ONLINE LITERATURE COURSE
“Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”: Dante’s Paradiso and What Makes Dante “Divine”
Discover why Dante’s Divine Comedy has inspired writers and readers for nearly 700 years in this engaging, interdisciplinary discussion of some select canti (sections of poems) from the Paradiso. Dante’s poetic and moral imagination has inspired generations of writers, thinkers, filmmakers, musicians, and artists. This seminar will explore how and why Dante’s influence has endured and what about the Divine Comedy’s last chapter makes it a perennially relevant masterpiece of world literature.
Some of the central topics of the course will include Dante’s unique vision of the heavenly sphere, his relationship to the past and the future, the blessed figures from theology to philosophy that he encounters amongst the stars, and a discussion on a variety of thematic concerns such as Dante’s understanding of poetry, grace, love, and divine justice. We will also discuss how the Divine Comedy’s last chapter offers an enduring message for today with an eye to its enduring relevance to modern-day readers.
This course is open to all and does not require an understanding of the previous chapters of Dante’s Divine Comedy (Inferno and Purgatorio). The course will use John D. Sinclair’s translation of the Divine Comedy.
This three-part seminar will include close readings of the following canti of the Paradiso.
Kristin Stasiowski, Ph.D is the Assistant Dean of International Programs and Education Abroad for the College of Arts and Sciences and is also an Assistant Professor of Italian Language and Literature in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at Kent State University. She received her Ph.D from Yale University in Italian Language and Literature and has taught Italian language, literature, cinema, history and culture in both Florence, Italy and at Kent State. She recently published a chapter entitled A Divine Comedy for All Time: Dante’s Enduring Relevance for the Contemporary Reader in Italian Pop Culture: Media, Product, Imageries. Rome, Italy: Viella Editrice s.r.. Her current research is focused on Dante, Boccaccio, and the modern poet Clemente Rebora.
- CULTURE AND HISTORY: Students will develop a deeper appreciation of the historical, literary, and theological context of the Divine Comedy.
- CRITICAL APPROACH: Students will gain the ability to read works of literary, rhetorical, and cultural criticism and will work on their own critical, active reading and writing skills through directed reading.
- SENSE OF GENRE: Students will be able to identify formal elements of Dante’s use of language and poetry and how those shape the overall meaning of his poem.
- ORAL COMMUNICATION: Students will learn productive and relevant modes of discourse to speak thoughtfully and in an informed way about moral, philosophical, ethical, and theological concerns in the Divine Comedy.
Virtual Classroom: Full access to an online educational platform with discussion forum, videos of recordings, syllabus, and reading list.
Location: LIVE INTERACTIVE ON-LINE LITERATURE LECTURES
Readings to be provided to students in PDF format prior to the beginning of course.
Complete syllabus will be provided upon registration.
- ALL LECTURES WILL BE RECORDED AND AVAILABLE FOR VIEWING AT YOUR CONVENIENCE IN OUR VIDEO LIBRARY FOR THE DURATION OF THE COURSE