This comparative seminar explores the controversial and complex works of Boccaccio and Christine de Pizan. Boccaccio, illegitimate, impoverished son of a Florentine banker, and Christine de Pizan, an Italian woman isolated at court in Paris during a civil war both use literary form to construct communities--local, linguistic, national, intellectual, gendered, universal. This seminar attempts a different conception of literary community beyond national types and hierarchies offering students opportunities to explore their works and modern critical debates about them. All works available in translation. Readings in original languages and preceptorial meetings for majors and graduate students.