Comparative Literature | The Renaissance & 17th Century
C525 | 26850 | S. Van der Laan
Class Meets TR 11:15 am - 12:30 pm
We will trace the cultural movement known as the Renaissance from
its origins in fourteenth-century Italy, through France, Spain, and
northern Europe, to its final flowering in seventeenth-century
England. Drama, epic, the novel, opera, art, architecture, humanism,
political theory, the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, and the
rise of modern science will all furnish texts for our scrutiny.
Whenever possible, we will cross disciplinary boundaries in order to
understand how developments in one form influenced another or how
ideas were developed simultaneously across several media or genres.
We will explore a range of theoretical approaches to Renaissance
texts and examine recent controversies over the use of certain
theoretical lenses to read Renaissance texts. Some attention will
also be given to the ongoing revisions of Renaissance historiography
and methods that have led to the rise of the alternative label
_early modern_. To what extent was the Renaissance a genuine rebirth
of ancient Greek and Roman culture? To what extent does it lay the
foundations of modernity? Is the concept of the _Renaissance_ still
useful—or even tenable?
This course fulfills the pre-modern requirement for graduate
students in Comparative Literature.