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WSU STUDY ABROAD: THE EVOLUTION OF THE RENAISSANCE FLORENCE, PROVENCE, AND SHAKESPEARES ENGLAND HISTORY 4720, PHILOSOPHY

2920 Summer Semester 2013 May 7-31, 2013 Dr Katie Nelson; katienelson2@weber.edu Marc D Nelson; marcnelson@weber.edu

Course Description: The Evolution of the Renaissance is an interdisciplinary course which integrates the philosophy, art, and history of the European Renaissance. The possible origins and trajectory of the Renaissance is emphasized as students follow its geographical course from Florentine origins to the Shakespearean Golden Age. Critical thinking about key debates will form the foundation of the course. The complexities of cultural change and the emerging schism between science and religion will be explored. Students will also come away with an understanding of how modern Western culture has deep ties to the European Renaissance. Course Objectives: It is the aim of this course to help the student better understand and critically evaluate the philosophies and history of the Renaissance as it spread through Europe. It is designed to offer experiential learning in an intensive time frame. This course will foster thinking and analytical skills, as emphasis is on critical analysis of major debates and key ideas/figures of the Renaissance. Required Texts: Stephen Greenblatt, The Swerve, How the World Became Modern (Norton and Co., 2011). Jocelyn Hunt, The Renaissance, Questions and Analysis in History (Routledge, 1999). Francesco Petrarch, excerpts from Petrarchs Letters to Classical Authors (Chicago, 1910).* Michel Montaigne, excerpts from Complete Essays, any edition. William Shakespeare, As You Like It, any edition (an edition with footnotes is MUCH preferred). Francis Bacon, Novum Organum, any edition.* *available online Assignments: No late assignments will be accepted; you are always welcome to turn assignments in early. Your grade will be determined by the following:
Assignment
Points

Academic Journal Full attendance and participation One 9-10 page paper on a debate in Renaissance studies TOTAL

200 200 200 600

Academic Journal: Keep an academic journal in the format of your choice. Ideally, this would be a hard-bound, blank paper journal suitable for travel. This journal will contain a record of all your thoughts throughout this course, from pre-departure to the return home again. Write your reading notes, responses to assigned analysis questions (see below), travel experiences and any ideas that come to you along the way. You may also wish to paste maps, pictures, or other artifacts of your travel into 1

the book as well. Be creative! This will become a record not just of your travel experience but also your enlightenment. You will be given a list of required response/analysis questions for each assigned text; these must be answered thoroughly in your academic journal (see course schedule). Aim for the equivalent of 2-4 handwritten pages of thoughts/content per question. Most readings will be completed before departure, but Hunts The Renaissance, Questions and Analysis in History will be assigned throughout the trip. (So that is the one book youll need to carry with you.) The completed journal is due on or before July 8. Ten-page paper on a debate in Renaissance studies: This course will highlight a number of debates/critical issues relating to the Renaissance. Underlying all these is the Renaissance phenomenon of the beginning of the rift between science and religion. In a 9-10 page critical paper, explore the possible historical causes for such a dramatic shift. What events, what artists, what ideas, what places, do you believe to have been the most crucial forces behind the cultural swerve? What were their particular contributions? How might todays Western culture be different (if at all), if history were slightly altered? A successful paper will integrate the course readings on the topic with travel experiences and conclude with your own analysis of the issue. An excellent paper will also integrate additional research on the ideas/people/places of your choosing. Citations and bibliography required. Grading rubric discussed in class. Use of WSUs Writing Center is highly recommended. The paper is due on or before July 8. Attendance and Participation: Students are expected to attend every two-hour pre-departure class (listed below) as well as every group tour/discussion while abroad. Full participation is crucial to this intensive experiential learning course. Ten points will be earned for attendance at each lecture, tour or discussion and cannot be made up. Grading Scale:
94-100% 90-93% 87-89% 84-86% 80-83% 77-79% A AB+ B BC+ 74-76% 70-73% 67-69% 64-66% 60-63 C CD+ D D-

CLASS SCHEDULE: Date & Topic: 7 MAY (TUE) Intro to the Renaissance Itinerary of Activities, Readings & Assignments: Have read The Swerve in full and answered three response questions. Response question for chapters 1-4: Greenblatt is essentially arguing that a poem changed the world. Do you agree that the written word can have this kind of power? Can you think of any other texts that initiated similar swerves? Response question for chapters 5-8: What parallels and differences do you notice between the Medieval world, that suppressed Lucretius poem, and world in which we live today? Response question for chapters 9-11: Today, the term Epicureanism still evokes notions of rash, indulgent pleasure-seeking. Did Greenblatt change how you think about pleasure? 2

