Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitHistory
Monash Passport categoryInternational Short Field Experience (Explore Program)
OfferedPrato Summer semester A 2015 (On-campus block of classes)
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Carolyn James


This is an international study program that requires an application to be enrolled - see the Arts PratoArts Prato (http://artsonline.monash.edu.au/prato/) page for further information. + The unit is offered as a Summer Semester unit - see the Summer Arts ProgramSummer Arts Program (http://www.monash.edu/students/courses/arts/summer-program.html) page for further information.


This unit explores the political, social, artistic and spiritual milieus of Italy and Europe from the late thirteenth to the early fifteenth centuries. It focuses in particular on the writings of the Italian poet Dante Alighieri but extends also to the study of literary and archival sources from the period following the Black Death. Taught in Prato, the unit provides an opportunity to understand Dante's literary achievement and his political activities through direct experience of the urban environment in which he lived and wrote about. The unit will encompass reflections on the history of love and war, religion and money, politics and the papacy, as well as the impact of 14th century crises such as the Black Death through a close analysis of the built environments of medieval Tuscany and its hinterlands and of the cultural artefacts that survive from the period.


Upon successful completion of this unit students will be expected:

  1. to be familiar with the social, political, cultural and religious environments of Italy in particular and Europe more generally between the late thirteenth and early fifteenth centuries.
  2. to be familiar with core writings of Dante (in translation)
  3. to be capable of analysis of a primary document and aware of the significance of the context in which it was generated
  4. to formulate an argument and engage in original research
  5. to communicate a historical argument to staff and fellow students in an oral presentation
  6. to be able to work collaboratively with fellow students on research projects
  7. to communicate research findings convincingly in written form
  8. To formulate an original project suitable for investigation within an undergraduate research essay (third years)


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.