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Early Modern Classroom

  • SCJ Editors

    Jennifer Mara DeSilva, Ball State University

    Whitney A. M. Leeson, Roanoke College

    Barbara Pitkin, Stanford University

    With the novel coronavirus nipping at our collective heels, many professors around the globe accomplished a Herculean task in the spring of 2020. On short notice and in short order, we transformed entire courses built on face-to-face instruction into digitally based, remote-learning experiences for our students. In so doing, we transformed ourselves and pedagogical best practices for the...

  • Horacio Sierra
    Bowie State University

    Silence = Death1

    George Floyd2

    Breonna Taylor3

    Ahmaud Arbery4

    Monika Diamond5

    Trayvon Martin6

    Freddie Grey7

    All lives do not matter...

  • Erin Alice Cowling
    MacEwan University

    When we received the news that we would be moving to remote teaching for the rest of the semester, my Hispanic Theatre & Performance class was in the middle of reading La vida es sueño (Life’s a Dream) by Pedro Calderón de la Barca (1636). This play, a theatricalized adaptation of Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave,” follows the struggles of two protagonists as their lives intersect: a prisoner who is actually a prince and a woman, disguised as a man, seeking revenge on the man who abandoned her. For us, it was also extremely pertinent for understanding our current reality...

  • Isabella Walser-Bürgler
    Ludwig Boltzmann Institut für Neulateinische Studien, Innsbruck

    Teaching the early modern in the era of COVID-19 is challenging for instructors of all stripes. This article outlines how these challenges were met in teaching Neo-Latin in an undergraduate seminar in Austria by highlighting the special role of constructivist learning and digital resources. With regard to the Neo-Latin part of the seminar, the aim of the class was twofold: first, to familiarize the participants with the vast international production of Latin texts between 1450 and 1750 (i.e., Neo-Latin literature) by reading extracts from various texts in the Latin original; second to link...

  • Alena Buis
    snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓-Langara College

    In the middle of March, at the height of the novel coronavirus pandemic the internet was flooded with a convenient claim: “There is a St. Corona, and She is the Patron Saint against plagues and epidemics.”1 Since I am an art historian with a background in early modern visual culture, this caught my attention. According to several sources, not only was St. Corona associated with pandemics, but the remains of the second-century saint were thought to rest in a small town in Northern Italy not far from the epicenter of the European outbreak...

  • Albrecht Classen
    The University of Arizona

    There are many debates about the literary quality of the famous cobbler-poet Hans Sachs (1494–1576), one of the most prolific authors in the sixteenth century. Moreover, with his writing, Sachs represented one of the most industrious, economically vibrant cities in early modern Germany. Although he virtually never left his home town of Nuremberg after the return from his years as a journeyman in 1516, Sachs had a literary worldview that seems to have been almost limitless. Considering the situation we all find ourselves in today, in lockdown, social isolation, or social distancing (or in a...

  • Kyle J. Dieleman
    Trinity Christian College

    Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines exile as “the state or a period of forced absence from one’s country or home.” This means, of course, exile depends on one’s definition of home. For those of us in higher education, residential students who live “on campus” may very well consider their time at college as an experience of exile—forced from their home by parents, peer pressure, or broader economic systems. On the other hand, many students may find being away from campus its own type of exile. Gratefully, many of...

  • Brian Sandberg
    Northern Illinois University

    The Medici Archive Project [MAP] online platform offers a vital digital tool for students to become researchers in Renaissance and early modern studies during the age of COVID-19. Digitized document collections are more crucial than ever when archives and research libraries are closed due to pandemic quarantines. Travel restrictions and containment measures will likely make trips to archives difficult for some time, ensuring that digitized databases will remain essential for research in early modern studies for the foreseeable...

  • Alyssa Falcone
    Youngstown State University

    In the spring of 2020, the novel coronavirus manifested a global pandemic (COVID-19) large enough to require a complete shift in higher education. Students and educators had to adapt to digital classes; some universities faced complete restructuring and closures. Even before the switch to online lessons, difficulties persisted in the teaching of early modern studies, specifically the interplay between those centuries and ours, a productive link that is often hard to teach and hard for undergraduates to grasp. By relating my experience teaching Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron (ca....

  • John S. Garrison
    Grinnell College

    I was midway through teaching an undergraduate seminar on “The Memory Arts in Renaissance Literature” when Grinnell College announced that we would be teaching remotely after spring break. The course focused on early modern English poetry and drama in the context of memory studies, and much of our discussion dwelt upon how a culture’s collective memory is perpetuated through literature. I had planned our final unit to consider the use of early modern literature for commemorative practices in our own era. Specifically, I intended to teach Christopher Marlowe’s play Edward II (1594...