The Renaissance


Novels are everywhere, from "To Kill a Mockingbird" to "Harry Potter" to "Pride and Prejudice." But the novel needed to be invented, and, if the earliest examples date from antiquity, the genre flourished during the Renaissance, where it offers a blend of interests such as fantasy, humor, mystery, horror, and romance. We will explore how the Early Modern novel, with its stories of love, sorcery, disguises, monsters, abduction, and adventure, was shaped by the printing press, new technology that made literature accessible to the masses and thus encouraged the creation of popular commercial fiction. We will also see how these works grapple with issues of globalization, gender, and education. We will look at how the Early Modern novel descends from ancient prose and other genres such as poetry, drama, and epic. Finally, we will consider how the popular reception of the Early Modern novel solidified print culture and has continued to influence a diverse array of popular literature, film, and television, including fairy tales, science fiction, and romantic comedy. Readings may include works by Plato, Longus, Heliodorus, and Apuleius from antiquity; works by Lyly, Nashe, Lodge, Greene, Sidney, More, Deloney, and Shakespeare from the Renaissance; and modern theories of the novel by Bakhtin, Lukacs, and Moretti. 3 short response papers; midterm and final papers; and a presentation introducing one of the assigned readings. First-year and/or students with no prior knowledge of this topic are encouraged to enroll. Satisfies the Early Modern requirement.
Course Attributes: EN H; BU Hum; AS HUM; FA HUM; AR HUM; UC ENE; EL EM