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The Courtier and the Courtesan in Renaissance Italy
ITAL 239
Fall 2015 not offered

This course will use the issue of gender as a lens through which to examine questions of power and authority in the Renaissance Italian court. We will study the self-fashioning of courtiers in 15th- and 16th-century Italy, asking to what extent this role was exclusively "male" and what women's participation in the intellectual life of the court says about contemporary power relations. Then we will draw comparisons with the more traditional female figure of Renaissance courtly culture--the courtesan--investigating the status that these women sought to establish through their literary and amorous exchanges.

Our understanding of these figures will come from texts in a variety of genres written by and about courtiers and courtesans. We will read from female and male authors; we will also study closely two fundamental reflections on Renaissance courtly culture--Castiglione's Il cortegiano (The Book of the Courtier) and Machiavelli's Il principe (The Prince). Like our own culture, Renaissance Italy was steeped in visual media, and we will pay attention to the cross-fertilization between the texts we study and works by artists such as Botticelli, Michelangelo, and Tintoretto. Finally, we will also engage with some modern reflections on courtly culture and the Italian Renaissance.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA RLAN
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: (ITAL221 AND ITAL222)
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ITST)(RMST)

Last Updated on JUL-18-2024
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