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Seminar Group 17

Tutor: Aidan Norrie

Email: a dot norrie at warwick dot ac dot uk

Seminar Time and Location: Tuesdays, 11am–12pm, H303.

Tutor's Office: H240.

Tutor's Office Hours: Tuesdays, 2.00pm–3.00pm; Thursdays, 12.30pm–1.30pm (teaching weeks only).


Notices: An archive of Anastasia's handouts are available for download from the right-hand column of this page (under the portrait of Elizabeth I).

***Term 3 Class Schedule Available Here***


Term 3

Week 1. No Seminar

My Tuesday office hour will not take place, but I will still hold my Thursday office hour if you want to come and see me.

Don't forget that for those of you who have opted to do Internal Assessment route that your summative essay is on 24 April, and as it is worth 40% of your final grade, please don’t leave it until the last minute!


Term 2

Week 10: Scientific and Technological Change

Welcome to Week 10, our final week of Term 2. This week, within the broader focus on Scientific and Technological Change, we will be considering the Scientific Revolution, and various responses to the people and discoveries of the period.

Read the following primary sources to get a sense of what was happening, and what was at stake:

  • René Descartes, Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting one’s Reason and Seeking Truth in the Sciences (1637). Just read Parts 1 and 2. Link here.
  • Indictment and Abjuration [repudiation/abandonment] of Galileo (1633). Link here.

Read these secondary sources, thinking both about whether the idea of a Scientific Revolution is problematic, and what role scholars have played in reinforcing these (potentially) anachronistic ideas:

  • Claudia Stein, ‘The Scientific Revolution’, in The European World 1500–1800: An Introduction to Early Modern History, ed. by Beat Kümin (London: Routledge, 2017), pp. 261–268. Link here.
  • Sarah Gordon, ‘Chemistry, Medicine, and Beauty on the Edge: Marie Meurdrac’, in Women on the Edge in Early Modern Europe, ed. by Lisa Hopkins and Aidan Norrie (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2019), pp. 45–66. PDF here.
  • Kathleen Crowther, ‘The Scientific Revolution’, in The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern European History, 1350-1750: Volume II: Cultures and Power, ed. by Hamish Scott (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), pp. 56–77. Link here.

Week 9: The Renaissance

The Renaissance is arguably one of the most popularly recognised epochs of the past, even though scholars are increasingly problematizing the concept, and seeking to include people and topics previously excluded.

Read the following primary sources:

  • Giorgio Vasari, The Lives of the Artists (1550, 1568). I expect you to read 3 biographies, one from each Part (for example, I would choose Duccio, Botticelli, and Titian), but the choice of the three is up to you. Link here.
  • Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince (1513). Link here. You can of course read the whole thing, but you must definitely read chapters: I, II, III, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XIV, XV, XVI, XVII, XVIII, XIX, XXI, XXII, XXIII, XXIV.

To make sure you’re aware of the scholarly debates around the Renaissance:

  • Humfrey Butters, ‘The Renaissance’, in The European World 1500–1800: An Introduction to Early Modern History, ed. by Beat Kümin (London: Routledge, 2017), pp. 229–238. Link here.

It’s no secret that much of the scholarship focuses on the achievements of dead, white men. So we’re going to try and address that, spurred on by Joan Kelly’s famous question: did women have a Renaissance?

  • Sharlee Mullins Glenn, ‘Sofonisba Anguissola: History’s Forgotten Prodigy’, Women’s Studies, 18.2–3 (1990), 295-308. Link here.
  • Have a look at Sofonisba’s paintings here.
  • Julie Hardwick, ‘Did Gender Have a Renaissance? Exclusions and Traditions in Early Modern Western Europe’, in A Companion to Gender History, ed. by Teresa A. Meade Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks (Oxford: Wiley, 2006), pp. 343–357. Link here.

Week 8: Communication

Welcome to Week 8. This week, we are discussing communication in the early modern period, with a particular focus on print culture (i.e., the impact of increasingly cheap forms of print, and the kinds of news and information they disseminated) and the impact of cheap print on popular and political culture (i.e., what impact did ‘the people’ having access to the details of current(ish) affairs have on politics?).

