Spring 2023

The Italian Renaissance: Politics, Culture, and Society

Listed in: European Studies, as EUST-125  |  History, as HIST-125


Jutta G. Sperling (Section 01)


(Offered as HIST 125 [EU/TC/P], EUST 125)

Given the misrepresentations of Renaissance Florentine politics in popular media (Netflix series Medici) and the attacks on Renaissance European culture from theorists of decolonization, one might ask: what is the relevance of the Renaissance today? In this course, we will discuss the extent to which the Florentine republic’s struggle for survival in the midst of wars and despotic/oligarchic/feudal usurpations might, again, be of interest to us, and engage with question of race, colonialism, and the representation of Africa and the New World. We will critically examine Renaissance cultural productions (humanist history writing, portraiture, perspective, mapping, erotic art) while appreciating the politics of beauty in architecture, urban planning, and figurative art. Other topics include: the gendered politics of charity; patriarchal families; women writers; domestic slavery; Jewish communities; interactions with Islamic culture. Two meetings weekly.

Spring semester. Professor Sperling.

How to handle overenrollment: null

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Close analysis of historical evidence, which may include written documents, images, music, films, or statistics from the historical period under study. Exploration of scholarly, methodological, and theoretical debates about historical topics. Extensive reading, varying forms of written work, and intensive in-class discussions.

EUST 125 - LEC

Section 01
M 3:00 PM - 4:20 PM CONV 302 (ina
W 3:00 PM - 4:20 PM CONV 302 (ina


2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2013, Spring 2023