Comp Lit 215 and History 280C, section 2: The Renaissance before the Secular

Instructor: Professors Victoria Kahn and Ethan Shagan

This course offers an introduction to Renaissance and early modern studies, focusing on debates about secularism as they pertain to four topics: the state, the human, literature, and society. We will read works by Dante, Luther, and Savonarola, Las Casas, Petrarch, Machiavelli, Milton, Lucy Hutchinson, Ann Halkett, and Giambattista Vico. The course will be co-taught by a historian and literary scholar and the methodological differences between these approaches will be one of the main topics of the seminar. The course satisfies the Intellectual History requirement of the Designated Emphasis in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies.

English 246C: Sixteenth-Century English Literature

Instructor: Professor Jeffrey Knapp

This survey course will focus on the poetry, drama, and prose literature of sixteenth-century England. We'll also read key works from the past fifty years of literary scholarship on the period.

History of Art 290, section 2: Silent Archive/s

Instructor: Professor Sugata Ray

The 1980s arrival of an archive fever, le mal d’archive, saw the development of new methods of fieldwork and research in visual studies and art history. This, in turn, provoked a questioning of the conceit of the archive as a panoptical repository of objects and documents. The move towards reading the archive-as-subject (ethnographies of the archive), rather than the archive-as-source (study of objects housed in an archive), leads us to reexamine the archive function in both history and historiography.

Italian Studies 212: Becoming Dante: Dante before the Commedia

Instructor: Professor Albert Ascoli

This course is the first half of a two semester sequence which will study the evolution of Dante’s cultural project and his poetics. In this semester we will examine the major works leading up to the writing of the Commedia: Vita Nova; the major “canzoni”; De Vulgari Eloquentia, and Convivio, seen in proleptic relationship to selected passages from the Inferno.

Italian Studies 215: Shakespeare’s Italy: Appropriating the Renaissance in Early Modern England

Instructor: Professor Diego Pirillo

‘Inglese italianato è un diavolo incarnato’ (an Italianate Englishman is a devil incarnate) , Roger Ascham famously said in the Schoolmaster, reproaching the wide diffusion of Italian language and culture in Elizabethan England. Despite Ascham’s attack on the ‘Italianate Englishmen’, the influence of Renaissance Italy remained wide and persistent in early modern England, as is clear to any reader of the Merchant of Venice or Romeo and Juliet. What Italian authors were read the most in the Tudor and the Stuart period and by whom? Who published them and in what material form? How did the book trade work? Did the movement go only in one direction or was Italy also reciprocally influenced by English culture?