Emeritus Professor David Wolfe, physicist, University of New Mexico

Wednesday 24–Friday 26 January 11.15 am COURSE FEES R330; Staff and students R165

The Renaissance is generally considered to be between the years 1400 to 1600, that is the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Intellectually it recognised a new value of the individual, generally called ‘humanism’, and a re-discovery of Greek philosophy. It is, not surprisingly, a rather vague term and the dates are often the source of arguments amongst scholars. The Renaissance was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life in the early modern era. It began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe by the sixteenth century. Its influence was felt in so many different areas, such as art, architecture, philosophy, literature, music, science (although not always positively here, as we shall see), technology, politics, and religion. The change from mediaeval thinking led to a serious intellectual contribution from women, something that is often ignored in current discussions.

Lecture titles

  1. Women, work and the family
  2. The role of philosophy and literature
  3. Medicine and science

Recommended reading

Davis, N.Z. (ed). 1993. A History of Women, Volume III, Renaissance and Enlightenment Paradoxes. Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: Belknap Press.

Raber, K. (ed.). 2016. A Cultural History of Women in the Renaissance. London: Bloomsbury.