COMP 230
The Renaissance in England and the European Continent: Self and World Spring 2018
Division I Writing Skills Exploring Diversity Initiative
Cross-listed ENGL 228 / COMP 230
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

At the same time as the individual human being in possession of a distinctive personality was taking on enormous importance in politics, philosophy, literature, and the visual arts, early modern Europeans were encountering unprecedented levels of cultural diversity. In this interdisciplinary course, we will consider these two developments both separately and together. As Renaissance humanists were acquiring a sophisticated understanding of the distance between the present and various European pasts (the recent medieval past and the remote history of antiquity), they were also coming into contact with non-European cultures in Africa, the Americas, and Asia via trade and economic development, imperial expansion, and religious conversion. Always at stake in these encounters was the question of who counted as an individual; the self was not considered to be intrinsic to human nature but rather the product of historical and cultural developments. Themes will include religious pluralism, the sacred and the secular, vernacularity, exploration and empire, the relationship between mind and body, slavery, trade, wealth, gender, self-fashioning, and style. We will consider such English writers as the Pearl poet, More, Marlowe, Spenser, Shakespeare, Browne, and Milton; such continental intellectuals as Descartes, Erasmus, Las Casas, and Castiglione; and such continental artists as Michelangelo, Velázquez, Bruegel, and Rembrandt. The course will contribute to the College’s Exploring Diversity Initiative by examining the role of historical and cultural difference within and beyond Europe at the very beginning of globalization.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 3800
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: five 4-page papers, in-class presentation, thoughtful participation in discussions
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Prerequisites: a 100-level ENGL course, or a score of 5 on the AP English Literature exam, or a score of 6 or 7 on the Higher Level IB English exam
Enrollment Preferences: first- and second-year students, and English majors who have yet to take a Gateway course
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills Exploring Diversity Initiative
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ENGL 228 Division I COMP 230 Division I
Attributes: ENGL 200-level Gateway Courses
ENGL Literary Histories A

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