SIGNITURE COURSES

Staple courses offered frequently in our program

Art History of the Italian Renaissance: Course Rotation  

  • Undergraduate or Undergrad/Grad combined
  • Art History
  • Taught by Niall Atkinson (Art History)

Art History offers a cycle of rotating undergraduate courses on Italian Renaissance art focusing on Renaissance Florence. These include a course on Renaissance Florence, a course on Renaissance Architecture and Culture, and a course on Ritual and Experience.

 

Italian Renaissance (History)

  • Undergrad/Grad combined
  • History, cross-listed with Classics, Italian, Religious Studies, Italian, and the SIFK program on the Formation of Knowledge (KNOW
  • Taught by Ada Palmer (History)

Florence, Rome, and the Italian city-states in the age of plagues and cathedrals, Dante and Machiavelli, Medici and Borgia (1250–1600), with a focus on literature and primary sources, the recovery of lost texts and technologies of the ancient world, and the role of the church in Renaissance culture and politics. Humanism, patronage, translation, cultural immersion, dynastic and papal politics, corruption, assassination, art, music, magic, censorship, religion, education, science, heresy, and the roots of the Reformation. Assignments include creative writing, reproducing historical artifacts, and a live reenactment of a papal election. First-year students and non-history majors welcome.

 

Machiavelli: Discourses on Livy and The Prince    

  • Undergrad/Grad combined
  • Political Science, cross-listed with Fundamentals
  • Taught by Nathan Tarcov (Political Science)

All CST students should be admitted. Undergrads by consent of instructor. This course is devoted to reading and discussing Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy and The Prince, supplemented by substantial selections from Livy’s History of Rome, followed by a brief reading of Machiavelli’s comedy Mandragola. Themes include the roles of princes, peoples, and elites; the merits of republics and principalities; the political effects of pagan and Christian religion and morality; war and empire; founding and reform; virtue and fortune; corruption and liberty; the relevance of ancient history to modern experience; reading and writing; and theory and practice.

 

Shakespeare I: Histories and Comedies    

  • Undergraduate, 100 level
  • English, cross-listed with Fundamentals and Theater and Performance Studies
  • Taught by rotating English faculty including Ellen MacKay, Richard Strier, and David Bevington

This course is part of the College Course Cluster, The Renaissance. This course will explore a selection of seven or eight plays representing Shakespeare’s youthful genres of Comedy and History. We will consider how each play fits, or doesn’t fit, within organizing dichotomies like playhouse versus print, popular versus elite, and early versus late. We will also consider how terms that structure our encounter with Shakespeare both form and deform his work, leaving us to ask, Can we do better? 

 

Shakespeare II: Tragedies and Romances    

  • Undergraduate, 100 level
  • English, cross-listed with Fundamentals and Theater and Performance Studies
  • Taught by rotating English faculty including Ellen MacKay, Richard Strier, and David Bevington

This course is part of the College Course Cluster, The Renaissance. This course will explore a selection of seven or eight plays representing Shakespeare’s mature genres of Tragedy and Romance (the latter a posthumous designation). Like Shakespeare I, this course will examine Shakespeare’s plays as well as the history and limitations of their conceptualization. We will give special attention to the biographical, formal, theatrical, historical, and cultural implications that ensue from the sequencing of Shakespeare’s corpus, before trying out alternatives to the rise and fall paradigm. 

 

Science, Culture, and Society in Western Civilization II    

  • Undergraduate, 100 level
  • History and Philosophy of Science, cross-listed with History
  • Taught by Adrian Johns and Robert Richards (History, History and Philosophy of Science)

The second quarter of an introductory survey of the history of science. This quarter is concerned with the period of the scientific revolution: the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. The principal subjects are the work of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Vesalius, Harvey, Descartes, and Newton.

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