Globalization is usually understood as a modern phenomenon. But is it entirely new? Recent scholarship has suggested that in fact the Renaissance (which used to be depicted as the “Age of Discovery”) is actually the time when the economy became global, when European colonies were established in different parts of the world, the slave trade began, and, as a result, a new global consciousness arose in Europe. Renaissance philosophy, art and literature, markets, food, and habits were all reshaped during the period.
This course will trace how English literature and culture engaged with the larger world. We will examine the intersection of the “home” and the “world” by looking at maps and atlases, travel writing, paintings and imaginative literature of different kinds. Texts will likely include work by John Mandeville, Christopher Columbus, Thomas More, Bartolome De Las Casas, Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare and Aphra Behn.
Requirements: consistent class participation, weekly posts (1-2 pages), and a final examination.