Writing the World: Nature, Science, and Literature in Early Modern Europe

The idea that the poet "created a world" was a commonplace of Renaissance literary criticism. In this course we will be thinking about how poetry's worldmaking powers responded to changing ideas of what makes up the world - from revolutionary visions of the cosmos to new conceptions of the nature of matter and life - as well as to the new technologies which made these discoveries possible. How do the "creative" qualities of literature interact with an emerging scientific emphasis on facts and "things as they are"? We will consider these and similar questions in the different contexts of early modern Italy and England.
Course Number: 
015860
Audience: 
Instructors: 
Catalog Number: 
375