9 MAY (THURS) Florence and Humanism

Have read Petrarchs Letters to Cicero, available online (link on blog) Response question for Petrarch: Discuss Petrarchs love/hate relationship with Cicero. Why would Petrarch be writing letters to dead people? and Montaigne selected essays from Book 1: 33, To flee from Sensual Pleasures at the Price of Life 50, Of Democritus and Heraclitus 53, Of a Saying of Ceasars 56, Of Prayers Response question for Book 1: What sense do you get of the kind of influence ancient thinkers might be having on intellectuals during the Renaissance? Have read Montaigne selected essays from Book 2: 10, Of Books 12, Apology Man has no knowledge 14, How our Mind Hinders Itself 26, Of thumbs Response questions for Book 2: Do you think that Montaigne is right in thinking that it is wise to suspend belief/judgment and live in doubt? What effect might such a policy have on the way we live our lives? and Francis Bacon, Novum Organum, aphorisms XXXIX-LXVIII, available online (link on blog). Response question: Describe the Four Idols Bacon identifies. Draw up some modern examples of each of the Idols (perhaps from your own life!).

14 MAY (TUE) A New Philosophy

16 MAY (THURS) Have read Shakespeare As You Like It, plus two response questions Elizabethan Golden Age Response questions: Legacy of the Renaissance 1. Consider the roles of Jaques and Touchstone, both of whom are Renaissance stereotypes. (Jaques, a melancholy satirist, and Touchstone, a fool who speaks the truth.) How does each relate to other characters in the play? Why is Touchstone so attractive to Jaques? 2. Explore the theme of court vs. countryside in As You Like It. What do you think the court and countryside symbolize? What is Shakespeare saying about the effects of leaving the (metaphorical) court and venturing into the country? 21 MAY (TUE) 22 MAY Renaissance Beginnings 23 MAY The Medici vs Savonarola Flight from SLC to Florence Reading and Response in Academic Journal: Hunt Ch. 1 (2 questions) Morning: Arrive in Italy, shuttle to city center Walking tour of historic Florence. Group tour of the Duomo, Baptistery Evening: free time. Sleep in Florence Morning (late start): Group tour of Medici Palace Afternoon: Group tour of San Marco Monastery and discussion Evening: Free time. Sleep in Florence Reading: Hunt Ch. 2 (2 questions) Morning: Free time Afternoon: 1 pm Uffizi gallery, lecture and discussion Evening: Free time. Sleep in Florence Response in Academic Journal: Hunt Ch.2 (2 questions) 3

24 MAY Art and Philosophy

25 MAY The Roots of the Renaissance 26 MAY Petrarch and the Pope

Morning (8am): Charter tour bus from Florence to Avignon, lunch stop in Nice/Cannes. Extended lecture and discussion on bus. Sleep in Avignon Reading: Hunt Ch. 4 (2 questions) Morning: Popes Palace and St Benezet Bridge Late afternoon: Free time; opt. trip to Petrarchs homestead. Sleep in Avignon Response in Academic Journal: Hunt Ch. 4 (2 questions) Morning: train to Arles. Roman Arena and Roman Theatre. Evening: free time. Sleep in Avignon Reading: Hunt Ch. 7 (2 questions)

27 MAY Classical Rome Reborn

28 MAY Morning: Bus to Pont du Gard, then to Nimes airport. The Northern Renaissance Afternoon flight from Nimes to London. Bus/train to Stratford-uponAvon. Sleep in Stratford-upon-Avon Response in Academic Journal: Hunt Ch.7 (2 questions) 29 MAY The Golden Age Choose from Shakespeare sites in Stratford: Birthplace, Mary Ardens Farm, Anne Hathaways Cottage, New Place, Shakespeares grave Evening: Royal Shakespeare Company perform at Swan Theater Sleep in Stratford-upon-Avon Response in academic journal: As You Like It performance Morning: Kenilworth Castle; Bernard Capp & Peter Marshall seminar Afternoon: return to Stratford, or opt. trip to Warwick Castle Evening: free time. Sleep in Stratford-upon-Avon. Response in academic journal: Capp/Marshall seminar Bu/train to London; fly to SLC Reading and Response in Academic Journal: Hunt Ch. 8 Academic journal and final paper due

30 MAY The Renaissance Legacy

31 MAY Home Again 8 JULY

Please Note: Any form of cheating or plagiarism will not be tolerated. Students engaging in unethical behavior will be prosecuted to the full extent of the statues of the university. Any student requiring accommodations or services due to a disability must contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) in Room 181of the Student Services Center, or by phoning 801-626-6413. SSD can also arrange to provide materials in alternative formats if necessary.