Spring 2023 Course Highlight | Why Renaissance? Cult + Art + Colonization

Professor Jennifer Nelson will be offering AH 500/800 | Why Renaissance? Cult + Art + Colonization on Tuesdays 3:00–5:30 PM | L&S Credit | Humanities Breadth | Register hereDescription: Why should we care about the Renaissance? The Renaissance, when still a useful category, is often characterized by the emergence of mass media (print culture); the use of Christian or “cult” formats as a pretext for an autonomous discourse of art-making and -viewing; and a fantasy that humanist practices established fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Europeans as the direct heirs of the primal greatness of Greco-Roman antiquity. But scholarly discourses about these shifts ignore the simultaneous origins of European colonization as a violent Christianization bolstered by Renaissance developments in literary and artistic cultural production.In this course, we remember that systemic European colonization began in the Renaissance. To decide what to do about it, we will read classic texts about the Renaissance by Stephen Greenblatt, Hans Belting, Johan Huizinga, and others; classic and new texts about colonization by Frantz Fanon, Sylvia Wynter, Elena Flores Ruiz, Walter Mignolo, and others; and recent scholarship touching on our themes by Elizabeth Bearden, Aaron Hyman, Alessandra Russo, and others. Final seminar papers may apply course discussion to non-Renaissance topics.