History 4413 Fall 2003

Renaissance and Reformation in Europe, 1300-1650

Room: South Shepler Tower, Room 214
Section: 2625 MWF, 11:00-11:50 a.m.

Instructor: Doug Catterall

Office: South Shepler Tower 634
Office Hours: MWF, 10-11 a.m. & 3:30-5p.m.; TTh, 1-2:15 p.m. and by appointment

work telephone: 581-2949
e-mail: dougc@cameron.edu

Course Overview:
The purpose of this course is to introduce you to a series of events and changes bearing on the religious, social, and cultural complexion of Europe that unfolded between the 14th and 17th centuries. Collectively historians refer to these events using the terms Renaissance and Reformation. Because the processes to which each of these terms refers were regionally specific and unique, however, we will not deal with the Renaissance or the Reformation. Rather we will look at what the Renaissance and the Reformation meant in particular regions (Germany, Switzerland, France, The Netherlands and Italy) and to particular people (with the primary emphasis being on the middle and upper middle class).

In this course you should strive to develop your own understanding of Europe’s Renaissances and Reformations both as contemporaries saw them and as historians and others know them now. As I place a particular emphasis both on written and oral expression, it is also my hope that you will each improve your abilities in these areas. Finally, it is my intention that each student leave this class with an understanding of the place of the Reformation in contemporary perceptions of European and North American culture.

Specific Objectives of the Course:

This course will provide you with opportunities to improve in the following three areas of intellectual

Contextual Knowledge:
In this course you will improve your knowledge of the events, historical actors, and transformational trends that unfolded in Europe from 1300-1650 and pertained to the Renaissance and the Reformation.  In particular you will learn about 1) major changes in artistic and intellectual endeavor and their broader influences on European societies; 2) the crucial shifts in religious belief and practice and their broader impact on Europe; and 3) the basics of the social, economic, and political events of this era.  You will gain information on these topics by reading, evaluating, discussing, and writing about the books and in-class readings assigned for the course and by writing the various papers, quizzes, and examinations that the course requires.

Historical Thinking and Research Skills:
Since this is a seminar in which our main goal will be to understand how different historians have tried to understand complex historical phenomena, you will improve your ability to evaluate conflicting interpretations of past events and issues. You will do this in two ways: 1) by contributing to discussions
in class, which is a major component of the course grade, and 2) by writing the various papers and tests that form the writing component of the course.

All of the papers in this course are tied in some way to the research process that historians typically use.  In order to write these papers you will thus learn how to engage closely with primary and secondary source materials.  We will also discuss how historians have tried to relate their work to that of other historians (historiography); how they have used sources to explore the past (methodology); and how historians deal with the complex task of defining change, continuity, and the causes behind each.  Thus, you will be thinking about how to conduct, organize, and present research by examining and discussing how others have done these things and you will gain a knowledge of the terms and categories that historians use when they practice their craft.  In addition, you will have the opportunity to experience the research process as you write your primary source papers.

Texts and Other Aids

Secondary Works:
Peter Burke, The Italian Renaissance: Culture and Society in Italy, second edition (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1999)

Steven Ozment, Flesh and Spirit: Private Life in Early Modern Germany (New York, NY: Penguin Putnam, Inc., 1999)

James Tracy, Europe's Reformations 1450-1650 (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 1999)

Roy Porter and Mikulas Teich, eds., The Renaissance in national context (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992).

Primary Sources:
Benvenuto Cellini, Autobiography, translated and with an introduction by George Bull, revised edition (London: Penguin Books Ltd.,  1998)

Anna Maria van Schuurman, Whether a Christian Woman Should Be Educated and Other Writings from her Intellectual Circle, edited and translated by Joyce L. Irwin (Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 1998)

Additional source hand-outs and short readings as needed

On-line Reference Aid:

The Catholic Encyclopedia Online: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/


Course work consists of four elements: attendance and participation in discussion and other classroom activities, informal writings, formal writings/papers, and quizzes and an essay-based examination.


1. Attendance and Discussion (10% of the total grade): As this is an upper division course I want to stress that attendance and participation in discussion will count heavily in your grade and that active participation often improves performance in the pressure situations. The only exception to this will be the day on which you are responsible for helping to lead class discussion. For this see below.

2. Informal Writings (5% of the total grade): Occasionally I will assign short writing exercises to help focus our discussions. The emphasis will vary from paper to paper.

3. Running Class Discussion (5% of the total grade): In this course I will call on each of you to take a turn at running the show for a portion of one of our meetings. On the meeting for which you sign up to do this, you and your co-facilitator(s) will be responsible for writing up a critical analysis (at least 1 double-spaced, type-written page) of some aspect of the reading assigned for that day. This must be handed in two days before the class that you are to help teach so that your classmates can have a chance to look it over. In class you will be responsible for setting up the class discussion and also for discussing your analysis of the reading for the day, including responding to any questions your fellow students might have.  I will weigh in with background and context information where necessary, but otherwise this portion of each class will be your show. I encourage you to discuss your approach with me before you have to take the class if you need guidance, but a consultation with me is not required.  Keep in mind, though, that your performance on this day will weigh heavily in your participation grade. If you want to know what group you are in and when that group is to lead class discussion, click on the hypertext in this sentence after week 2.  For basic guidelines and recommendations for how to run class click on the hypertext in this sentence.

