Dante's Commedia for Our Time: Is the Traditional Canon Still Relevant?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The development of multimedia and information and communication technologies (ICTs) and their application in the university classroom provides an opportunity through which to teach and experience literature in an unprecedented manner. 'Digital natives', who now form a significant portion of the university student body, have access to, experience with, and significant skill in navigating traditional literacies and the digital world. While the 'digital differentiation approach' indicates that there are differences even amongst digital natives in their use of technology, this group, nonetheless, has a unique relationship with these two environments. There are features of Dante's Commedia which are suited to a traditional and digital presentation. One of the characteristic features of the medieval poem is its polysemy; an element which lends it to meaningful interpretation on a number of levels. Moreover, the presence of the Commedia in both popular culture and in academia has seen it interpreted and adapted through widely different media. The concept of remediation, therefore, becomes a useful framework through which to understand the work in some of its more recent adaptations. This chapter does so through an analysis of YouTube responses to a full-length animation entitled Dante's Inferno. An Animated Epic, based on Visceral Games' Dante's Inferno, a videogame. It concludes by indicating that, while there are serious considerations in the adoption of digital pedagogy, the literary canon, the humanities, and the Commedia particularly, are now in an environment which supports their continued relevance and renewed presentation in a university setting.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationItalian Identities
EditorsDiana Glenn, Graham Tulloch
Place of PublicationLeicester, UK
PublisherTroubador Publishing
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781838594473
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameTroubador Italian studies
PublisherTroubador Publishing


  • information and communication technologies
  • ICTs
  • university
  • literature
  • Digital natives
  • student


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