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This subject seeks to engage and excite students in an interactive series of ‘lectorials' which examine the social, political, and cultural history of the many central and northern Italian cities which participated in the culture known as the Renaissance. With special case studies of Florence and Venice, major themes explored are: politics and urbanisation; art, architecture and patronage; religion and popular beliefs; the family and gender roles; luxury and consumption; humanism and education. Throughout students will be encouraged to reflect on the meaning and usefulness of the term ‘Renaissance’ as an historical construct. Students should complete this subject with a well-rounded picture of the Renaissance as a social and cultural context, which has left a profound impact upon the culture of the west in the succeeding centuries, including our own.
Intended learning outcomes
Students who complete this subject should be able to:
- gain a deep understanding of the social, political and cultural aspects of the Renaissance;
- acquire an understanding of the role of the city states of Florence and Venice in particular in the cultures of the Renaissance;
- reflect critically on periodization in History, and on the term Renaissance as an historical construct;
- analyse primary and secondary sources in constructing historical arguments;
- demonstrate research skills through competent use of the library and other information sources; and
- show critical thinking and analysis through recommended reading, essay writing, online journal forums, and class discussion, and by determining the strength of an argument.
Last updated: 22 January 2020