Portraits of Power: Machiavelli and Ideologies of the Renaissance Italian State|
Fall 2014 not offered
What did the face of power look like in Renaissance Italy? Who wore it and how did they come by it? What did it reveal or hide? Politics is a forum where truth is often subjected to power and power often mingles with lies. Machiavelli was the mastermind of Renaissance Italy's political game, the great spokesperson for "power as perception." We learn from him that politics is, among other things, an arena of and for appearances, the place for fashioning identities and for controlling the fashions that condition, and thereby predetermine, popular tastes and attitudes. This course takes as its subject the portrait of power as it was crafted by Machiavelli and his contemporaries, writers, painters, and sculptors alike. We seek to situate the very representations of authority, taste, and style that characterized culture in Renaissance Italy and, eventually, Renaissance Europe. As precursors, contrasts, and comparisons to Machiavelli's writing, we will examine the portraits of the powerful by such painters as Piero della Francesca (1420-92), Mantegna (1431-1506), Giovanni Bellini (1438-1516), Botticelli (1445-1510), Titian (1490-1576), and Bronzino (1503-72) and sculptors like Michelangelo (1475-1564). Taught in Italian, this course allows students to conduct careful, detailed readings of Machiavelli's work in its originary social, historical, and linguistic contexts.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ITST)(MDST)(MDST-Art/Arch)(MDST-History)(MDST-Lang/Lit)(MDST-Phil/Reli)(RMST)
THE PRINCE, THE DISCOURSES (excerpts), THE FLORENTINE HISTORY (excerpts), MANDRAGOLA, letters with Vettori and Guicciardini.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Two short essays (3-4 pages), one in-class presentation, and one longer final essay (8-10 pages).
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This course will be offered in English. Italian majors will also enroll in a weekly Italian section, and all of their work--reading, writing assignments, course discussion and presentations--will be done in Italian.
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