What you will learn from this course

This online course on Renaissance literature will teach you how to understand fundamental problems of our humanity.

Some questions you will explore in this online course:

  • What is the nature of Machiavellian politics?

  • Is Platonic love the epitome of eroticism?

  • Is cannibalism really inhumane?

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For prospective students

  • Open to all Undergrads
  • Available for 3 or 4 credits   (counts toward Humanities or Literature credits)
  • Course Syllabus
  • Coursework FAQs (topics, readings, workload, pacing, support, factors for your success)

How to Register

Course structure

This course is organized as a virtual journey through Renaissance Italian and French cities.

Each of the 15 weekly units includes:

  • A multimedia lecture that relates literature to art, politics and spirituality
  • Readings of Renaissance literary, philosophical and historical texts in translation

  • Exchange of ideas with instructor and classmates
  • Self-corrected and graded quizzes allowing you to check your interpretations

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Interactive readings

You will read prose and poetry, history and philosophy. Through these readings you will learn about courtly intrigues and religious wars, exploration of new worlds and speculation about ancient myths.

Interactive books help you learn and practice skills to interpret Renaissance texts:

  • Guidance to specific passages in the text

  • Clues to unravel the hidden meanings
  • Immediate and continuous feedback at every step of your exploration


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