Italian Lit Trans 255: Boccaccio's Decameron – "Black Death and Medieval Life"

This is a COMM-B course. Have you ever wondered how it was to live during the Black Death? What was society like in the Middle Ages? How did these people lay foundation of today’s society we live in? Were they really very different from us, or do we share common everyday challenges? What can we learn from them? And, if we could, what could we teach them? We will ask and answer these questions while reading one of the world’s greatest literary classics, Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron, a text that will make us both laugh and cry. The course will investigate literature, art, pop culture, music, politics, religion, interpersonal and transcultural relations, warfare, fashion, gender roles, and everyday life of our medieval and early modern ancestors through a variety of sources (from medieval written accounts to the twentieth-century feminist response to the representation of women, from medieval frescoes to film and Internet, etc.).