At the center of the period we now call the Renaissance was the problem of how knowledge is produced – how we know our selves, how we know others, how we know God, how we know the world. Renaissance ways of knowing, from the religious clashes of the Reformation to the first movements of European colonialism in the Americas, from the rise of modern statecraft to new ways of understanding gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, and the category of the human: all these were worked out in the English Renaissance through the techniques and technologies of literary genres. In this course, we will trace the development of Renaissance knowledge-making through forms as diverse as romance, tragedy, travel narrative, and the sonnet. Readings will include works by Thomas More, William Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser, John Donne, Mary Wroth, Aemilia Lanyer, Margaret Cavendish, and others. Assignments will include three short essays and a final project.