixteen scholars suggest a variety of strategies and critical methods that will prove useful and informative to both experienced and novice teachers.

The volume, like others in the MLA's Approaches to Teaching World Literature series, is divided into two parts. The first part, "Materials," reviews commonly taught translations of the Divine Comedy, important reference works, background readings for teachers and students, and classroom aids such as paintings and illustrations. In the second part, "Approaches," an introductory essay by Giovanni Cecchetti identifies nine key themes, ranging from Dante as the new Ulysses and the new Aeneas to Dante as poet and protagonist, that can structure an initial reading of the Divine Comedy. Other contributors take different perspectives including religious, political, and literary; apply several methodologies such as linguistic, typological, and analytical; and compare Dante with major modern authors like Proust and Joyce.

Table of Contents

Approaches to Teaching Dante's Divine Comedy

Carole Slade

Italian Editions
Translations: Dual-Language Editions and English Editions

Reference Works

Reading for Students and Teachers
General Introductions to Dante
Background Studies
Critical Works
Reception and Influence Studies
Studies of Individual Canticles
Collections of Essays

Aids to Teaching

Further Reading on Teaching Dante



An Introduction to Dante's Divine Comedy
Giovanni Cecchetti

Philosophies of Teaching and Reading the Divine Comedy

Dante's Divine Comedy: Drama as Teaching
Glauco Cambon

Dante's Unfolding Vision
Richard H. Lansing

On Teaching the Inferno
Wallace Fowlie

Critical Approaches to Teaching the Divine Comedy

Reading the Divine Comedy: A Textual Approach
Christopher Kleinhenz

The Divine Comedy: Texts and Contexts
Rachel Jacoff

An Archetypal Approach to Teaching the Divine Comedy
Gaetano Cipolla

A Comparative Approach to Teaching the Divine Comedy
Marie Giuriceo

Divining the Comedy: Dante and Undergraduates
Philip J. Gallagher

Selected Courses and Units on Dante: Pedagogical Strategies

Paradiso and the Orient in Flint, Michigan
Judith Kollmann

The Purgatorio as a Unit in a Medieval Literature Course
Elizabeth R. Hatcher

Teaching Dante in an Interdisciplinary Context
Theodora Graham

Dante: Gateway to the Humanities
John B. Harcourt

The Divine Comedy as a Map of the Way to Happiness
Sister Mary Clemente Davlin, O.P.

Teaching Dante to Undergraduates at Princeton
Robert Hollander

Teaching Dante's Divine Comedy in Translation
Amilcare A. Iannucci

Works Cited


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