Instructor: Professor Joanna M. Picciotto
We’ll explore John Milton’s entire career, a lifelong effort to unite intellectual, political, and aesthetic experimentation. We’ll start by reading his great epic poem Paradise Lost. Then we’ll go back to the beginning, working through Milton’s college homework, early poems, and some political writings of his maturity. These are crucial texts for understanding the English
Instructor: Professor Emily Zazulia
Why was the library of the newly formed Sistine Chapel choir full of books of masses based on love songs? As soon as composers began writing polyphonic settings of the Mass Ordinary in the 1440s, they based them not only on plainchant, but also on popular songs of an apparently secular nature. The prominent presence
Instructor: Professor Kristin Primus
In this course, we will study some early modern debates about the nature of ideas, intentionality, representation, sensation, perception, consciousness, introspection, and intellection. Readings will include works by Descartes, Malebranche, Arnauld, Spinoza, Cavendish, and Leibniz.
Instructor: Professor Kinch Hoekstra
Absolutism is frequently associated with strong European monarchies of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. But the claim that sovereign power or authority is or should be absolute is not confined to monarchies or to the early modern period, and its meaning is disputed by critics and defenders alike. We will focus on early modern European theorists,
Instructor: Professor Henrike Lange
Several decades into the recuperation of Aby Warburg’s work, his unfinished “Mnemosyne Atlas” (63 collaged boards combining reproductions of historical sites, objects, and artworks with contemporary ads, maps, stamps, postcards of 1927-1929) is newly accessible. Digital access to the Bilderatlas (https://warburg.sas.ac.uk/library-collections/warburg-institute-archive/online-bilderatlas-mnemosyne) and its recent full publication offer new perspectives on the Mnemosyne project and its view of Italy.
Instructor: Professors Anneka Lenssen and Todd Olson
The Gothic, grotesque, and arabesque. These are categories that seem to undergo “resurgence” at points of crisis or irresolution. They are also early modern discourses inherited by modernism, each marking ways to engage and manage the perceived alterity of ornament (Supplement? Limit case? Indulgence? Divinity?). In numerous and often divergent ways, scholars and artists have
Instructor: Professor Mairi McLaughlin
This course charts the history of writing about the French language from the medieval period to the current day. We will explore both canonical texts such as treaties, books of remarks and language columns by authors such as Du Bellay, Vaugelas and Rivarol, alongside less well-studied texts which represent a wider range of people, places,