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HYM4840 - Text and Community in Renaissance Italy

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Peter Howard


Not offered in 2007


This unit will examine in detail a range of texts written during the late medieval and Italian Renaissance periods. Some of these texts will be canonical, for instance Dante's Divine Comedy and Machiavelli's The Prince. Others will represent literary genres popular at the time, among women and men, such as vernacular letters, diaries and sermons. These works will be read, and intertextually where appropriate. Their relationship to oral culture will also be considered.


Students who successfully complete this unit:

  1. Will have a thorough knowledge of the text(s) chosen for study.
  2. Will have gained an understanding of different genres of texts circulating in Renaissance Italy (chronicle, letter, diary, tract, sermon, poem, play, dialogue, treatise, monument, visual representation).
  3. Will have developed a capacity to analyse the processes which underpinned the construction of particular texts.
  4. Will have developed the capacity to detect the resonances of language and code embedded in particular texts and their relationship to social context.
  5. Will have developed the capacity to read 'against the grain' in relation to the Renaissance Italian social, political and social context.
  6. Will be able to engage in critical discussion of texts in relation to the urban context of Italian Renaissance Society.


Literature review (3000 words): 35%
Research essay (5000 words): 55%
Oral presentation: 10%

Contact hours

2 hour seminar per week


HSY4840, HYM5840