Chiampi Dazzles Students With Dante

A minute before 1 p.m. on Tuesdays, you can find me sitting in a classroom in the Humanities Office Building, bleary from last night’s work. I’ll be slumping in my chair, perhaps shooting the breeze with other classmates lazily, or maybe just sitting there gazing into space. Suddenly, a man charges into the room and begins spouting points on Dante’s ‘Inferno’ right off the bat. He demands, piques and keeps your attention with ease throughout the 50 minutes of class. He is James T. Chiampi, professor of Italian and the instructor for the University Studies 3 course ‘To Hell with Dante.’

Chiampi studied at La Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, and the University of Florence as a Fulbright Scholar before receiving his Ph.D. at Yale University. He brings up Florence often in his discussions, speaking passionately of its landmarks and beauty. His experience as a student in Florence was quite different from his experience in the United States.

‘My professor walked into the class,’ Chiampi recalled, ‘and he [called] us ‘figli di cani’