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School of History

Culture and Identity in Renaissance Italy

Studying people's lives in Renaissance Italy. 

Module code: HST7335

Module organiser: Professor Kate Lowe

Credits: 30

The module will engage with Renaissance texts and with recent historical work on Renaissance Italy concerned with analysis of the context of people's lives. Both the lives of the elite and rulers, and the lives others whether members of an occupational group or of a regional or ‘national’ grouping, such as the Florentines or ‘Germans’.

These lives will be refracted through notions of culture and identity. Students will examine them through physical spaces such as a house, a church or a neighbourhood, through material objects, through ritual and ceremonial, through relationships, or through visual and textual representations.

In what ways were the various strands of Renaissance culture integrated into peoples’ lives and experienced by them? And how did their social relations and social networks reflect their cultural understandings?  To what extent were people able to construct their identities, and how did they differentiate themselves from others? What part did dress, food, personal possessions, manuscripts and books, works of art, religious and political cultures play? How much did gender, status and locality matter?

The module will include visits to museums, galleries and exhibitions where relevant.