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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Arts, Culture and Environment : History of Art

Postgraduate Course: Medieval and Renaissance Italy: Texts, Objects and Practices (HIAR11058)

Course Outline
School School of Arts, Culture and Environment College College of Humanities and Social Science
Course type Standard Availability Not available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken) SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits 20
Home subject area History of Art Other subject area Common Course (History, Classics and Archaeology)
Course website None Taught in Gaelic? No
Course description This course is designed for postgraduate students interested in research in Medieval and Renaissance Europe in general, and Italy in particular. It will be taught intensively (approximately four hours a day) over one week, normally the first week of semester 2. There will be one meeting with the Course Director in Edinburgh before the course starts, and one after to discuss the assessed essay. Classroom sessions will take place in the Monash University Centre in Prato, though the majority of classes will take place on site in archives, museums, and galleries of Prato and nearby Florence. Classes will be shared with staff and students from members of the Prato Consortium for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (see At least one member of staff from the University of Edinburgh will contribute to teaching in Prato whenever the course is run.

The emphasis during the course will be to study in detail and at first hand a range of texts and artefacts written during the later medieval and renaissance periods in Italy. Some may be canonical in medieval and renaissance studies generally - for instance Dante's Divine Comedy, Machiavelli's The Prince, or Botticelli&ęs Birth of Venus; others may be less well known - vernacular letters, diaries and sermons for example, or renaissance costume, furniture and scientific instruments in institutions such as the museum of domestic life in the Palazzo Davanzati or Museum of the History of Science. Because of the range of expertise offered by Prato Consortium members, students will have a choice of learning opportunities available to them, dependent on their interests and research needs. As well as the major Florentine museums, this unit will also include an introduction to archival work in collaboration with the Datini archive in Prato (, and an opportunity for students to study original archival documents if they wish to. Research students will be expected to attend or, if agreed with their supervisor, take part in the postgraduate consortium that takes place at the end of the week.

This course is open as a research training option for students taking an MSc by Research or in the first year of their PhD in a relevant subject; and as an options course for students on the following taught MSc programmes:
Renaissance to Enlightenment
History, Theory and Display
Art in the Global Middle Ages
Medieval Studies
Medieval History
Entry Requirements
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Students are responsible for making their own travel and accommodation arrangements, and this cost should also be considered when choosing the course
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2010/11 Semester 2, Not available to visiting students (SS1) WebCT enabled:  No Quota:  None
Location Activity Description Weeks Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
No Classes have been defined for this Course
First Class Week 1, Monday, 09:00 - 17:00, Zone: Other. Monash University Centre in Prato
No Exam Information
Delivery period: 2010/11 Semester 2, Not available to visiting students (SS2) WebCT enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Location Activity Description Weeks Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
No Classes have been defined for this Course
First Class First class information not currently available
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete this unit:
1. Will have a thorough knowledge of the text(s) or artefact(s) chosen for study.
2. Will have gained an understanding of different genres of text and object circulating in Medieval and Renaissance Italy.
3. Will have received an introduction in core skills for Medieval and Renaissance research with respect to archives, manuscripts and palaeography.
4. Will have developed a capacity to analyse the processes which underpinned the construction of particular texts.
5. Will have developed the capacity to detect the resonances of language, iconography and code embedded in particular texts and their relationship to social context.
6. Will have developed the capacity to read 'against the grain' in relation to the Medieval and Renaissance Italian social, political and social contexts.
7. Will be able to engage in critical discussion of texts and objects in relation to the urban context of Italian Medieval and Renaissance Society.
Assessment Information
Students will write an independent research essay of 3000 words on an object or text of their choice, in agreement with the Course Director.
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Keywords Not entered
Course organiser Dr Jill Burke
Tel: (0131 6)51 3120
Course secretary Mrs Lucy Hawkins
Tel: (0131 6)51 3212
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