Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Venice in the Renaissance

Venice in the Renaissance

This residential module will take place in Venice and analyses the cultural, economic, political, social, and religious history of Venice and its empire from the late fourteenth to the late sixteenth century, within the broader context of the Italian Renaissance. Taught in Venice, it familiarises students with the city via a series of site visits and guided tours of major galleries and cultural sites.

Who is this module open to?

Credit bearing:

Open to all intermediate level (second year) students at Warwick, with a priority given to History students.

Open to students from partner institutions.

  • HI2H2-15 - Intermediate, for 15 CATS credit in current year (2023/24)

Key dates

This module will take place 17-28 June 2024.

  • Teaching (in Venice): 17-28 June 2024
  • Final assessment deadline: 19 July 2024 (tbc)


Students would be required to fund their travel to, and living expenses (accommodation and subsistence) in Venice for this module.

Warwick students may be eligible to apply for Turing funding if taking two WIISP modules back-to-back in Venice and residing for at least 28 nights.


This is a residential module and will be taught in Venice, Italy.

What's special about our modules?

This programme will challenge your thinking, develop your confidence and open up a world of new opportunities. You’ll consider new ideas, apply theory to real world issues working in teams and individually, and develop new networks, connections and friendships. This will provide you strong analytical and research methods skills which also enhance your employability profile for a globalised world of work, derived from a transformative blend of online learning and intercultural engagement.

Access to Intercultural Training will provide further enhancement of your skills.

The intensive nature of our programme lets you focus purely on your chosen modules.

You should expect around two weeks of daily face-to-face sessions (on location) and possibly one week of preparatory online activities. The aim is to work in groups consisting of incoming students (from partner institutions) and Warwick students during the module. Assessments will consist of a mix of group and individual activities.

There are no additional programme fees for Warwick students to take our modules.

Where will you be taught?

Our intensive modules are taught in various ways: mostly face-to-face (combing some online learning and face-to-face teaching). Modules will be based at Warwick central campus, or our overseas residentials will be based at selected European locations relevant to module content. Our modules are designed to be taught in an intensive way, combining physical teaching, and online activities.

All participants will be expected to attend all lectures and group work activities in real time; this might include some online activities in the prep week (where listed in Key dates). As modules are intensive there is not expected to be free time during the teaching period for you to undertake other activities; there will be limited time available during the teaching period to explore the surrounding area.

Students are responsible for checking their own visa requirements and all associated applications and costs.

For overseas modules students are responsible for identifying and booking their own accommodation.

For overseas modules students are responsible for identifying and booking their own accommodation.

Dr Luca Mola

Dr Molà is an associate professor of the history of the Italian renaissance with a focus on Venice.

 Luca Mola

Module aims

This module analyses the cultural, economic, political, social, and religious history of Venice and its empire from the late fourteenth to the late sixteenth century, within the broader context of the Italian Renaissance. Whilst focusing on northern Italy, the option also considers issues with a wider resonance in Renaissance and Early Modern History, including migration, disease, charity, gender, violence and communication. The module makes use of an extensive range of primary sources. Learning on site in Venice will familiarise students with the city and the module is based around a series of site visits in the historic centre.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

The module will be structured around 5 x 2-hour thematic seminars, each preceded by a 2-hour site visit/on site lecture on the same them:

  • Theme 1: Government. Site visit: The Doge’s Palace and Piazza San Marco
  • Theme 2: Art and Culture. Site visit: The Accademia Gallery
  • Theme 3: Religion. Site visit: The Scuola Grande di San Rocco and the Frari Church
  • Theme 4: The Material World. Site visit: Rialto
  • Theme 5: Society. Site visit: The Jewish Ghetto

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Evaluate and critique the cultural, economic, political, social, and religious history of Venice and its empire from the late fourteenth to the late sixteenth century
  • Understand how the history of Venice can be accessed through a diverse range of textual, visual, and material sources, including the city of Venice itself and its former territories
  • Analyse and compare different types of sources, and enhance their ability to develop a historical argument
  • Engage with historiographical debates and think about the history and legacy of different historical concepts
  • Encourage independent research, historiographical engagement, and the development of critical analysis

