Humanities Seminars Course: Dante's Purgatorio

Thursday, November 5, 2015 - 1:00pm to Thursday, December 3, 2015 - 4:00pm
Rubel Room, Poetry Center 1508 E. Helen Street Tucson, AZ 85721
THURSDAYS 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. November 5 - December 3, 2015. No class on November 26, 2015. Register here.

Tuition: $120.00

Dante’s Purgatorio, as is well known, is not a standalone text; it is simply the second part of The Divine Comedy. In this course we will deal with Dante’s views on redemption and salvation as represented in his Purgatorio. Our focus will be the nature of sin: How it is that appetites which keep the body and species alive are evil (i.e., lust and gluttony). And how human beings can transcend their fallen nature (with divine assistance). We will cover the numerous historical personages and references in the work, as well as the theology implicit in it. Dante’s Purgatorio changes the tone of the Comedy, illustrating how people can become “pure and ready to rise to the heavens.”

Required Reading: 

Alighieri, Dante. Purgatorio. Trans. Jean and Robert Hollander. Anchor, 2004. ISBN-10: 0385497008.

FABIAN ALFIE is a Professor of Italian in the Department of French and Italian. He received his PhD in Italian from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1995 with a specialization in the Middle Ages. He has published extensively on medieval Italian literature, and has given numerous scholarly and public talks on Dante. He is currently on the Board of the Humanities Seminars Program, and in 2008 he received a Distinguished Teaching Award from the College of Humanities.