4. Credit for Participation: Informal writing(s), attendance, class discussion, and running class for one day will be worth 20% of the final grade. The single most important element in this grade will be your presentation, but daily participation on other days will also be very important.  You can earn up to 2 participation points for each day's attendance and participation, up to 8 points for an informal writing, and up to 40 points for the day you lead class discussion.  Of the 160 participation points available, you need at least 129.6 points for an A in participation, 115.2 for a B, 100.8 for a C, and 86.4 for a D.  Less than 86.4 participation points will earn you a failing mark in participation.

Formal Writings/Papers:
In keeping with CU History Program's current guidelines for 4000-level coursework, you will have to write: an analytical summary (1 page), thesis analysis (1/2 page), critique (1/2 page), and critical review (2 pages), each on a different academic article; two primary source-based papers (6 pages each); and a structured take-home essay (8 pages) in this course.  Due dates for the papers are listed below and unless otherwise specified all papers are to be typed, double-spaced, and in 12-pt. Courier or Times Roman font.  They must also be properly footnoted.  General guidelines are available by clicking on the words in hypertext in this sentence.  Specific guidelines for the papers will be provided in a timely fashion and may be found by clicking on the hypertext for the appropriate paper listed immediately below:

Analytical Summary, Thesis Description, Critique, and Critical Review (10% of final grade)

Primary Source Paper #1 (15% of final grade): on Benvenuto Cellini, Autobiography

Primary Source Paper #2 (15% of final grade): on Anna Maria van Schuurman, Whether a Christian Woman Should Be Educated and Other Writings from Her Intellectual Circle

Take-Home Essay (20% of final grade): on Ozment, Flesh and Spirit


There will be two book quizzes each worth 10% of the total grade and a final examination worth 10% of the total grade.  Format and additional details on these will be provided in a timely fashion.

Grading Breakdown:

Component:                                Percentage:        
Attendance and Participation                  20
2 Primary Source Papers                         30
1 Article Summary, 1 Critique &
1 Thesis Analysis                                       5
1 Article Review                                         5                                         
1 Take-Home Essay                                 20
2 Book Quizzes                                         10    
Final Examination                                     10                
Total                                                         100

General Policies:

Classroom Environment: Talking to your classmates or others outside the context of classroom activities is rude and will not be tolerated.  Reading outside materials, listening to music, taking telephone calls on your cell-phone, and similar non-class related activities are equally unacceptable.  I expect all students to be respectful of one another's right to speak and express opinions.  Disagreements and different viewpoints are welcome, but debates should not involve insults.  Finally, food and drink are permitted in class as long as courtesy is observed; e.g. if you haven't quite finished your cup of coffee, do bring it along to class, but turning the classroom into a cafeteria is not permissible.  

Attendance: As noted above, regular attendance is crucial to your success in this class.  If you miss class regularly, your grade will suffer.  I would also like to note that frequent lateness in coming to class and frequent early departures will also be penalized as these habits are rude to your fellow classmates and to me as the instructor.  I will take attendance daily in this class and an absence is an absence and will be counted as such.  

Preparation: All assignments for a given day, whether reading or writing, are to be completed before the class meets on that day.  I also recommend that you take notes as you read and during lectures and discussions as this will make studying for the quizzes and writing the papers for the class less of a challenge.

Late Formal Writings/Papers: The following policy applies to all late papers for this course that will receive a letter grade. All papers submitted at any time on the day that the paper is due will be considered on time. Papers submitted after that date, no matter what the reason may be, will be automatically marked down one grade. You will then have seven days from the original due date to turn in the paper. If in that time you are unable to complete the work, the paper will receive a zero.

Late Informal Writings: No late informal writings will be accepted, so don't ask. Remember, though, that your participation grade is a composite of your performance in class and your marks on informal writings and I have designed the grading system to allow you a "head start" of 16 points.  Thus, as long as you manage to achieve the necessary points for participation, it will not matter to me how you do so. Although I will obviously keep track of what you do by way of participation.  I would advise you to remain aware of where you stand so that you know whether or not you are achieving what you wish in this important component of the course mark.

Missed Quizzes and Examinations: Make-up quizzes and examinations are granted to the student at the instructor's discretion and only with a legitimate (e.g. a medical emergency) and documented reason.

