The Italian Renaissance
Winter Semester 2006
113 Classic Hall
M W F: 10:00-11:00
866-7205 (office) (502) 451-5351 (home)firstname.lastname@example.org
Course Description and Objectives
The Renaissance is a discussion-oriented seminar focusing on the culture of Italy from roughly 1350 to 1550.
The course is designed to introduce students of the liberal arts to the sources and historiography of the Italian Renaissance.
Considerable emphasis is placed on alternative interpretations of the relationship between power and imagination, between economic and political structures and the world of ideas and art.
There are no prerequisites to the course, but students are expected to be able to analyze and interpret primary documents thoughtfully, evaluate alternative interpretations of historiographical problems critically, and write substantive, interpretive research papers.
1. Donald Wilcox, In Search of God and Self (Waveland) 0881332763
2. Lauro Martines, Power and Imagination (Johns Hopkins) 0801836433
3. Gene Brucker, Giovanni and Lusanna (California) 0520063287
4. Rosa Maria Letts, The Renaissance (Cambridge) 0521299578
5. Baldassare Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier (Viking Penguin) 0140441921
6. Niccolo Machiavelli, The Portable Machiavelli (Viking Penguin) 0140150927
7. Diana Hacker, Rules for Writers fifth edition (Bedford /St. Martins) 0312406851
8. Readings from the Internet (links to which can be found in the schedule below)
Final grades will be based on an evaluation of the following.
1. Three exams (20% each)
The exams will consist of short-answer questions and essay questions. In your essays, you will be expected (1) to isolate key themes and concepts, (2) to explain those themes and concepts with clarity and precision, and (3) to provide specific examples to reinforce and prove your general points.
2. Research paper (20%)
Your paper may be on any topic related to the content of the course. The paper is to be analytical and interpretive, not simply descriptive. It should present a thesis and develop an argument (and include potential counter-arguments). The length of the paper should be 5-6 pages. You are expected to use Interlibrary Loan when essential sources are unavailable through the Duggan Library.
3. Prospectus and in-class presentation (10%)
The grade will be based on the quality of the (1) thesis and argument, (2) organization, (3) logic, (4) evidence, (5) alternative interpretations, (6) sources, and (7) writing.
The prospectus should include (1) a draft of the first paragraph of the research paper, including the thesis statement, (2) an outline of the entire research paper, and (3) a bibliography of the research paper consisting of at least eight substantive sources (this may vary depending on the topic). The outline should convey the essential features of the presentation, but should not be more than two pages. The bibliography will be evaluated both on the quality of the sources and on proper citation.
4. Class participation (10%)
The six-minute presentation functions as a first draft of the research paper. It should identify the problem addressed in the paper, develop a thesis and argument, and entertain alternative interpretations. The grade will be based on the quality of the (1) thesis and argument, (2) organization, (3) logic, (4) evidence, (5) alternative interpretations, (6) sources, and (7) presentation.
The success of this class depends upon the quality of the dialogue in class. Class participation grades will reflect your attendance record, the frequency of your contributions to class discussions, and the quality of your questions, observations, and conclusions. Commentary on the presentations of others is included in the class participation grade.
Jan. 11: Wilcox, General Introduction, Chs. 1 and 2
Jan. 13: Martines, Preface, Chs. 1 and 2
Jan. 16: Martines, Chs. 3 and 4
Jan. 18: Martines, Chs. 5 and 6
Jan. 20: Martines, Chs. 7 and 9
Jan. 23: Martines, Chs. 8 and 10
Jan. 25: Wilcox, Chs. 3 and 4
Jan. 27: Wilcox, Ch. 5; Petrarch
Jan. 30: Wilcox, pp. 90-98; Vergerius
Feb. 1: Wilcox, pp. 98-105, 123-5, 139-40; Valla
Feb. 3: Wilcox, Ch 7; Pico
Feb. 6: Martines, Ch. 11
Feb. 8: First Exam
Feb. 10: Martines, Ch. 12; Castiglione, 31-57
Feb. 13: Castiglione, 57-68, 90-104, 124-134, 193-203
Feb. 15: Castiglione, 207-26, 284-309
Feb. 17: Castiglione, 322-345
Feb. 20: Letts, Interpreter, Chs. 1-3
Feb. 22: Letts, Chs. 4-6
Feb. 24: Martines, Ch. 13; Painting
Mar. 6: Brucker, Preface, Chs. 1-3
Mar. 8: Brucker, Chs 4 and 5 and Epilogue
Mar. 10: Second Exam
Mar. 13: Wilcox, Ch. 9; Martines, Ch. 14; Machiavelli, 77-92
Mar. 15: Machiavelli, 92-146
Mar. 17: Machiavelli, 146-166; Wilcox, Ch. 10; Prospectus Due
Mar. 20: Presentations
Mar. 22: Presentations
Mar. 24: Presentations
Mar. 27: Presentations
Mar. 29: Machiavelli, 167-188, 203-213, 224-228
Mar. 31: Machiavelli, 281-301, 351-356, 381-383
Apr. 3: Machiavelli, 419-429
Apr. 5: Machiavelli, 430-479
Apr. 7: Wilcox, Ch. 11; Martines, Ch 15
Apr. 10: Letts,Chs. 7 and 8
Apr. 12: Martines, Ch. 16
Apr. 14: Art; Music
Apr. 17-21: Final Exam