This course fulfills an elective requirement for the DE in REMS.
In this survey, we follow how authors from Francesco Petrarca and Thomas More to John Donne participated in the grand cultural project of the Renaissance, ostensibly defined by the belief that consuming and producing culture would elevate human beings above their natural state. Many of our authors supported the project; some opposed it fervently. But willingly or not, everyone we read during the semester contributed to it, if only by virtue of recording their impressions, thoughts, feelings, and fancies in writing. In addition to the works of Petrarca, Wyatt, Philip and Mary Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare, and Donne, among others, we will also explore how scholarly views about the Renaissance as a cultural project have changed and developed from Jacob Burckhardt’s The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy to New Historicism and beyond.