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HYM4075 - Studying the Renaissance

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Carolyn James


Not offered in 2007


This unit will introduce students to the most important theoretical and conceptual frameworks appropriate to a study of the Renaissance through a close analysis of a range of contemporary and interdisciplinary scholarly contributions to Renaissance Studies. Students will be encouraged to reflect on how and why modern scholars have shifted their focus over the last fifty years and to analyse how new critical approaches to cultural production, social structure and gender have encouraged the study of less familiar sources of documentary evidence, and non canonical literary and other texts, to produce very different understandings of Renaissance society and culture.


On successful completion of this subject, students will:

  1. Have a thorough knowledge of the arguments of the key scholarly texts chosen for study, and be able to place them in an appropriate intellectual context.
  2. Be able to identify the main critical and methodological approaches that have emerged recently in the field of Renaissance Studies.
  3. Be sensitive to the potential of a wide variety of genres of documentary, visual and literary sources to change or nuance our traditional understandings of Renaissance culture and society.
  4. Be able to engage in informed and critical discussion about what new directions future research in Renaissance Studies might take.
  5. Have developed advanced reading, analytical and communication skills, both written and verbal.


Research essay: 5,000 words (50%), 1 individual or group seminar presentation (5%), to be also submitted in written form as a paper of 2,000 words by each presenter (15%), 1 two hour class test (20%), Weekly seminar participation (10%)

Contact hours

2 hours


Relevant background in one or more aspects of Renaissance Studies, or by permission of the coordinator