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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: The Global Renaissance (PGHC11418)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryWas the Italian Renaissance a unique event in human history? To what extent was it a 'global' phenomenon, affected by the movement of ideas and people in and out of Italy and Europe? Did comparable 'renascences' take place outside of Europe and how do these affect European narratives of modernity? In this challenging course you will be encouraged to question traditional histories of the Italian Renaissance by means of a thorough engagement with new critical perspectives, the reading of a well focused range of secondary material, and sustained reflection on original sources, representations and objects. Emphasis shall be placed on debate and reflection in seminars and in weekly online forum posts which will be continually assessed and form 50% of the final mark.
Course description The origins and nature of the Italian Renaissance have been regularly debated since the highly influential statement made by Jacob Burckhardt in The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy: An Essay (1860). For example, medieval historians have questioned the supposedly exceptional nature of the Renaissance by asserting that cultural renaissances also took place in parts of Europe during the eighth or twelfth centuries. However, some of the most interesting contributions to this debate have recently been stimulated by the 'global turn' in Renaissance studies. Historians and social scientists have challenged the universalising view that the Renaissance helped to foster global 'modernity' and they have also attacked the Eurocentric model of the Renaissance, which has been applied to other civilisations, including China and India. This course provides an introduction to these important debates in the field of Renaissance history. Students shall move from a broad conceptual grounding in the first part (Weeks 1-3) to a consideration of primarily Italian evidence for, and textual or artistic representations of contact with the world in the second part (Weeks 4-6), before considering how contacts with the world impacted on Italian economic, intellectual, and cultural histories (Weeks 7-9). In this part greater emphasis will be placed on the view of Italy from the rest of the world culminating (Weeks 10-11) in a discussion about the validity of the Italian Renaissance model for Italy or for the rest of the world.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1. Weekly Forum Posts, worth 50% of final course grade
2. One Essay of 3,000 words, worth 50% of final course grade
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate in online forum posts a detailed and critical command of the body of knowledge concerning [the Italian Renaissance in its global context, including global explorations, encounters, and exchanges
  2. Demonstrate in online forum posts an ability to analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship concerning the global nature of the Italian Renaissance and its place in histories of European expansion and 'modernity', primary source materials concerning Italian accounts of overseas travel and foreign accounts of Italy, and conceptual discussions about microhistory
  3. Demonstrate in online forum posts and seminar participation, an ability to understand and apply specialised research or professional skills, techniques and practices considered in the course
  4. Demonstrate the ability to develop and sustain original scholarly arguments in oral and written form in seminar discussions, presentations, and online forum posts by independently formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence considered in the course
  5. Demonstrate in seminar discussions, presentations, and online forum posts originality and independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers; and a considerable degree of autonomy
Reading List
Peter C. Mancall (ed.), Travel Narratives from the Age of Discovery: An Anthology (Oxford, 2006)
'The Travels of Nicolo Conti in the East in the Early Part of the Fifteenth Century', in Richard Henry Major (ed.) India in the Fifteenth Century (1857), pp. 51-90

Tim Champion and John Tait, eds., The Wisdom of Egypt: Changing Visions Through the Ages (London, 2003)
Eric R. Dursteler, Venetians in Constantinople: Nation, Identity, and Coexistence in the Early Modern Mediterranean (Baltimore, 2006)
Jack Goody, Renaissances: The One or the Many? (Cambridge, 2010)
Anthony Grafton, with April Shelford and Nancy Siraisi, New Worlds, Ancient Texts: The Power of Tradition and the Shock of Discovery (Cambridge, MA, 1992)
Stephen Greenblatt, Marvelous Possessions: The Wonder of the New World (Oxford, 1991)
Lisa Jardine, Worldly Goods: A New History of the Renaissance (New York, 1998)
Charles H. Parker, Global Interactions in the Early Modern Age (Cambridge, 2010)
Ingrid D. Rowland, The Culture of the High Renaissance: Ancients and Moderns in Sixteenth-century Rome (Cambridge, 1998)
Joan-Pau Rubies, Travel and Ethnology in the Renaissance: South India through European Eyes, 1250-1625 (Cambridge, 2000)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Stephen Bowd
Tel: (0131 6)50 3758
Course secretaryMrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948
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