Dec. 16, 2021

Marathoning Dante's "Inferno"

George Ferzoco's unique method of teaching Dante's "Inferno" gave students a deeper understanding of medieval thought and an opportunity to get to know each other.
George Ferzoco

Earlier this term, students of HTST 321 (High/ Late Medieval History - 1076-1418) devoted several classes to medieval religious culture by analyzing the Divine Comedy and other works by Dante Alighieri (1265-1321). As part of the course, and in commemoration of the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death, the students took part in a marathon reading of Dante’s Inferno. Students took it in turns to read individual cantos, and briefly discuss each one. The readings not only gave students a much deeper understanding of medieval thought, but also the opportunity for them to get to know each other.

The class was taught by Adjunct Senior Instructor, George Ferzoco. “I got the idea to try a marathon reading while I was in the Italian Department at the University of Leicester, and continued this after I joined the University of Bristol’s Religion Department and the Centre for Medieval Studies. Students there loved the experience of being part of an academic and cultural enterprise. I am very pleased that University of Calgary students responded with equal if not greater enthusiasm.”