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Love, Sex, and Marriage in Renaissance Europe
RL&L 123Z
Summer 2021
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: COL 123Z, ENGL 123Z, FGSS 123Z, MDST 125Z, WLIT 249Z

This seminar compares literary depictions of love, sex, and marriage from the 14th to the 17th centuries by writers from England, France, Germany, Italy, the Low Countries, Spain, and Sweden. (N.B. Students will be able to study writings from other parts of Europe over the course of the semester should they so choose.) We will read texts composed by women and men in genres including poetry, theater, the short story, the essay, the maxim, the travel narrative, and the sermon. Though the seminar is focused on literature, we will also consider painting, engravings, sculpture, and the decorative arts (e.g., wedding chests). We will explore questions such as: How were love and marriage related during the Renaissance? What roles did sex, gender, race, class, and violence play in relationships between couples and within society, and how were they represented in literature and art? How do gender and genre affect the ways in which love, sex, and marriage are depicted? How did cultural differences influence writers' and artists' interpretations of love, sex, and marriage? And what about "homosexual" love, same-sex unions, and depictions of dissident sexualities and genders? Finally, how do contemporary (21st-century) writers reimagine Renaissance representations of love, sex, and marriage, and why do Renaissance texts and images matter today? Other topics will include virginity and celibacy, friendship, erotic literature and pornography, religion, family and class structures, and divorce. This seminar engages students with university-level research by navigating search engines and databases (beyond a Google search!), honing their analytical skills, and polishing their academic prose. Students will also have the opportunity to write creatively should they so choose.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA RLAN
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (COL)(ENGL-Creative W)(ENGL-Literature)(MDST-MN)(MDST)(MDST-Art/Arch)(MDST-History)(MDST-Lang/Lit)(MDST-Phil/Reli)
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on JUN-19-2024
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