Plagiarism is the representation of the work of another as your own. In all of the writing you do for this course you must make clear to me which ideas in a paper are your own and which come from someone else. This is especially important for any formal essays you write. In such essays you must cite all primary and secondary sources you use in accordance with the proper conventions. I will hand out a sheet explaining the basics of citation before any formal essays come due.  If for some reason you do not receive a copy of this hand-out, know that you will not be exempt from following its guidelines.  In cases of plagiarism, the Department of History and Government at CU follows the plagiarism policy in the current "Student Handbook," as described in sections 4.07 and 4.08 of the CU Code of Student Conduct.  Penalties for plagiarism as defined by the Student Code of Conduct include:

1) The student may be required to perform additional academic work/project not required of other students in the course;

2) The student may be required to withdraw from the course with a grade of "W" or "F"; or

3) The student's grade in the course or on the examination or other academic work affected by the dishonesty may be reduced to any extent, including a reduction to failure. 

Please heed this warning as I am quite serious about it.

Disability Statement: If you have a documented disability or suspect that you have a learning problem and need reasonable accommodations, please notify me as soon as possible so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

Schedule of Readings, Topics, Assignments and Activities

Assigned Topics Readings, Assignments, and Activities
8-18 Introduction

8-20 Renaissance Europe: Society
Read: Tracy, 211-238 & Burke, 209-247
Approaches to Renaissance Italy
and Italian Culture
Read: Burke, 13-26, 181-208
Artists & Writers in Renaissance
Read: Burke, 43-63
Organization and Status of the
Arts in Renaissance Italy
Read: Burke, 63-88
Patron and Client in the Italian
Read: Burke, 89-111

Labor Day--NO CLASS
The Market in the Renaissance
Read: Burke, 111-124
How Art Was Used
Read: Burke, 125-144
Taste and Symbolism in the Italian Renaissance
Read: Burke, 145-177
The World of Benvenuto Cellini
Read: Autobiography, vii-xvi, 1-27 & Tracy, 121-143
Cellini's Early Career
Read: Autobiography, 27-74
Cellini and Pope Clement VII
Read: Autobiography,  74-127
Cellini and Paul III, 1
Read: Autobiography, 127-171; Take: Reading Quiz #1
Cellini and Paul III, 2
Read: Autobiography, 171-204
Cellini and Paul III, 3
Read: Autobiography, 204-235; Group 1
Cellini and Cardinal Ferrara
Read: Autobiography, 236-251
Cellini at the French Court
Read: Autobiography, 251-313; Group 2
Cellini and Cosimo de' Medici, 1
Read: Autobiography, 313-361
Cellini and Cosimo de' Medici, 2
Read: Autobiography, 361-402

Convocation: NO CLASS
The Renaissance in Venice, Rome, and Florence Read: Porter & Teich, 21-67; Turn In: Primary Source Essay #1
The Renaissance in the Low Countries Read: Porter & Teich, 68-91
The German Renaissance
Read: Porter & Teich, 92-122; Turn In: Summary (Florence article in P&T), Thesis Description (Rome article in P&T), and Critique (Venice article in P&T)
France and England's Renaissances Read: Porter & Teich, 123-163
Background to the
Read: Tracy, 1-29
None Fall Break--NO CLASS
Religious Change in Germany Read: Tracy, 33-71
Religious Change in the
Rest of Europe
Read: Tracy, 73-119; Turn In: Review of P&T Article
Reformation Politics in
Read: Tracy, 145-167
Reformation Politics in the Rest of Europe
Read: Tracy, 169-210
Social Change in the
Era of Reformation
Read: Tracy, 239-285
Growing Up in the Reformation 1
Read: Ozment, ix-xvii, 53-94; n.b. Due to a professional commitment class will not meet on this day.
Growing Up in the Reformation 2
Read: Ozment, 94-131; Group 3
Growing Up in the Reformation 3
Read: Ozment, 192-216
A Lutheran Family in Germany 1
Read: Ozment, 217-235 
A Lutheran Family in Germany 2
Read: Ozment, 235-259; Take: Reading Quiz #2
Elite Marriage in Reformed Germany 1
Read: Ozment, 3-32
 Elite Marriage in Reformed Germany 2 Read: Ozment, 32-52; Group 4
Introducing Anna Maria van Schuurman
Read: Van Schurman, vii-xxvi, 1-21
Van Schuurman on Educating Women
Read: Van Schurman, 25-56
Van Schuurman's Other Correspondence & Eukleria
Read: Van Schurman, 57-94

Voetius, Concerning Women 1
Read: Van Schurman, 97-109; Turn In: Take-Home Essay on Ozment

Thanksgiving--NO CLASS

Thanksgiving--NO CLASS
Voetius, Concerning Women 2
Read: Van Schurman, 109-125; Turn In: Primary Source Essay #2
Voetius, Concerning Women 3 Read: Van Schurman, 126-137
Wrap-Up and Evaluations
Pick Up: Review Sheet for Final Examination
Review Session


Final Examination 3-5 p.m.

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