History 268: Renaissance and Reformation

Fall Semester 2013

2:00 – 2:50 MWF

Instructor:

Dr. John Moser
119 Andrews

100 Founders

(419) 289-5231

E-mail: jmoser1@ashland.edu

Office Hours: 1:00 – 3:00 Tuesdays and Thursdays, or by appointment
 

Required Reading:

J. Patrick Coby, Henry VIII and the Reformation Parliament. New York: Pearson, 2006. ISBN: 0321418786.

 

J. Patrick Coby, Thomas Cromwell: Machiavellian Statecraft and the English Reformation. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2009. 0739134047.

 

Martin Luther, Three Treatises. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1970. ISBN: 0800616397.

Niccolò Machiavelli, The Essential Writings of Machiavelli, selected and translated by Peter Constantine. New York: Modern Library, 2007. 0812974239.

 

Paul Wright, Machiavelli and the Florentine Republic, 1494-1512 (to be distributed electronically)


Other readings online, on reserve, or to be supplied by the instructor. 

 

 

Course Description:

 

This course will examine the intellectual, religious, artistic, and political trends that convulsed Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries, focusing specifically on the works of Niccolò Machiavelli and Martin Luther. We will do this through the use of two role-playing games from the Reacting to the Past series.  During the first half of the semester students will portray prominent citizens of Florence between 1494 and 1512, while in the latter portion they will portray members of the English Parliament during the reign of King Henry VIII.  Each game will require students to draw on the texts as they put forward oral and written arguments to advance their personal agendas.

 

 

Course Objectives:

 

1.      To introduce students to the most important ideas associated with the Renaissance and Reformation, as well as the context in which they developed and their impact on the Western world.

2.      To enable students to use primary and secondary sources as “raw material” in making coherent arguments about the past.

3.      To enhance students’ capacity to grapple with difficult texts through readings-based discussions.

4.      To develop students’ ability to communicate in both oral and written form, through class presentations and brief written assignments.

5.      To encourage creative problem-solving and teamwork, through the use of role-playing games set in the past.

 

 

Course Policies:

 

Although this is a face-to-face course, we will be using the learning management software ANGEL for many of its features.  A site has been created within ANGEL for this course, and all students enrolled will have access to it.  Certain course readings have been uploaded to it, as have your role descriptions.  You will be expected to upload your written work there as well.  If you have never used ANGEL before, you should familiarize yourself with its operation by going here and downloading the Student Quickstart guide, located on the right-hand side of the page.

 

The following factors will make up your final grade—

 

Papers (40%)

 

The number of written assignments, as well as their length, their subject matter, and when they are due, will depend on the role that you play in each simulation.  You may expect to write roughly 6,000 words (that is, about 17-20 pages) over the course of the semester, and each paper must be written in character; that is, it is to be written as the person you are portraying would have written. 

 

Each of your papers will receive a score out of 20, broken down as follows:

I. Logic (5 pts). This rubric assesses the structural soundness of your argument. Is your paper well-organized? Does it lead the reader/audience through a series of logical steps, each well-supported by appropriate evidence, to your conclusion? Do you use logically appropriate “transition words” (and, yet, but, because, whereas, nevertheless, furthermore, however, therefore, etc.) to connect each sentence to the next, and each paragraph to the next? If you have resorted to any logical fallacies in the hope of bamboozling your audience, have you correctly labeled these in your footnotes? (If I find a logical fallacy that you have not labeled, I will assume it is a mistake and deduct points.)

II. Content (5 pts). This rubric assesses whether or not you have “done your homework” on the issues your speech addresses. Your Game Book and role sheet do not contain everything you need to know in order to make an argument for your position. They only tell you what you want to happen and (broadly) why. This is not enough material with which to persuade someone else to share your opinion – especially if that person has done her homework and knows that you are talking nonsense! Remember that you are dealing with real historical places, people and events; while you are free to suggest a different course of action from that which was historically taken, you must know what the range of plausible possibilities for such action was – which you can only find out by undertaking historical research. You should take the Game Book only as a starting-point – a blueprint to help you generate good questions about the material, which you will then try to answer through your research. Ask yourself, “What kind of information would I need to include in this paragraph in order to convince a stranger that the point I am making is valid?” Once you have your questions, use the rich resources of the Internet and the library to track down the information you need. (Hint: if I can find out that one of the "facts" or assumptions in your paper is wrong merely by performing a simple Google search, you haven't done your homework.)

III. Style (5 pts). Under this rubric, I consider all the things that make your paper rhetorically effective: clarity and concision, word choice, appropriate use of metaphor and/or other figurative language, freedom from cliché, and most of all, impeccable grammar and usage.

