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Module Regulations

Context of Module

Taught in Venice in the Autumn term, this module is taken by students on the MA in the Culture of the European Renaissance.

Module Aims

This module gives students a unique opportunity to study the history of a great Mediterranean city while living in it. The module builds on and extends the Venice Programme whereby undergraduate students have been taught in Venice by the History Department since 1967. The Venice Programme has an international reputation and this module draws on the expertise of staff working in this area.

The module aims to provide an introduction to the methodological and theoretical issues involved in researching and writing on Renaissance and early modern social, cultural, and religious history, with a specific focus on Venice between c. 1450 and c. 1600. The module addresses a variety of themes of central importance to the study of early modern history and introduces students to current trends in approach and topic in this field. A particular theme of the course is how this period in Venetian history was characterised by currents of disorder and attempts to impose control, from both above and below, in the spheres of cultural, social, and religious life, and in the urban environment from the parish to the piazza. The module serves both to encourage students to think in theoretical terms about the ways in which the society and culture of an early modern European city such as Venice can be historically reconstructed and to expose them to the opportunities and problems presented by a variety of evidence. These sources include letters, diaries, dialogues, poems, broadsheets, pamphlets, chronicles, histories, maps, engravings, woodcuts, architecture, paintings, sculpture, as well as legislation and court records. The module will use insights from neighbouring disciplines including anthropology, gender studies, history of art, law, literary criticism, sociology, and social theory.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module the student should be able to:

  • identify and evaluate the most frequently used sources (archival, literary, and visual) for the study of the social, cultural, and religious history of Venice;
  • communicate ideas and findings about the social, cultural, and religious history of Venice in a comparative context, both orally and in writing, to peers and to tutors
  • engage in the analysis of a body of primary and secondary source material including relevant information technology;
  • analyse and evaluate the contributions made by existing interdisciplinary scholarship on the social, cultural, and religious history of Venice;
  • develop the ability to contextualise Venice as a subject of historical enquiry.

1 X 5,000-word essay. For the deadline, please check Tabula.

NB The essay should conform with the referencing conventions of the Department of History. These are available here.