Read the following selection of Broadside Ballads from EBBA [Click on the tab ‘Text Transcription’ to see a typed transcription of the ballad]:

  • A kind congratulation between Queen Elizabeth, and the late Queen Mary II of ever glorious memory (London, 1695). Link here.
  • The lamentabe complaint of Fraunce, for the death of the late King Henry the 4. who was lately murdred by one Fraunces Rauilacke, borne in the towne of Angollem, shewing the manner of his death, and of the election and Proclayming of the new King, Lewis / the 13. of that name, being a childe of 9. yeeres of age (1610). Link here.
  • Gun-Powder Plot: Or, A Brief Account of that bloudy and subtle Design laid against the King, his Lords and Commons in Parliament, and of a Happy Deliverance by Divine Power. ([1675–1696?). Link here. [This one has a recording so you can listen to how it was supposed to be performed!] Also, note the date of publication...
  • The King and Kingdoms joyful Day of Triumph. Or The Kings most Excellent Majesties Royal and Triumphant coming to London ([1654–1663?]). Link here.

Read the following secondary sources, and think about how events were reported on, and how these reports changed over time:

  • Mark Knights and Angela McShane, ‘From Pen to Print: A Revolution in Communications?’, in The European World 1500–1800: An Introduction to Early Modern History, ed. by Beat Kümin (London: Routledge, 2017), pp. 249–258. Link here.
  • Joad Raymond, ‘News Writing’, The Oxford Handbook to English Prose, 1500–1640, ed. by Andrew Hadfield (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 396–414. Link here.
  • Thomas S. Freeman, ‘Providence and Prescription: The Account of Elizabeth in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs’, in The Myth of Elizabeth, ed. by Susan Doran and Thomas S. Freeman (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), pp. 27–47. PDF here.

Week 7: Absolutism

Welcome to Week 7. I hope you had a restful and productive reading week. This week we are focusing on absolutism. While we alluded to it in our seminars on ‘The Political Landscape’ and ‘The People and Politics’, we will now focus on a system of government that was the catalyst of great upheaval in early modern Europe.

In addition to a general reading on the ‘myth’ of absolutism, the readings for this week are split between the three states we’ll be focusing on in the seminar.

  • Nicholas Henshall, ‘The Myth of Absolutism’, History Today, 42.6 (June 1992), pp. 40–47. Link here.

Denmark:

  • Robert Molesworth, An account of Denmark, as it was in the year 1692 (1694). Just read Chapters VI and VII (so from ‘Of their Form of Government’ and stop at ‘The Condition, Customs, and Temper of the People’). Link here (you will need to scroll down a bit).
  • Jens Chr. V. Johansen, ‘Absolutism and the “rule of law” in Denmark, 1660–c.1750’, Journal of Legal History, 27.2 (August 2006), 156–162. PDF here.
  • Knud J.V. Jespersen, ‘Absolute Monarchy in Denmark: Change and Continuity’, Scandinavian Journal of History, 12.4 (December 1987), 307–316. Link here.

France:

  • Jean Domat, On Social Order and Absolute Monarchy (1697). Link here.
  • Peter R. Campbell, ‘Absolute Monarchy’, The Oxford Handbook of the Ancien Régime, ed. by William Doyle (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), pp. 11–33. Link here.

Russia:

  • Writings on Peter the Great of Russia. Link here.
  • Philip Longworth, ‘The Emergence of Absolutism in Russia’ in Absolutism in Seventeenth-Century Europe, ed. by John Miller (Houndmills: Macmillan, 1990), pp. 175–193. PDF here.

Week 6: Reading Week

No classes or office hours.

Don't forget that for those of you who have opted to do the 100% final exam stream of assessment, the 2nd Formative Essay is due on 18 March (i.e., the first Monday back), so please don’t leave it until the last minute.