Indicative reading list

  • Burke, Ersie C., The Greeks of Venice, 1498-1600: Immigration, Settlement and Integration (Turnhout, 2016)
  • Carboni, Stefano (ed.), Venice and the Islamic World, 828-1797 (New Haven, 2007)
  • Chambers, David, and Brian Pullan (eds and trans), Venice: A Documentary History 1450-1630 (1992; rept. Toronto, 2001)
  • Chojnacka, Monica, Working Women of Early Modern Venice (Baltimore, 2001)
  • Chojnacki, Stanley, Women and Men in Renaissance Venice: Twelve Essays on Patrician Society (Baltimore, 2000)
  • Contarini, Gasparo, The Commonwealth and Government of Venice, trans. Lewis Lewkenor (London, 1599)
  • Davis, Robert C., The War of the Fists: Popular Culture and Public Violence in Late Renaissance Venice (New York, 1994)
  • Dursteler, Eric R. (ed.), A Companion to Venetian History 1400-1797 (Leiden: Brill, 2013)
  • Howard, Deborah, The Architectural History of Venice (New Haven, 2004)
  • Huse, Norbert, and Wolfgang Wolters, The Art of Renaissance Venice: Architecture, Sculpture and Painting, 1460-1590, trans. Edmund Jephcott (Chicago, 1993)
  • King, Margaret L., Venetian Humanism in an Age of Patrician Dominance (Princeton, 1986)
  • Marinella, Lucrezia, The Nobility and Excellence of Women and the Defects and Vices of Men, ed. and trans. Anne Dunhill (Chicago, 1999)
  • Martin, John Jeffries, Venice’s Hidden Enemies: Italian Heretics in a Renaissance City (Berkeley, 1993)
  • Molà, Luca, The Silk Industry of Renaissance Venice (Baltimore, 2000)
  • Ravid, Benjamin, Studies on the Jews of Venice, 1382-1797 (Aldershot, 2003)
  • Rosand, David, Myths of Venice: The Figuration of a State (Chapel Hill, NC, 2001)
  • Salzberg, Rosa, Ephemeral City: Cheap Print and Urban Culture in Renaissance Venice (Manchester, 2014)
  • Sansovino, Francesco, Sansovino's Venice, ed. and trans. Vaughan Hart and Peter Hicks (London, 2017)
  • Sanudo, Marin, Venice, cità excelentissima: Selections from the Renaissance Diaries of Marin Sanudo, ed. and trans. Patricia H. Labalme and Laura Sanguineti White (Baltimore, 2008)
  • Vivo, Filippo de, Information and Communication in Venice: Rethinking Early Modern Politics (Oxford, 2007)

Research element

The module makes extensive use of primary sources and students will engage also with museum collections and archives.


The module draws particularly on the study of art and architectural history and material culture studies as well as ranging across political, religious, cultural and social history.

The module is designed to provide the students with an understanding of relationships between the different disciplinary areas within the Humanities and Social Sciences, particularly History, Politics and Sociology. It also invites to the students to make connections with other disciplinary areas covered in their main study programme. It provides the students with a critical understanding of dominant traditions and methodologies associated with the main phenomena covered in the module and enables the students to transcend disciplinary boundaries. The interdisciplinary course cohort provides contact opportunities and learning to see from different perspectives is a core aspect of the learning experience.


The module will be taught in Venice and likely involve students from different educational backgrounds. Students will engage with comparative and transnational methodologies and will do so in an intercultural context.

The module draws on cases from different contexts and different geopolitical areas. The assessment involves students working in groups which will allow for a global and local outlook to be built into the module’s work. The international and diverse course cohort provides contact opportunities and learning to see from different perspectives is a core aspect of the learning experience.

Transferable skills

  • Work effectively with others in group tasks and in teams
  • Plan and manage time in projects
  • Develop strong analytical skills
  • Find, evaluate and use previous research at a level appropriate for an intermediate year module
  • Use a range of tools and resources effectively in the preparation of course work
  • Use appropriate analytic methods to analyse research data
  • Read academic papers effectively in the context of an intensive programme
  • Communicate clearly and effectively in discussions
  • Communicate ideas effectively in writing.

Study time

Type Required
Seminars 5 sessions of 2 hours (7%)
External visits 5 sessions of 2 hours (7%)
Private study

130 hours (86%)

  • History modules require students to undertake extensive independent research and reading to prepare for seminars and assessments. As a rough guide, students will be expected to read and prepare to comment on three substantial texts (articles or book chapters) for each seminar taking approximately 3 hours. Each assessment requires independent research, reading around 6-10 texts and writing and presenting the outcomes of this preparation in an essay, review, presentation or other related task
Total 150 hours


You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.

  Weighting Study time
Seminar contribution 10% 10 hours

Contribution to seminar discussions, evidence of preparation etc.

Analysis of Primary Source (1,000 words) 30% 15 hours

Commentary on primary source extract

Reflective essay (2,000 words)


25 hours

Students will reflect on a question related to the themes of the module, with reference to relevant historiographical debates

Feedback on assessment
  • Feedback will provided in writing via Tabula
  • Further oral feedback and clarification will be provided upon request.

Before you apply

You can take a maximum of two WIISP modules, and cannot take them at the same time. This module runs at the same time as the following modules, so you cannot choose these as a second module:

This module runs at the same time as the preparatory week for the following modules:

Please note

  • Warwick students will need to check with their department before applying to take a WIISP module
  • Students from partner institutions will need to apply via their home institution
  • You are expected to fully engage and participate in the module, including in any group activities, if not your registration will be cancelled
  • Module details provided on these pages are supplementary to module details in the module catalogueLink opens in a new windowLink opens in a new window. Subsequently individual module pages (moodle/my.wbs) will provide live details
  • All modules require minimum numbers to run. This is set by each module leader.

How to apply

If you want to make an enquiry before applying, please contact the WIISP team at WIISP at warwick dot ac dot uk

Apply - Warwick students