Early Modern Political Thought

Course Number: ENGL 232
Prerequisites: Graduate Standing
General Education Areas Fulfilled: Check on GOLD
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 232
Quarter: Spring 2017
Instructor: Griffin, Andrew
Day(s): R
Time: 9:30am - 12:00pm
Location: SH 2714

Building on last year’s ENGL 231, “Modernity and Early Modernity,” this iteration of ENGL 231 explores the modernity of early modern political thought as it appears in early modern English art and philosophy.  The seminar will work to better understand our own nominally “modern” political settlement by exploring its central categories — citizenship, subjection, representation, secularity, popularity — and by asking how these categories were operating between the end of the sixteenth century and the end of the seventeenth century, or at the moment when the modern world is often said to “emerge” in England.  To this end, we will explore the work of republican and proto-republican philosophers (Hobbes, Bacon, Machiavelli, Buchanan), the work of propagandists (Charles I, Milton), and the work of politically sophisticated artists (Shakespeare, Marlowe, Cavendish, Dekker, Lanyer).  The seminar will also engage with current debates around periodization, democracy, authority, consent, and dissent.