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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: Renaissance Italians (HIST10101)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe Italian Renaissance is a dynamic and enduringly popular historical subject and in recent years many new interpretations of established topics and new areas of historical study have opened up. As a result, there is less agreement now than there ever has been about what the Italian Renaissance actually was. This course is distinctive in focusing on the Renaissance both as a cultural 'movement' and as an historical 'period'. The social context of cultural change will be studied through the examination of patronage, changing religious sensibilities, gender, and a variety of centres, urban and courtly, which experienced cultural revival.
Course description Students should seek to understand, and to evaluate, the various historical interpretations of the Italian Renaissance as a 'movement', while developing a critical awareness of the geographical and political diversity that characterised the Italian peninsula during the period. In order to do so the course requires that you study a range of printed and visual sources in conjunction with secondary texts. This will enable you to examine Renaissance Italians through what they produced and to contextualise them in the particular centres in which they worked. In so doing, you will have the chance to consider the distinctive methodological features of cultural history and to consider how conceptual abstraction can be related to people doing things in the past. The topics which will be covered include: Humanism, Neo-Platonism, Political and Cultural Patronage, Courts (including Mantua), Cities (including Florence, Rome and Venice), and those people traditionally considered marginal to the Renaissance but now much more centrally placed in historical scholarship: women and non-elites.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.
Before enrolling students on this course, Personal Tutors are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Secretary to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 503767).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  50
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 2 x 1,500 journal post (25% of total mark each) = 50%
1 x 3,000 word essay = 50%
Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, command of the body of knowledge about the nature of the Italian Renaissance and the history of Italy during the period c.1300-c.1600 considered in the course;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship about the nature of the Italian Renaissance and the history of Italy during the period c.1300-c.1600;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material, both textual and non-textual, produced by Italians during the period c.1300-c.1600;
  4. demonstrate, by way of seminar contributions, coursework and examination as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
E. H. Gombrich, 'The Renaissance - Period or Movement?' In Robert Black (ed.), Renaissance Thought: a reader (2001), ch. 1
P. Findlen (ed.), The Italian Renaissance (2002), Introduction
Guido Ruggiero (ed.), Companion to the Worlds of the Renaissance (2002) [includes a good summary by G. Brucker on 'The Italian Renaissance']
K. Gouwens (ed.), The Italian Renaissance: The Essential Sources (2004), ch. 8
Evelyn Welch, Art and Society in Italy, 1350-1500 (1997)
Peter Burke, The Italian Renaissance: culture and society in Italy (1986), and see earlier editions entitled: Tradition and Innovation in Renaissance Italy: a sociological approach (1972), and Culture and Society in Renaissance Italy, 1420-1540 (1972)
John Stephens, The Italian Renaissance: The origins of intellectual and artistic change before the Reformation (1990)
Richard Mackenney, Renaissances (2005)
Jacob Burckhardt, The Civilisation of the Renaissance in Italy: an essay (1860)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Sarah Cockram
Tel: (0131 6)50 4582
Course secretaryMiss Annabel Stobie
Tel: (0131 6)50 3783
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