 

IV. Authenticity (5 pts). This rubric addresses the extent to which the paper represents something that your character would write.  Not only should your character be obvious in the arguments you are making (in other words, you should not be arguing a position contrary to what your role description dictates), as well as your overall style.  For example, a Crowd Leader in the French Revolution game should have a simple, but forceful manner of writing.

In most cases, papers will be due not during class, but rather by noon on the day before the class when the issue on which you are writing will be discussed in class.  If you are writing for one of the in-game newspapers (and most of you will be) the editor of that paper may designate an even earlier deadline in order to provide him or her with sufficient time for formatting.  Papers should be uploaded to designated drop boxes located at the course’s ANGEL site. 

 

Speeches (40%)

 

Most of you will be expected to make at least two speeches (and probably more) to the class over the course of the semester, one during each simulation.  Since the setting for both of these is an important official body—the Signoria (High Council) of Florence, or the English Parliament—these will be formal speeches made before your colleagues on matters of general concern.

 

It is likely that your speeches will address the same subjects as your papers.  While it is certainly acceptable in this case to refer to notes during your in-class speeches, you absolutely may not read your speech from a prepared text.  In other words, simply reading aloud from your paper will not satisfy your speech requirements—nor are your fellow students likely to appreciate it.  Remember that your primary goal here is to persuade others to support your views.

 

Speeches will be graded according to the criteria defined above for papers.  However, in place of authenticity speeches will be assessed on:

 

IV. Delivery (5 pts). This rubric assesses the effectiveness of your speech as an oral performance: do you establish contact with your audience, use appropriate vocal emphasis, and speak with expression? Do you avoid stumbling over words, misplacing the emphasis in sentences, and losing momentum between high points?  Note that if you read your paper you will receive a presentation grade of zero.

 

Attendance and Participation (20%)

 

As you have probably gathered by now, this is not a typical university course.  There will be very few lectures.  The course will succeed or fail based on the willingness and ability of every student to participate meaningfully in class discussions, both in and out of character.

 

Of course, the first requirement is that students attend class diligently.  No student may miss more than two class sessions without his or her grade being adversely affected.  In addition, keep in mind that during the game’s public meetings—in other words, those class sessions when students will be “in character” (January 29 – February 12, March 5-26, and April 9-30)—an absence could seriously affect the ability of your particular faction (your team, so to speak) to accomplish its objectives.

 

Attendance is a necessary, but not sufficient, aspect of the course.  To receive a grade higher than a C in this course you must participate fully in class discussions and in the role-playing simulations, above and beyond the speeches you will be required to give.  Even when you are not addressing the group, you should be questioning those who are.  At the very least you should—during the simulations—make a habit of expressing your support for arguments of which you approve, and your hostility to those of which you do not!  Remember, for the character that you portray this would not have simply been an academic exercise; these would have been questions—often literally—of life or death.

 

 

Academic Integrity:

 

I strongly advise you to examine the university’s academic integrity policy, which may be found here. All students are responsible for maintaining the highest standards of honesty and integrity in every phase of their academic careers.  The penalties for academic dishonesty are severe, and ignorance is not an acceptable defense. 

 

Course Calendar, with assignments:

 

August

19

Course Introduction

 

21

Speaking Skills Workshop

 

23

Speaking Skills Workshop (continued)

 

26

A Brief Introduction to the Renaissance

Readings:

Selected Documents on the Italian Renaissance (ANGEL)

Wright, Machiavelli, pp. 1-13

 

28

Introduction to Machiavelli and the Florentine Republic, 1494-1512

Reading:

Wright, Machiavelli, pp. 14-23, 31-61

 

30

Machiavelli’s The Prince

Reading: Essential Writings, pp. 3-100

September

2

Labor Day—No Class

 

4

Class Canceled

 

6

An Introduction to Renaissance Art (Guest Speaker Prof. Wendy Schaller)

Readings: Frederick Hartt, “Art and Freedom in Quattrocento Florence” (ANGEL)

Wright, Machiavelli, pp. 24-31

 

9

Machiavelli’s Discourses on Livy

Reading: Essential Writings, pp. 103-131, 140-157, 175-180, 188-190, 199-207, 215-224, 243-248, 253-262, 265-287

 

11

Character Introductions and Faction Meetings

 

13

Machiavelli and the Florentine Republic, Game Session #1

Part I: The Bonfire of the Vanities, 1494-1498, Session #1

 

16

Machiavelli and the Florentine Republic, Game Session #2

Part I: The Bonfire of the Vanities, 1494-1498, Session #2

 

18

Machiavelli and the Florentine Republic, Game Session #3

Part I: The Bonfire of the Vanities, 1494-1498, Session #3

 

20

Machiavelli and the Florentine Republic, Game Session #4

Part I: The Bonfire of the Vanities, 1494-1498, Session #4

 

