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The Renaissance Atlantic

COURSES

Term
  • Autumn
Subject Code
COMPLIT
Course Number
323
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The Renaissance Atlantic

The seminar questions common ideas about early-modern Europe and the "modernity" then established. It looks at Africa, the Americas and Europe as equal partners in making what is now called the Renaissance. Among these ideas are those of the "subject" and the "other," of "history," fiction, "science," "literature," etc. We will discuss issues of cultural exchange; colonialism and postcolonialism; history and orature; the "fictive imagination" and the politics of "literature"; formations of "methodical" knowledge; and the very idea of Renaissance and all it entails for people's still-normative understanding of Euro-modernity. We will do this chiefly through texts from Africa and the Americas, as well as Spanish, English and French Europe. We look at invasion, cultural imposition, indigenous cultures and back-formation of European culture, and the aforementioned concepts and issues as they set certain kinds of cultural creations in place whose continuing dominance and supposed "universality" needs querying.