The Dante Society of America is active in creating and promoting opportunities for scholars, students, teachers, and the general public to learn more about Dante's life, works, and cultural legacy. Please send notices of upcoming events, online projects, and other resources to firstname.lastname@example.org. The contents of this section is maintained by our Education and Outreach Committee.
In keeping with our increased emphasis on the teaching of Dante in pre-collegiate contexts, we began presenting examples of secondary student writing in the "Student Encounters" section of Dante Notes in June 2016. We hope that the initial examples we have posted will encourage additional submissions of comparable quality.
We invite secondary school teachers to submit papers by their current or former students so that their work can be considered for inclusion on this website project or possibly in a published anthology. The work can be a traditional analytic essay, a work about the student’s interaction with the text, or a creative work inspired by Dante.
To submit student writing, please send a copy as an attachment in Microsoft Word format to Dan Christian, a teacher of English at the Gilman School in Baltimore, MD, at the following email address: email@example.com.
If you have friends or acquaintances who teach Dante, please forward this invitation to them as well, so that we can have the broadest possible group of teachers involved in this project. If the Dante Society decides to use a work, we would ask you to secure the writer’s permission to have it posted on our website.
Dante Notes now includes a section dedicated to pedagogy. Here you will find a syllabus for teaching Dante at the high school level submitted by Barbara Rosenblit, inaugural winner of Durling Prize for excellence in teaching Dante at the pre-collegiate level (see below). We will be adding additional pedagogical materials in time. Please consider submitting yours to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In July 2018, we posted an essay by Sandy Wilcox, a retired teacher at Geneseo Central School, reflecting on her fifteen years of teaching Dante to high school sophomores.
In July 2017, Milton Burke published Words Unbound: Teaching Dante's Inferno in the High School Classroom (University of Arkansas Press). The full contents of the volume may be accessed via JSTOR. Copies may also be purchased from the University of Arkansas Press, Amazon, and other retailers. Burke is a retired high school English teacher in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Words Unbound draws on his thirty years of teaching experience to help educators bring Dante's Inferno alive for today’s young reader. In a conversational, "colleague-to-colleague" style, Burke shares the interpretations, questions, and exercises he found effective in his high-school classroom, emphasizing group discussion.
Teaching activities and lesson plans for Dante's Inferno from the 2015 NEH summer seminar for high school teachers led by Deborah Parker (University of Virginia) and Mark Parker (James Madison University) may be freely consulted on their seminar website: Dante’s Inferno: Influence, Adaptation, and Appropriation.
The Council of the Dante Society and the family of our late and much lamented colleague Robert M. Durling invite members and friends of the Dante Society to contribute to the "Robert M. Durling Prize" fund. This award recognizes excellence in the teaching of Dante’s life, time, and works by educators working in North American secondary schools. Read more about the prize and contribute online.