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C LIT 361 A: Topics In Early Modern Literature

Early Modern Subjects

Meeting Time: 
MW 1:30pm - 3:20pm
MLR 316
Donald Gilbert-Santamaria

Additional Details:

The Renaissance is marked by a radical re-orientation in how human beings think about their place in the universe. In the wake of a medieval pessimism that tended to view humanity as the passive victim of largely uncontrollable external forces, the new voices that emerge in this period, working in all manner of disciplines, begin to re-think the individual’s relationship to the environment—political and social, but also natural. The result is a proliferation of new ideas, some subversive, some deeply attached to inherited power structures, but all preparing the way for our modern sense of who we are as human beings.

In ten weeks, we can only scratch the surface of this very large topic, and I have chosen a sampling of texts that is designed to provide some sense of the varied ways in which the question of subjectivity is re-configured throughout the early modern period.


Cervantes, Exemplary Stories (selections)

Galileo, Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo (selections)

Las Casas, Brief Account of the Devastation of the Indies

Machiavelli, The Prince

Montaigne, Essays (selections)

Shakespeare, The Tempest




Catalog Description: 
Explores topics in literature and cultures of the early modern world (approximately 1400-1800) across national and regional cultures, such as particular movements, authors, genres, themes, or problems.
Department Requirements Met: 
Literature Core
GE Requirements Met: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Other Requirements Met: 
Last updated: 
April 28, 2016 - 9:20am