ENGL719A - Seminar in Renaissance Literature; Early Modern Media

This course approaches English Renaissance literature through its media — its transitory, adaptable, in-between states of production and circulation. We will read a broad array of early modern literary and performative texts alongside media theory, broadly conceived as philosophies of communication ranging from Plato to N. Katherine Hayles. Readings will include Sidney’s Arcadia, Milton’s Samson Agonistes, Book III of Spenser’s Faerie Queene, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Jonson’s Bartholomew Fair and poetry by Wyatt, Donne, Marvell and others. Theory will draw from writers including Aristotle, Augustine, Montaigne, Nietzsche, Lisa Gitelman, Jussi Parikka, Giorgio Agamben and Bruno Latour. Throughout the course, we will think through the processes, technologies and cultural protocols that shape literary texts as they move through manuscript leafs, printed books, musical performances, open-air amphitheaters, indoor playhouses, outdoor pageants and more. Requirements include weekly blog postings and a seminar paper.