The Courtier and the Courtesan in Renaissance Italy|
Fall 2018 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.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Prerequisites: (ITAL221 AND ITAL222)
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ITST)(RMST)
Selections from Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Poliziano, Cassandra Fedele, Bembo, Ariosto, Vittoria Colonna, Aretino, Ruzante, Gaspara Stampa, Veronica Franco, available via Moodle and/or Olin e-Reserves.
Castiglione, Baldassare. Il cortegiano (any edition is fine)
Machiavelli, Il principe (any edition is fine)
|Examination and Assignments: |
Weekly readings in the medium of Italian. Two papers between 5-7 pp. In class collaborative exercises and presentation in which students are expected to participate actively and thoughtfully. The final exam will be oral, will last 20-30 minutes, will be scheduled during the Exam period, and will be in keeping with oral exams conducted at universities in Italy.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
THIS COURSE IS INTENDED PRIMARILY FOR THE FOLLOWING STUDENTS: those who have: a) completed the 221-222 sequence or the equivalent in Italy; b) who took an advanced course numbered above 221 at Wesleyan or in Italy last semester; or c) who have completed 221 or its equivalent and whose level of Italian qualifies them for this course. In order to establish a student's qualification for this course, s/he will be asked to conduct a brief oral interview with the professor during registration or drop/add. Students who place into the course as a result of the placement exam will also be asked to conduct a brief interview with the professor before a prerequisite over-ride will be granted.