2020-21 Pomona College Catalog 
    
    Nov 30, 2022  
2020-21 Pomona College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG] Use the dropdown above to select the current 2022-23 catalog.

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ENGL099 PO - The Idea of the Renaissance

When Offered: Each spring.
Instructor(s): C. Rosenfeld
Credit: 1

The term “Renaissance” is largely taken to identify a period of radical innovation in humanist arts and letters, one that begins with the rediscovery of old, lost, forgotten, and discarded things. Though the chronological borders of that period shift from region to region (i.e. Southern to Northern Europe), it is generally a given that the period of time it designates is now closed. But what if the Renaissance is best conceived, not as a historical period, but as a historical project? What if the task of the reader is to understand the Renaissance as what Hans-George Gadamer called an “unfinished event?” The Renaissance so conceived is an idea that we might revive, revise, or redirect. The scholarly mode that it solicits is participation. This course will harness the core insights and innovations of the English Renaissance in order to imagine alternatives to modernity, the present moment, and the imminent future. Topics may include: human, nonhuman, and quasi-human; utopia, dystopia, and worldmaking; the abundance of language; metamorphosis and transformation. Written work will draw largely on exercises of the Elizabethan schoolroom, including: commonplace books; imitations, emulations, and adaptations; exercises in impersonation; and two essays. We will focus on works by Renaissance poets including Francesco Petrarch, Edmund Spenser, and William Shakespeare but we will also reach backward to poets like Ovid, and forward to writers including Oscar Wilde, Franz Kafka, and Jorge Luis Borges.
Satisfies the following General Education Requirement(s), subject to conditions explained in the Degree Requirements section of this Catalog:
Area 1; Writing Intensive



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