Department of English

University of Toronto

ENG445H1S L0201

ENG445H1S     L0201     W3-5
Advanced Studies Group 4: Inventing the Renaissance
Prof. Chris Warley

Office Telephone: TBA
Office Address: JHB 901

Brief Description of Course:
This is a course about how three large ideas—history, art, and democracy—come together under a single term: Renaissance. The word “Renaissance” was (more or less) invented in the nineteenth century, and it was used by writers to describe all three large ideas at once: 1) a historical period in European history, running loosely from the late fourteenth through the early seventeenth centuries; 2) a style of art that draws inspiration from ancient Greece and Rome; and 3) a celebration of the equal capacities of human beings on earth. To investigate this peculiar joining of history, art, and democracy we will use Jacques Ranciére’s recent reconceptualization of “aisthesis” as a frame to read carefully three nineteenth-century descriptions of the Renaissance: John Ruskin, Walter Pater, and Jacob Burckhardt. How do they conjoin history and art in their “invention” of the Renaissance? And what might their configurations of art and history tell us about the potentials and limitations of democracy in our own time?

Required Reading: Rancière, selections; Ruskin, The Stones of Venice; Pater, Studies in the History of the Renaissance Burckhardt; The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy

First Three Authors/Texts:

Method of Evaluation:
Several shorter assignments, term paper.

Link to ARTSCI Calendar Course Descriptions.

Link to ARTSCI 2016-17 Timetable with Room Allocations.

Return to 400 Level Courses.

Return to 2016-17 Fall-Winter Courses.

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