Note: This is a new course. This course, and one in medieval literature, may be used as an alternative to the usual English 201 requirement. We highly recommend it for those thinking of concentrating in Renaissance literature, and majors doing the historical option.
Using interdisciplinary methods and electronic technology, this course will survey the cultural history of sixteenth- and
seventeenth-century England. Drawing on the latest methodologies and insights of English studies, we will take a new
look at how aesthetics, politics, social traditions, and people's lives intersected at this vital and turbulent time of English history.
In this course students will work directly with the materials of English Renaissance culture. We will read a wide
variety of texts, including examples of "self-help" books, marriage manuals, anatomy books and travel narratives, as well as plays, lyric poems and a selection from an epic; we will also learn to "read" artifacts such as portraits, embroidery, madrigals, county and city maps, the design of books, and the architecture of the country house and garden.
To do so, the course will use multimedia resources, including electronic texts and images, video, and audio. In
addition, writing assignments will teach students to use new electronic research techniques. In short, the course will use the newest scholarly methods and technologies to help us rethink the past.