2012 Fall

Comparative Literature 215: INTRODUCTION TO RENAISSANCE HUMANISM

Instructor: Victoria Kahn

An introduction to Renaissance humanism, focusing on the work of Petrarch, Bruni, Salutati, Valla, Machiavelli, Castiglione, Erasmus, More, Ascham, Elyot, Lipsius, and Shakespeare. In addition, we will read some of the classics of Renaissance scholarship (Burckhardt, Kristeller, Baron, Garin, Trinkaus, Greenblatt, Cave and Greene), as well as more recent work in the field. Topics will include Renaissance theories of imitation and literary production, the revival of classical rhetoric, humanist pedagogical practices, the civic and political function of rhetoric, the transformation of political theory, the relationship between Christianity and classical culture. [more]

French 245A: FRENCH SOCIETY AND THE OLD REGIME (1600-1800)

Instructor: Déborah Blocker

This seminar introduces students to the historiography of early modern French society (1600-1800), by comparing modern historiographical writings on the topic to a variety of literary texts ­ plays, novels, mémoires and social satire ­ from the 17th and 18th centuries, which depict early modern French society or reflect on particular social problems. It asks not only what was French society in the Old Régime, but also how did the very notion of an "Old Régime" society come into existence and in what ways is this historiographical construct still important for us today? To answer these questions, the seminar will focus on how modern historiography works to reconstruct France's forgone social realities and what role literary productions might have played in the process. [more]

History 275B: EARLY MODERN EUROPE

Instructor: Ethan Shagan

History 275B is the foundational course in the history of early modern Europe from roughly 1400 to 1800, or from the Renaissance through the French Revolution. The course offers an intensive introduction to major themes and historiographical debates and aims to develops graduate students' skills in historical criticism. It is intended for graduate students in the history department with EME as their first or second field; other graduate students may take the course with permission of the instructor. [more]

History 280B: HETERODOXY, ORTHODOXY, AND EARLY MODERN RELIGION

Instructor: Jonathan Sheehan

Christianity has always oriented itself toward, and put an enormous premium on, an organizing principle of orthodoxy. In the early modern period, however, orthodoxy exploded into competing factions. Multiple orthodoxies emerged, and in their wake, a host of heterodoxies and heresies. These dynamics put enormous pressure on normative Christianity, and were powerfully generative of new forms of religious, political, and cultural life. This course will treat this period of dynamic diversification, roughly spanning 1450-1700, as a laboratory for studying the history and historiography of modern religion. [more]

History of Art 260: Graduate Seminar (Renaissance): Jusepe de Ribera (1591-1652)

Instructor: Todd Olson

The Spanish born artist, who was active in Rome and Naples during the first half of the seventeenth-century, has left a series of works that are remarkable for their repetitiveness. Thumbnail photos of his oil paintings in catalogue raisonées betray obsessive repetition. This seminar will consider how figurative iteration, reversibility and material degradation in Ribera’s etchings provided an experimental practice. The seminar will also consider the late work of Caravaggio in Naples, Sicily and Malta, Ribera’s representation of torture and martyrdom, his graphic procedures, and the politics of representation in viceregal Naples. [more]

Latin 140: LATIN LITERATURE OF THE RENAISSANCE (NEO-LATIN)

Instructor: Frank Bezner

This course explores one of the most creative and interesting periods in post-classical Latin literature and literary culture: the epoch of humanism and the subsequent "respublica litterarum" of the 16th and 17th centuries. We will first read extracts from Petrarchs Latin works, then focus for about a month on literary works produced in (basically) 15th-century Florence (Salutati, Bruni, Pico, Poliziano). In the last third of the course we will explore some - mainly poetic - genres (e.g. love poetry by Johannes Secundus; Milton's Latin poems; neo-Latin epics; and some early-modern philology). [more]

Rhetoric 230: MEASURE FOR MEASURE: INVESTIGATING HISTORIES OF METROLOGY AND MODERNITY

Instructor: Michael Wintroub

In this class we will take the measure of measure, from vision, to motion, to affect and emotion, on to time and the heavens and into the hidden recesses of the body. Sight was disciplined by perspective; motion was plotted and gauged; representation was organized and made to scale; language was given order; and man as a moral/political being was directed to live a measured—prudent—life. [more]

Spanish 280 section 2: LAS COLONIAS Y EL FUNDAMENTO DEL MUNDO MODERNO

Instructor: Ivonne del Valle

En este curso partiremos de un planteamiento radical: el hecho de que 1492 marcó el fin de un mundo y el principio de otro, pese a que muchos de sus protagonistas de entonces y de épocas posteriores no parecen haberse dado cuenta de ello. [more]