The Reception of Machiavelli in Early Modern Spain

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This rich scholarship has given us important insights into a world we have lost. This course examines the actual course of these events and their impact on European society, culture, politics, and religion.


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We will devote much attention to understanding how people coped with these admittedly horrible experiences and made sense of them in their own lives. It is a story of despair and fear but also, perhaps somewhat curiously, of optimism and hope. The class will be devoted to lectures and discussions of assigned materials.

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Anyone interested in medieval literature, and its long and varied reception into the twenty-first century, is welcome to take part in this seminar, including those with critical, theoretical, historical, and creative interests. Before the Age of Exploration, England sat on the periphery of the Mediterranean world. Always looking eastward, England accepted that its economy, religion and culture would be shaped and frequently determined by events and actors emanating from the East. Nothing underscores this more than the fact that the printing press was a German invention brought to England at the beginning of the early modern period.

The age of discovery which also began in the East ultimately caused a European refocusing with England, Spain, Portugal and France looking West for power, wealth and influence. The Globe made visible the power, danger and possibilities of global thinking. There will also be relevant secondary readings. In when Ed Muir and I published Microhistory and the Lost Peoples of Europe little did we realize that with a book that had begun over beers in a sleazy bar in St. Louis that we were touching off a debate on the theory and practice of microhistory that would in many ways usher in a new field of history.

Still two decades later with microhistory flourishing as perhaps the most important competitor with global history and newer cultural approaches to political and intellectual history, this seminar will examine the way microhistory works more as a strategy for research and writing history than as a discipline.

The seminar will involve weekly reading and discussion on the theory and practice of the field with short biweekly essays to help build and direct discussion. After some preliminary fairly straightforward theoretical considerations, it will range widely over the most important and fun works published in the field with an emphasis on the pre-modern period, but with significant excursions into the most significant or suggestive works published on the Americas, North and South.

The only real prerequisite for the course is a willingness to read and discuss and non-historians are encouraged to sign up and contribute their point of view to the discussions. Many well-known medieval and early modern English literary texts foreground matters of love, desire, and sexuality.

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Chivalric romances intertwine stories of combat with tales of courtly love; medieval mysticism theorizes desire between human believers and the divine; Petrarchan sonnets dissert the intense, vacillating emotions and turbulent psychological states associated with unrequited love; Renaissance drama stages the erotics of mistaken identities and crossed purposes. As we will see in this course, the diversity and complexity of early English representations of love, desire, and sexuality deeply challenge modern notions of hetereonormativity.

For example, what does it mean when two medieval knights merrily and repeatedly kiss one another? How are we best to understand a medieval housewife and mother who is publicly scorned and threatened by Church leaders for her conversion to earthly celibacy and her erotically charged relationship with Christ; does her manner of loving Christ make her queer?

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Is it historically accurate to refer to straights, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, homosexuals, heterosexuals, or queers in medieval and Renaissance England? What methodological differences are there among identifying representations of same-sex desire or homoerotic acts; locating figures of non-normative sexuality; and queering a text, genre, or literary history itself? In this class, we will explore the ways in which recent theories of gender and sexuality have been especially useful in increasing our knowledge of pre-modern sexualities, including unpredictable, shifting connections among emotions, gender expressions, eroticism, desire, sexual acts, and identities.

We will become familiar with specific genres such as the spiritual biography, chivalric romances, fabliau, erotic epyllion, Petrarchan sonnet, romance epic, Shakespearean comedy, closet drama, and seventeenth-century love lyric. Some decades later, the early modernist Fernand Braudel offered a radical new vision of Mediterranean history.


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They point out the multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-religious character of the Mediterranean by using the sea itself as the basis for writing history. By taking what was a liminal, interstitial space and placing it at the center of their research, they provide an opportunity for considering diverse human communities and their relationship to each other on neutral ground so to speak rather than privileging any single cultural, political, or religious perspective.

The course will place special emphasis on trans-regional connections, comparative perspectives, and the fluidity of cultural, political, and religious identity. Assignments may include weekly blackboard posts related to class discussion and readings, a 5-page paper, and a page paper. In this seminar, we will study three main topics in the literature of the Middle Ages and Early Modern Western Europe, from approximately to CE. We will focus on war, love, and storytelling, and we will analyze their evolution diachronically and geographically.

Affiliated Staff - Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies

Our attention will then turn to medieval romance, especially on courtly love and poetry, analyzing differences between Spaniards and French troubadours, and the poets of the Italian Dolce Stil Novo, continuing to Petrarch and his reception during the Renaissance. The seminar will be taught in English, and will be conducted primarily through discussions of primary and secondary materials. The readings of primary sources will be given in the original language French, Spanish, Italian, or Catalan and in translations.

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Students seeking to fulfill a language requirement in French or Spanish should compete their written course work in that language. More recently, however, scholars have raised numerous objections to the idea of there being a significant break in how people viewed and interpreted the world about them. Much of this work is reflected in the books and articles that we will be reading this semester. This course begins with an examination of the more traditional views of the Scientific Revolution before moving on to survey the ways in which the history of science has been transformed over the past thirty years or so.

This transformation has rendered the history of science absolutely critical to all early modern scholars. Historians of the modern world can do quite nicely without ever reading a work on the history of science; that is now impossible for any well-educated early modernist.

In this seminar we will study the main topics in the Literature of the Middle Ages in Western Europe, approximately from to CE.

Machiavelli and the liberalism of fear

We will discuss general questions such as the beginnings of romance writing in the different areas, the duality among orality vs writing, or the places of knowledge courts, universities. We will privilege three main genres and analyze their evolution diachronically and geographically. Our attention will then be put on Medieval romance, especially on the courtly love and poetry, analyzing differences between Spaniards and French troubadours and the poets of the Italian Dolce Stil Novo. Afterwards, we will pay particular attention to the form of story-telling analyzing the French roman and lai, and the short narrative of the Decameron; we will finally analyze the main ingredients of the chivalric romance and why Miguel de Cervantes burlesqued them in his Don Quixote.

The seminar will be taught in English and will be conducted by discussions of primary and secondary materials. The readings of primary sources will be given in the original language French, Spanish, Italian, or Catalan and in translation. Special care will be given to digital tools and resources related within the field of Medieval Studies, and there will be several digital assignments. I have three sins of Wuthering Heights. I are the Norton Critical Edition for download the reception of machiavelli in early. If you Need roaming have out, be unique. But spring I 're establishing an bit on becoming and I have onto a kind that since took me propose there might allow more to this lake than a site of armyCanadian pages.

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