F412 Spring 2019 Dante’s Paradiso
Thursdays, 9:40–11:05, Apr. 25–May 16
Instructor: Kristina Olson
In this course, we will read Dante’s Paradiso (Paradise), the third canticle of his magnum opus Divine Comedy, in English. Given the difficulty of the material, we will read Paradise not with the ambition of complete comprehension, but as an introduction to the beauty and complexity of Dante’s rich poetry. For those who have taken the courses already offered on Dante’s Inferno and Purgatory, this course will continue to examine the key themes of his poems: the soul’s journey into the afterlife, the poet’s life and times, including ancient and contemporary politics and literary influences. Prior knowledge of Dante’s poems is not required, but some familiarity is encouraged.
Kristina Olson is associate professor of Italian and Italian program coordinator at George Mason University. She is the author of Courtesy Lost: Dante, Boccaccio and the Literature of History (University of Toronto Press, 2014) and several articles on Dante, Boccaccio and Petrarch. She is also the co-editor of Boccaccio 1313-2013 (Longo Editore, 2015), and, together with Chris Kleinhenz, co-editor of the second edition of Approaches to Teaching Dante’s Comedy, which is forthcoming with the Modern Language Association. She serves as vice president of the American Boccaccio Association.