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Undergraduate Study with the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance

Renaissance Europe I: Foundations and Forms (codes RS200-15 / RS300-15 : Year 2 / 3 students)

Term/Day/Time for both modules: Monday, 2-4pm, (room details on syllabus pages)

Assessment method for both modules, 100% essay. Yr 2 students-1 x 3500-word essay chosen from a list of given titles; Yr 3 students-1 x 4000–4500 word essay, on a freely chosen topic determined in consultation with the module convenors and/or tutors.

This is the first of two linked (15-CAT) interdisciplinary modules on Renaissance Europe for either intermediate or finalist undergraduate students from across Warwick. Organized by the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance, it introduces students to the Renaissance period and to how it is approached by different disciplines. It has two main blocks. The first considers what models from the past Renaissance figures tried to imitate and emulate, and how interpretations of the Renaissance have evolved over time. The second studies some of the forms through which Renaissance figures expressed themselves culturally and underlines the importance of considering written, visual, and material sources together (and, indeed, in a mutually informative way). Throughout, the module includes examples from Italy and other parts of Europe.

The module is taught by tutors from various departments/disciplines (History; Art History; Classics; Modern Languages; English and Comparative Literature). Primary texts originally written in Latin or modern languages not necessarily known by students will be offered in English translation. Students with a background in languages are encouraged to read the texts in the original whenever possible.

NB: There are no prerequisites for taking this module, which is open to students from across the humanities, sciences, and other fields of study. Erasmus students are most welcome.

Outline Syllabus

Week 1: Introduction

Models and influence

Week 2: Greece, Rome, and beyond

Week 3: The Christian tradition

Week 4: Italian and European Humanism

Week 5: Inventing the Renaissance: from Vasari to Burckhardt

Week 6: Reading Week

Texts, Art, and Artefacts

Week 7: Renaissance Poetry and Poetics

Week 8: Distaffs, Lutes, and Prayer Books: The Female Renaissance

Week 9: Renaissance painting

Week 10: Botanical Manuals


Renaissance Europe II: Movement, Revolution, and Conflict (codes RS201-15 / RS301-15 : Year 2 / 3 students)

This is the second of two linked (15-CAT) interdisciplinary UG modules on Renaissance Europe. It develops the framework introduced in the first part (which will be helpful but not mandatory) by looking at three specific themes, to do with places and travel, ‘revolutions’, and conflicts in the period. It underlines the variety and change of the period (implicit in the term ‘Renaissance’) and challenges students to think critically about the notions of continuity and discontinuity in the past.

The module is taught by tutors from various departments/disciplines (History; Art History; Classics; Modern Languages; English and Comparative Literature) and is again organized by the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance. Primary texts originally written in Latin or modern languages not necessarily known by students will be offered in English translation. Students with a background in languages are encouraged to read the texts in the original whenever possible.

NB: There are no prerequisites for taking this module, which is open to students from across the humanities, sciences, and other fields of study. Erasmus students are most welcome.

Outline Syllabus

Place, Movement, and Travel

Week 1: Localism and internationalism: students, merchants, and writers

Week 2: Inns

Week 3: Libraries and the circulation of books

‘Revolutions’

Week 4: Technology, science, and medicine

Week 5: Revolutionizing art

Week 6: Reading Week

Week 7: Religious culture: reform or revolution

Conflicts and Subversion

Week 8: Latin and vernacular(s)

Week 9: Political and social upheavals

Week 10: Authority, conformity, and control

 More specific aims are:

  • to introduce students to the historical and cultural development of Europe in the Renaissance period
  • to help students develop a critical understanding of how the period has been and is interpreted by scholars in different fields
  • to extend students’ knowledge of and ability to work with a variety of different sources, including textual, visual, and material
  • to enhance students’ capacity for effective information-gathering, research, and writing
  • knowledge of historical and cultural development in Renaissance Europe
  • critical thinking about the period from different subject perspectives
  • understanding of the historiography undergirding the study of the Renaissance
  • familiarity with different kinds of sources and their context
  • subject-specific research skills

To register your interest or let us know that you would like a place, do please drop us a line on renaissance@warwick.ac.uk

For more specific course content information, please contact the Director of the Centre Prof David Lines (d.a.lines@warwick.ac.uk)

High calibre essays submitted for assessment to either of these modules, may be eligible for entry into the Dr Greg Wells Annual Undergraduate Essay Prize, details here.