Upon a successful completion of the course, students will:
1. be able to draw comparisons between modern and early modern culture.
2. have gained a view of the early modern period that is not easily accessible through the reading of history books alone.
3. have acquired an understanding of the role of culturally transitional periods, like that of the Renaissance.
4. have become sufficiently familiar with the field of early modern literature to be able to conduct research in it.
Course Content (Syllabus)
This is a course devoted to the literature and culture of the period that extends approximately from the end of the 15th C, when the political state is constituted and gradually consolidated by the Tudor monarchy to the end of the 17th century, when England has established itself as a colonial and commercial power. Considering this period as a seminal one (culturally, socially and politically) for our modern period, the course aims to focus on aspects of early modern culture that connect the great public events, like the English Civil War in mid-17th Century, with the small private acts, like the writing of an autobiography. In this way it will illuminate from the inside the processes of social and literary formations that constituted the basis of our modern society and culture. Examples of topics that this course may host include:
1.Forms and strategies of domination and resistance in early-modern literature and culture,
2.Τhe impact of Renaissance humanism on private lives,
3.The politics of Christian humanism in Spenser and Milton
4.Neoplatonism and Petrarchism as disciplinary discourses
5.Religion and literature in the 17th century,
6.Colonization in early 17th century literature,
7.Public and private literature,
8.Early-modern autobiography and concepts of the self.
Early modern literature, Renaissance, sixteenth-century litearture, seventeenth-century literature
Students are evaluated on the basis of their in-class oral presentations, their weekly written reports, and a final research paper in a relevant area of their choice. In this final paper they are expected to demonstrate their ability to understand, evaluate and apply key concepts that have been discussed during the semester. The criteria applied by the instructor in evaluating the students' oral and written work include: (a) the correct and fluent use of English on an academic level, (b) the degree of originality of his/her ideas in relation to the bibliography cited, (c) the ability of the student to address a specific audience (d) the ability of the student to distinguish between related ideas and disagreements among scholars, and (e) to take a position with the necessary documentation. The student's final grade is calculated on the basis of the following percentages:
1. In-class oral presentations and weekly written reports: 40%
2. Final research paper: 60%