Spring 2023

Renaissance Orientalism

, 3 pts, GU4300

Renaissance Orientalism

This course offers an overview of the scholarly debate about the Renaissance during the last twenty years (2001-2021), with a particular focus on the relationship between early modern Italy, Europe, and Muslim Eurasia. This class intends to give students insight into and philological tools to engage the current debate about the revision of the concept—and the period—of the Renaissance (broadly 1350-1570). We will read both primary (Petrarch, Pico della Mirandola, Galateo, Leonardo Bruni, Leo Africanus) and secondary sources in order to understand the main trends of philological and historical research about early modern Eurasia in the last twenty years. We will read about how Petrarch’s anti-Arabism has been analyzed and used by twentieth-century Medievalists. We will explore how Said’s Return to Philology influenced the study of the transmission of texts in the Early Modern World. Also, we will try to understand the role of Islam, Muhammad, and the Ottoman Empire in the evolution of European political thought. Similarly, we will dive into Early Modern European representations of the Muslim Other, as well as into Arabic travel writing about Early Modern Europe. The main goal of this class is to discuss with the students about what happened in the field of Renaissance studies in the last two decades, roughly between September 11, 2001 and our current “post”-pandemic world, with a particular attention to the study of literary texts, intellectual and cultural history, the history and theory of translation.  In English.

Section Number
Call Number
Day, Time & Location
W 2:10PM-4:00PM 212A Lewisohn Hall
Pier Mattia Tommasino