Yale For Life-The Renaissance Course Information

Yale For Life
The Renaissance
May 31 - June 6, 2015
See now the power of truth"
"Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know."

The Renaissance is perhaps the greatest dividing line in human history. More that a millennium of customs and institutions were suddenly questioned as humanity simultaneously reached back to antiquity, and ahead to modernity. What may have begun in a few small city-states in Italy was variously echoed, bitterly opposed, and ultimately embraced in vast areas of the world. The "New Worlds" of the Renaissance were not only those across the ocean, but also of science, medicine, mathematics, art; indeed, of humanism itself.


But what really was the Renaissance? How did it come about? When did it end; indeed, has it ended even now? What would contemporaries have been reading, hearing, thinking, and why did it take hold amidst so many ingrained forces that might have stopped it?


In studying this greatest of eras, we will take an approach familiar to all who have studied at Yale: we will use the tools of the humanities, of foundational texts and primary sources. We will immerse ourselves inthe works of unsurpassed beauty and profundity. We will examine the period from many angles, with an interdisciplinary lens.


Join three of Yale's most gifted professors - world-leading experts on this period of unequaled upheaval, invention, creation, and beauty. This intensive, energizing experience will lead students in detailed discussions of a number of literary, philosophical, and historical texts. We will learn not of this era alone - we will learn how it is that one probes deeply into any complex period, and how in doing so, fundamental lessons emerge.


Those enrolled in Yale For Life: The Renaissance participate in three or more seminars daily: one with each of our three professor leads, and either a special event or an additional seminar with the outstanding Guest Professor of the day on a topic that takes a unique angle on the period - from Art History and Music to Religious Studies and Warfare, and beyond. Special events outside the classroom enhance the daily curriculum. These include private sessions with curators from Yale's unsurpassed collections, film screenings, conversations with faculty members about issues related to the humanities at Yale, and other activities across the Yale campus.


The program is limited to 20 students.

A typical day in Yale for Life: The Renaissance looks like this:
7:45 am Breakfast
8:30 am Seminar I
9:45 am Break
10:00 am Seminar II
11:30 am Lunch
12:45 pm Guest Professor Seminar
2:00 pm Break
3:00 pm Special activity
4:45 pm Free time
6:00 pm Dinner
Course and daily seminar leaders:
David Quint, Sterling Professor of Comparative Literature and English
Lawrence Manley, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of English
Ayesha Ramachandran, Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature; Director, Graduate Studies
Guest Professors:
To be announced (but they will be fantastic)


Course materials, including syllabus, will be sent to registered participants well in advance of the course.