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Early Modern Classroom

  • Glenda Y. Nieto-Cuebas
    Ohio Wesleyan University

    Although online digital media had always been a part of my Women and Power in Early Modern Spain class, the Covid-19 stay-at-home order issued during the spring 2020 semester turned it into a central feature of my course rather than a supplemental one. This class was taught in Spanish and focused on the political and social role of women in early modern Spain. The core objectives were to acquire understanding of power relations and gender roles in early modern Spain; comprehend the importance of women’s contributions and legacies during the period in question; and obtain awareness of the...

  • Lynneth Miller Renberg
    Anderson University

    Group projects can be frustrating for students in the best of times. Should they play a role in pedagogy during a pandemic? I struggled with this question in my Age of Reformations course, which included a group board-game project as its final assessment. As originally intended, this project asked groups of students to work together to research a historical event or theme from early modern Europe. Students would then implement concepts such as causality, contingency, and change over time as they designed a historically accurate and playable game. Inspired by a pedagogy panel at the...

  • Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks
    University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

    The most deadly pandemic in history was the fourteenth-century outbreak of plague that contemporaries called the “great plague” or the “pestilence of mortality” and that later acquired the name Black Death. It killed one-third to one-half the population in some areas, and may have had a global death toll of 100–200 million. This topic is a staple of medieval, western civilization, and world history courses, and in a post-COVID-19 world that will certainly continue, particularly as our best initial tools to fight the novel coronavirus are exactly those that were available in the...

  • Sara Read & Catie Gill
    Loughborough University

    “Women’s Writing in the Seventeenth Century” is a module which has been offered and taken up enthusiastically at Loughborough University since the early 1990s. Initially the module was planned around texts available in Her Own Life: Autobiographical Writings by Seventeenth-Century Englishwomen (1989), coedited by the module’s founder Professor Elaine Hobby, supplemented with photocopied examples of women’s manuscript and published works. Over time, the course has adapted and renewed itself to not only reflect the research expertise of the lecturers delivering it, but to...

  • Jennifer Wu & Allison Gose
    University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

    In the spring of 2020, our team of three Ph.D. students taught an interdisciplinary first-year seminar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The course, titled “In the Flesh: The Constructed Body in Medieval and Renaissance Europe,” investigated the body through a sequential study of medieval European history, Italian Renaissance art, and English Renaissance literature. As in many institutions throughout the country, the unprecedented unfolding of the novel coronavirus dramatically transported our pedagogy to online instruction and changed our approach to team...

  • Javier Berzal de Dios
    Western Washington University
    “You are right to encourage me in all your letters to keep my spirits up.”
    Bartolomeo Fonzio to Pietro Cennini1

    This quarter, my seminar students wrote letters—handwritten and mailed—in addition to the habitual research project and reading responses. The course focused on art and culture at the end of early modernity, centering on the early and mid-eighteenth century, but, in writing...

  • Susan Mobley & Brian Harries
    Concordia University Wisconsin

    When the COVID pandemic caused our university to pivot to an improvised online-education model, we faced many of the same struggles as other instructors suddenly transitioning to remote teaching, and we responded in many of the same ways. We had an additional challenge, however, in that we were team-teaching an interdisciplinary freshman class called Western Culture and Worldview. This is a class required of all students in our university Core, and it aims to provide a context for global citizenship by exploring the Western foundations of American and European culture. The class...

  • Sheila T. Cavanagh
    Emory University

    Since the 2010 creation of The World Shakespeare Project (WSP),1 my Shakespeare classes at Emory University in Atlanta regularly include videoconferencing sessions with academic and artistic partners around the globe. As this collaborative, primarily electronic, endeavor developed, the WSP forged strong ties with classroom technology experts at Emory and experimented with innumerable videoconferencing...

  • Alexis Culotta
    School of the Art Institute of Chicago

    The repercussions of the 2020 pandemic moment are far-reaching, with some of the greatest transformations occurring within the field of higher education. With the transition of so many college classrooms to remote learning formats for much of spring term comes the ever-present concern of connectivity. These issues can take many forms, but for this essay, connectivity is defined as the ways in which faculty members connect (or can no longer connect) with their students: no longer seeing students in the classroom, not having regular (unscheduled) conversations, and, for an art...

  • Evan Gurney
    University of North Carolina, Asheville

    I teach at a small public liberal arts university with a curriculum that requires each undergraduate student to progress through a series of interdisciplinary “Humanities” courses, beginning with a study of the ancient world and culminating with a seminar on contemporary society. Nearly every semester I teach the second of these four courses, “The Medieval and Renaissance World,” which engages a wide range of cultural traditions across the globe and over a vast historical period (300 CE–1650 CE). With an expansive and fixed reading list, with a dizzying array of assigned lectures about...

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