HIS357Y0 A Social History of Renaissance Europe

This course will explore urban society in Early Modern Germany, the period of the Renaissance, Reformation and Baroque. We will examine social structures and major developments by reading letters, diaries and stories, through tours around Berlin and the surrounding area, and on an overnight trip to Prague. Our exploration will follow the human life cycle, with particular attention to birth and infancy, childhood and adolescence, marriage, old age and death. We will also examine issues related to work and poverty, and crime and punishment, and the experiences of those groups and individuals who were pushed to the margins of society (e.g., criminals, the poor, prostitutes). We will look at the differences that gender and social status made, and see how Germany began moving toward a more ordered and hierarchical society after the Reformation and into the 17th and 18th centuries.

Recommended Preparation: A course in Renaissance or Early Modern European History
Exclusion: HIS357H1/YS/HS
HIS3570 – 2019 Course Outline

Field Trips: Students will go on walking tours of Berlin and visit its museums, galleries and palaces. There will also be an overnight trip to Prague.The cost of these field trips is CAD$620, paid to U of T for bus transportation, one night accommodation in Prague, tour guides and entrance fees and CAD$20 paid onsite for local transportation and tips.

Instructor: Nicholas Terpstra teaches History & Renaissance Studies at the University of Toronto, focusing in particular on social history. His extensive research into daily life and social experience in the renaissance period in Europe has resulted in a number of books including Religious Refugees of the Early Modern World: An Alternative History of the Reformation (2015), Cultures of Charity: Women, Politics, and the Reform of Poor Relief in Renaissance Italy (2013), Lost Girls: Sex and Death in Renaissance Florence (2010), and The Art of Executing Well: Rituals of Execution in Renaissance Italy (2008). In 2010 he was awarded an Outstanding Teaching Award in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the University of Toronto.