23

Machiavelli and the Florentine Republic, Game Session #5

Part II: The Borgia Threat, 1499-1507, Session #1

 

25

Machiavelli and the Florentine Republic, Game Session #6

Part II: The Borgia Threat, 1499-1507, Session #2

 

27

Machiavelli and the Florentine Republic, Game Session #7

Part II: The Borgia Threat, 1499-1507, Session #3

 

30

Machiavelli and the Florentine Republic, Game Session #8

Part II: The Borgia Threat, 1499-1507, Session #4

October

2

Machiavelli and the Florentine Republic, Game Session #9

Part II: The Borgia Threat, 1499-1507, Session #5

 

4

Machiavelli and the Florentine Republic, Game Session #10

Part III: The Return of the Medici? 1508-1512, Session #1

 

7

Machiavelli and the Florentine Republic, Game Session #11

Part III: The Return of the Medici? 1508-1512, Session #2

 

9

Machiavelli and the Florentine Republic, Game Session #12

Part III: The Return of the Medici? 1508-1512, Session #3

 

11

Machiavelli and the Florentine Republic, Game Session #13

Part III: The Return of the Medici? 1508-1512, Session #4

 

14

Post-Mortem for Machiavelli and the Florentine Republic

 

16

Introduction to Henry VIII and the Reformation Parliament, 1529-1536

Readings: Coby, Henry VIII, pp. 8-23

Game Book Addendum, pp. 1-30 (ANGEL)

Coby, Thomas Cromwell, pp. 53-61

 

18

Aquinas vs. Marsilius on Kingship

Readings: Coby, Henry VIII, pp. 52-80

Game Book Addendum, pp. 31-33 (ANGEL)

Coby, Thomas Cromwell, pp. 17-31, 74-78

 

21

Fall Break—No Class

 

23

Christian Humanism

Readings: Game Book Addendum, pp. 34-48 (ANGEL)

Erasmus, Education of a Christian Prince, chapters 3, 8 and 9 (see ANGEL folder)

Coby, Thomas Cromwell, pp. 13-16, 35-44

 

25

The Lutheran Reformation

Readings: Luther, Three Treatises, pp. 10-25, 142-178, 237-250, 258-259, 277-286, 294-309

Coby, Henry VIII, pp. 134-142

 

28

Character Introductions, Patron Interviews and Faction Meetings

Reading: Coby, Thomas Cromwell, pp. 79-112

Quizzes due

 

30

Henry VIII and the Reformation Parliament, Game Session #1

First Session of Parliament, Nov. – Dec. 1529

Reading: Coby, Henry VIII, 157-160

November

1

Henry VIII and the Reformation Parliament, Game Session #2

Second Session of Parliament, Jan. – Mar. 1531

Readings: Coby, Henry VIII, 160-162

Game Book Addendum, p. 49 (ANGEL)

 

4

Henry VIII and the Reformation Parliament, Game Session #3

Second Session of Parliament, Jan. – Mar. 1531 (continued)

 

6

Henry VIII and the Reformation Parliament, Game Session #4

Third Session of Parliament, Jan. – May 1532

Readings: Coby, Henry VIII, pp. 163-165

Game Book Addendum, p. 49-52 (ANGEL)

 

8

Henry VIII and the Reformation Parliament, Game Session #5

Third Session of Parliament, Jan. – May 1532 (continued)

 

11

Henry VIII and the Reformation Parliament, Game Session #6

Fourth Session of Parliament, Feb. – Apr. 1533

Reading: Coby, Henry VIII, pp. 165-167

 

13

Henry VIII and the Reformation Parliament, Game Session #7

Fifth Session of Parliament, Jan. – Mar. 1534

Reading: Coby, Henry VIII, pp. 167-173

 

15

Henry VIII and the Reformation Parliament, Game Session #8

Fifth Session of Parliament, Jan. – Mar. 1534 (continued)

 

18

Henry VIII and the Reformation Parliament, Game Session #9

Sixth Session of Parliament, Nov. – Dec. 1534

Reading: Coby, Henry VIII, pp. 173-176

 

20

Henry VIII and the Reformation Parliament, Game Session #10

Sixth Session of Parliament, Nov. – Dec. 1534 (continued)

 

22

Henry VIII and the Reformation Parliament, Game Session #11

Seventh Session of Parliament, Feb. – Apr. 1536

Reading: Coby, Henry VIII, pp. 177-181

 

25

Henry VIII and the Reformation Parliament, Game Session #12

Seventh Session of Parliament, Feb. – Apr. 1536 (continued)

 

27

Thanksgiving Break—No Class

 

29

Thanksgiving Break—No Class

December

2

Henry VIII and the Reformation Parliament, Game Session #13

Special Session of Parliament, May 1536

 

4

Post-Mortem for Henry VIII and the Reformation Parliament

 

6

TBD