Week 5: Race and Slavery

It’s no secret that the subject of this week’s seminar is both tough and uncomfortable, to say nothing of the fact we only have 50 minutes to discuss the topic. The seminar will thus have three key focuses, which are reflected in the readings:

  1. There were black people in premodern Europe;
  2. While some of the black people in Europe were enslaved in various ways, many were free and lived what could be called ‘unremarkable’ lives;
  3. There was a diversity of views regarding the morality of slavery.

In doing the readings for the seminar, I want you to think about the kinds of records that reveal details about the lives of black people (especially in relation to their white contemporaries), and the role scholars have played in perpetuating an anachronistic view of a ‘white’ premodern Europe.

1. Black People Did Live In Premodern Europe

  • The case of Katherine Auker (1690), in Women’s Worlds in Seventeenth-Century England, ed. by Patricia Crawford and Laura Gowing (London: Routledge, 2000), pp. 78–79. PDF here.
  • Miranda Kaufmann, Black Tudors: The Untold Story (London: OneWorld, 2017), pp. 1–6. PDF here.
  • Helen Young, ‘Where Do the “White Middle Ages” Come From?’, The Public Medievalist. Link here.
  • Paul B. Sturtevant, ‘Is “Race” Real?’, The Public Medievalist. Link here.
  • Brendan Kane and R. Malcolm Smuts, ‘The Politics of Race in England, Scotland, and Ireland’, in The Oxford Handbook of the Age of Shakespeare, ed. by R. Malcolm Smuts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), pp. 346–348, 363. Link here. You only need to read a few paragraphs from this: read from the start to the subheading ‘England’, and then the very last paragraph. That’s it.

2. Black People Had Various Jobs And Living Situations In Premodern England

  • Imtiaz Habib, Black Lives in the English Archives, 1500–1677: Imprints Of The Invisible (Farnham: Ashgate, 2008), pp. 1–18. PDF here.
  • Kathleen Chater, ‘Job Mobility amongst Black People in England and Wales during the Long Eighteenth Century’, Immigrants & Minorities, 28.2–3 (2010), 113–126. Link here.

3. Some People Did Think That Slavery Was A Bad Thing

  • Anthony Benezet, Observations on the inslaving, importing, and purchasing of Negroes; with some advice thereon, extracted from the epistle of the yearly-meeting of the people called Quakers held at London in the year 1748 (Germantown, PA, 1759), pp. 1–12. (i.e., stop when you reach ‘The absolute Necessity of Self-Denial’). The original pamphlet can be viewed here, or a typed version is available here.

In addition, I highly recommend that you read these very short summaries of the relevant court cases (both of which are discussed in the readings):

  • John W. Cairns, ‘Knight v. Wedderburn’, in The Oxford Companion to Black British History, ed. by David Dabydeen, John Gilmore, and Cecily Jones (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007). Link here.
  • Kathy Chater, ‘Somerset case’, in The Oxford Companion to Black British History, ed. by David Dabydeen, John Gilmore, and Cecily Jones (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007). Link here.

Week 4: Early Modern Empires

Welcome to Week 4, where we will be discussing early modern empires. As you will notice from the readings, we are taking a very global approach to the topic: this approach is vital to understanding the context of all empires, and it also helps to prevent the further perpetuation of the incorrect and inaccurate idea of Western exceptionalism.

Read the following primary sources:

  • Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq, The Turkish Letters (1555–1562). Link here.
  • Will Adams, My Coming to Japan (1611). Link here.
  • The Secret History of the Reign of Jan Sobieski (1683). Link here.

Read the following comparative studies of early modern empires:

  • Sanjay Subrahmanyam, ‘A Tale of Three Empires: Mughals, Ottomans, and Habsburgs in a Comparative Context’, Common Knowledge 12.1 (2006), 66–92. Link here.
  • Leonard Blussé, ‘Northern European Empire in Asia: The VOC’, in The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern European History, 1350-1750: Volume II: Cultures and Power, ed. by Hamish Scott (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), pp. 227–251. Link here.
  • C.K. Woodworth, ‘Ocean and Steppe: Early Modern World Empires’, Journal of Early Modern History 11.6 (2007), 501–518. Link here.
    (For those of you who are struggling with how to incorporate discussion of the historiography into your essays, this review article is a great example of it done well—although of course I don’t expect as much as this!)

