IAH 207: Redefining Renaissance – 2021 Version

IAH 207: Lit, Cultures, Identities

Section 795 – Redefining Renaissance: From the Early Modern through the COVID-19 Era

Course Description: 

In this class, we will explore the meaning of the term renaissance and examine how the idea of renaissance has shaped literary history. We will begin in “the Renaissance,” then analyze renaissance periods in Black, Indigenous, and LGBTQ+ literature to examine both the importance and limitations of thinking about these artistic outputs through this lens. We will read works by authors such as Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay, Scott Momaday, Mourning Dove, Gloria E. Anzaldúa, Tony Kushner, and William Shakespeare. We will also question the expectation that the COVID-19 pandemic will lead to another renaissance period similar to the plague years in early modern Europe. 

Course Goals and Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify traits of renaissance periods in a variety of different historical and artistic contexts
  • Develop close reading and critical analysis skills to help them understand literature from a variety of historical periods and cultures
  • Engage with selected critical scholarship to hone abilities to participate in scholarly discussions around both literary and critical writings
  • Draw connections between course texts and articulate their thoughts in a scholarly project with a clear thesis and well developed argument

View the syllabus here.