COURSE INFO

Instructor:
prof. Matilde Zampi Ph.D.
Credit Hours: 3 -- Contact hours: 45
Course Number: ENGL 287
Department: Liberal Arts and Cultural Studies
Prerequisite: None

Course description:
Classes will focus on the origin of Italian literary language and poetry, with special attention to Dante’s Divina Commedia, Petrarca’s Canzoniere and Boccaccio’s Decameron, the three masterpieces of the whole Italian and European literature. The study of selected works and
authors will be combined with readings and discussions conducted by the instructor in English, but constantly referring to the original texts. This course will provide a basic but exhaustive outline of Medieval History, thought and aspects concerning everyday life. First, we will briefly examine the birth and the development of the Italian language; secondly, the rise of secular verse and new literary topics, such as the profane love and the observation of nature; then, we will study the inclusion of everyday speech in the literary language. These themes and other ones that might be of special interest to students, will be discussed as we study the masterpieces of this period.

This is a course for students who are interested in Italian literature, culture and civilization. 14th century literature is a key to understanding Italian and European history from the Middle Ages to
the 21st century. Particular attention will be given to politics, ideology, art and life in general of this historical period. The course will begin with an historical outline of Europe and Italy, from Antiquity through the 14th Century. Students will read literary texts, poetry and prose, presented in English translation, but constantly compared with the original Italian version.
This course provides the students interested in Italian culture with fundamental bases on Italian literature: attending it, students will approach literary tradition and the history of Italy and Europe, which is crucial for a deep comprehension of Italian civilization and artistic sensibility. Dante's poem, in particular, represents a unique synthesis of Medieval culture, for its integration of ethics, political thought, and theology with poetic imagination.
Meet the Faculty: Prof. Matilde Zampi
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Dr. Zampi was born in Montepulciano (SI), Italy.  She received a Laurea cum Laude degree in Humanities with a major in History in 1989 and her Master degree in Medieval, Modern and Contemporary History in 1992 from the University of Florence. She received her Ph.D. in History of European Society at the University of Pisa in 1997 with a thesis on A Spanish Governor in Milan in 1573 - 1580. She has published critical essays in the historical magazine Accademia Borromaica.
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