Week 3: The People and Politics

Welcome to Week 3. A brief reminder: modern, representative democracy would be completely foreign to premodern people. While social hierarchies helped keep order, there were limited ways for people to express displeasure with government (read: royal) policy. This week, we consider what happened when everyday people became political. For some reason, this topic always makes me think of ‘aggressive negotiations’ from Attack of the Clones (watch here).

Read the following primary sources. Think about what they have in common, as well as how they’re different:

  • Demands for Kett’s Rebellion. Link here.
  • Demands from the German Peasants’ War of 1525. Link here.
  • Death Warrant for Charles I. Link here.

Read the following secondary sources to both contextualise the primary sources, and to think about the Europe-wide ‘revolts’:

  • Bernard Capp, ‘Riot and Rebellion’, in The European World 1500-1800: An Introduction to Early Modern History, ed. by Beat Kümin (London: Routledge, 2017), pp. 377–385. Link here.
  • Samuel K. Cohn, Jr, ‘Authority and Popular Resistance’, The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern European History, 1350-1750: Volume II: Cultures and Power, ed. by Hamish Scott (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015). Link here.
  • John H. Elliott, ‘Revolution and continuity in early modern Europe’, Past & Present 42 (1969), 35–56. Link here.

Week 2: The Political Landscape

In The European World this week, we are considering the early modern political landscape, with a focus on state formation, and different styles of government. We will also think about international relations, and how state formation impacted these relations.

Read the following primary sources, thinking about how intertwined religion and politics was, and how different forms of government were conceived:

  • Dutch Declaration of Independence. Link here.
  • Letters from Elizabeth I to Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor, in Elizabeth I’s Italian Letters, ed. and trans. by Carlo M. Bajetta (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), pp. 21–62 (you can, of course, skip over the original Italian). PDF here.
  • Edict of Nantes. Link here.

Read the following secondary sources to contextualise the primary sources, and think about what international relations in an era before the internet looked:

  • Carlo Capra, ‘Governance’, in The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern European History, 1350-1750: Volume II: Cultures and Power, ed. by Hamish Scott (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), pp. 478–507. Link here.
  • David Potter, ‘Mid-Tudor Foreign Policy and Diplomacy: 1547–63’, in Tudor England and Its Neighbours, ed. by Susan Doran and Glenn Richardson (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005), pp. 106–127. Link here.

Week 1: The Catholic Reformation / The Counter Reformation

Welcome back! I hope you enojoyed your break, and are refreshed and ready for another term of The European World. I am looking forward to meeting you all.

Our focus this week will be on Catholic responses to the Reformation, including the reforms instituted in response to Protestants criticism (or indeed re-statements of traditional Catholic orthodoxy). A large part of the seminar will be devoted to a debate over the links between the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, so make sure you think about these as you do the following readings:

  • Profession of Faith (Tridentine Creed). Link here.
  • Decrees from the 6th session of the Council of Trent (1547). Link here.
    (Focus on ‘On Justification’, but please do skim the ‘Decree on Justification’ and ‘Decree on Reformation’).
  • Anne Gerritsen, Kevin Gould and Peter Marshall, ‘The Long Reformation: Catholic’, in The European World 1500-1800: An Introduction to Early Modern History, ed. by Beat Kümin (London: Routledge, 2017), pp. 124–133. Link here.
  • Alexandra Walsham, ‘Translating Trent? English Catholicism and the Counter Reformation’ in Catholic Reformation in Protestant Britain (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014), pp. 341–367. PDF here.

Elizabeth I Rainbow Portrait

Referencing Examples

Term 1 Archive:

Seminar 1: Europe Around 1500  

Seminar 2: Social Relationships   

Seminar 3 - Gender  

Seminar 4 - Trans-Cultural Contacts  

Seminar 7 - The Medieval Legacy