General honors (GH) classes

Previously Offered general honors (GH) classes

General Honors (GH) courses are the heart of the University Honors Program curriculum and feature small class sizes, dedicated faculty members, interdisciplinary perspectives, active learning and an exciting array of topics. These classes can be accessed by searching under University Honors in the catalog. The following is an example of a General Honors (GH) course that has been offered in the past. This course may or may not be offered again.

GH101: Dante's Inferno


course description

This class is devoted to a close reading of Dante's Inferno, the first part of his masterwork “The Divine Comedy.”  

Our focus on this single book allows us to explore and more fully comprehend in an interdisciplinary fashion the art, education, economics, history, religion, literature, geography, daily life, etc., of Dante’s world, life, and times.

Dante’s remarkable devotion to, understanding of, and interpretation of Classical literature will necessitate special consideration of the influence of the ancient Roman author, Vergil, on the Inferno.

For students unfamiliar with the Inferno, it is, in brief, a book about the nature of a place of eternal punishment after death for people whose actions during life were (from Dante’s perspective) deserving of punishment. In the Inferno we shall meet an incredible and fascinating cast of characters – from the blessed pagan poets of antiquity to the corrupt politicians and churchmen of early Renaissance Italy – and learn why each has been consigned, by Dante, to an eternity in the Inferno. 

Aside from these fascinating stories, we explore this book in light of its particular excellence as a work of poetry. Alongside, we consider Dante’s previous works, sources of biographical information and great and revolutionary poetic beauty; the influence of Dante’s Inferno on later writers; and what we, as modern readers, may gain from a thorough understanding and appreciation of this undeniably great work of Western Literature.

Instructor: Professor Marilyn bisch