Power and Poetry in Renaissance Italy

Comparing four women who lived between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries, this lecture shows the various means by which people navigated the world of diplomacy and politicking within Renaissance Italy. In an era when women had limited opportunities for engagement with public life, the strategies used by these women to negotiate, or claim and co-opt power to ensure success are of particular interest.

DELIVERY MODE

  • Hybrid (F2F and Online simultaneously)

SUGGESTED READING

  • Margaret F. Rosenthal. The Honest Courtesan: Veronica Franco, Citizen and Writer in Sixteenth-Century Venice (University of Chicago Press, 1993).
  • Eleanor Herman. Mistress of the Vatican: The true story of Olimpia Maidalchini, the secret female pope (Perennial, 2008).
  • Georgina Masson. Courtesans of the Italian Renaissance (Secker & Warburg, 1975).
  • Tullia d’Aragona/Elizabeth A. Pallitto (ed. and trans.). Sweet Fire: Tullia d’Aragona’s Poetry of Dialogue and Selected Prose (George Braziller, 2006).

COURSE OUTLINE

The lecture examines and compares the lives of Vannozza dei Cattanei, Olimpia Maidalchini, Veronica Franco, and Tullia d’Aragona. Two women were associated with the papacy and powerful families – one as papal mistress and mother of the Medici, the other as papal sister-in-law and power behind the throne. The other two were courtesans and authors who occupied prominent positions in the political and diplomatic life of different Italian cities. Where some women used their familial connections and financial savvy to ensure their security, others relied on their writing, cultivating alliances through artistic patronage and defending their interests through poetry or philosophical dialogue.

PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Gain a greater understanding of the sociocultural underpinnings of life in various Italian cities during the Renaissance, and the differences between them.
  2. Identify key literary devices used in the works of significant authors, and how their respective works form part of a broader dialogue with each other.
  3. Situate these figures’ contributions to creative and political life through the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries.
$39 Limited

<p>Comparing four women who lived between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries, this lecture shows the various means by which people navigated the world of diplomacy and politicking within

...
30 Jul
$39 Limited

<p>Comparing four women who lived between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries, this lecture shows the various means by which people navigated the world of diplomacy and politicking within

...
30 Jul

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