Writingwomen-course brochure



Writingwomen-course brochure
Writing women in Early Modern Italy
Second year module (20 Credits)
30 hours; over Autumn and Spring terms
Weekly lectures: Tuesday 9am (Rm 73)
Fortnightly seminars (even weeks): Friday 9 am (Rm 57)
Dr Lisa Sampson
This module will explore a broad range of representations of women, both as objects
and active subjects, in various works from the early modern period. Major works by
male writers (Boccaccio, Castiglione, Tasso) will be examined in conjunction with
others by female authors (including Catherine of Siena, Vittoria Colonna, Isabella
Andreini) in order to evaluate how these writings were affected by the social and
literary context of their production, and general perceptions of and attitudes towards
Module requirements for students:
• Students will be expected to contribute to the seminars and to structured
discussion in certain lectures by preparing the relevant material provided during
the course of the module.
• Two essays of 2,000-3,000 words, to be submitted at the end of the Autumn and
the Spring terms counting for 50% of the overall mark.
• Examination: one two-hour paper, counting for 50% of the overall assessment.
Lecture Plan
Autumn Term 2003
Week 1
General Introduction
Week 2*
Historical and Cultural Background
Week 3
Boccaccio’s De Claris Mulieribus
Week 4*
Boccaccio’s De Claris Mulieribus
Week 5
St Catherine of Siena: Introduction
Week 6*
St Catherine of Siena: questions of genre and agency
Week 7
The Debate on Women
Week 8*
Castiglione’s Cortegiano (Book 3)
Week 9
Women, lyric poetry, and Petrarchism
Week 10*
Vittoria Colonna’s Rime
Spring Term 2004
Week 1
Culture and literary society in Venice
Week 2*
Veronica Franco and courtesan culture
Week 3
Veronica Franco Rime and Lettere (discussion)
Week 4*
Pastoral drama and the conventions of genre
Week 5
Isabella Andreini and Torquato Tasso: literary contexts
Week 6*
Isabella Andreini’s Mirtilla : themes
Week 7
Moderata Fonte: Introduction
Week 8*
Fonte, Il merito delle Donne: themes and concepts
Week 9
Il merito delle Donne: themes and concepts (discussion)
Week 10*
Conclusion: women and the literary canon
* Denotes a week with seminar discussion
Set texts
Autumn term
Giovanni Boccaccio, De Mulieribus Claris (Famous Women), ed. and trans. Virginia Brown,
I Tatti Renaissance Library (Harvard University Press, 2001) [853.15]
Extracts: Dedication and Preface, chs 1-2, 31, 37-39, 40, 42, 45, 48, 50, 55, 57, 60, 91, (94),
97, 100-101, Conclusion
See also the translation by Guido Guarini (Concerning Famous Women) (New
Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1963)
Catherine of Siena, Epistolario (Letters), see extracts
See also Lettere mistiche, ed. with intro. by Massimo Baldini (Casale Monferrato: Piemme,
1998) [242-CAT]; and the edition by P. Giuseppe Di Ciaccia (Bologna, 1999) 242-CAT
Baldassare Castiglione, Il Cortegiano (The Book of the Courtier), Book III (any
Vittoria Colonna, Rime [1538], ed. by Alan Bullock (Rome, 1982) [851.39-COL] ;
See also her Sonetti, ed. by Tobia R. Toscano (Milan, 1998) [FOLIO--851.39-COL]
Spring term
Veronica Franco, Rime [1575] (a selection), ed. Stefano Bianchi (Milan: Mursia, 1995)
and her Lettere, ed. Stefano Bianchi (Rome: Salerno, 1998) [851.49-FRA];
Translated by Ann R. Jones and Margaret F. Rosenthal as Poems and Selected Letters
(Chicago: Chicago University press, 1998) [851.49-FRA]
Torquato Tasso, Aminta, favola boschereccia (Aminta, a pastoral play), see the annotated
edition by C. E. J. Griffiths (Manchester, 1972), or the one by Marziano Guglielminetti
(Garzanti) [851.46]
For a translation, see Elizabeth Story Donno, Three Renaissance Pastorals: Tasso, Guarini,
Daniel (Binghamton, N. Y., 1993), 808-.82–THR
Isabella Andreini, Mirtilla, favola pastorale [1588], ed. Maria Luisa Doglio (Lucca: Pacini
Fazzi, 1995)
Translated by Julie Campbell (Tempe Arizona: Medieval and Renaissance Texts
and Studies, 2003)
Moderata Fonte (Modesta Pozza), Il merito delle donne… [1600], ed. Adriana Chemello
(Venice: Eidos, 1988) [396.0945-FON]
(See also The Worth of Women: Wherein Is Clearly Revealed Their Nobility and Their
Superiority to Men, ed. and transl. by Virginia Cox (Chicago: Chicago University Press,
1997) [396.0945-FON]
Further suggested reading
Giovanni Boccaccio, Il Corbaccio (any edition, see complete works)
Gaspara Stampa, Rime [1554] ed. Rodolfo Ceriello (Milan: Rizzoli, 1954/1976); or the
edition by A. Salza, 1913 [851.49-STA]
Secondary sources
General Introductions
Jones, Ann Rosalind, The Currency of Eros: Women’s Love Lyric in Europe, 15401620 (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1990) – see especially
‘Introduction’, and sections on Franco and Stampa [809.14–JON]
Russell, Rinaldina, Italian Women Writers: A Biobibliographical Sourcebook (London:
Westport, 1994); useful introductory essays to women writers – see entries on
Andreini, Catherine of Siena, Colonna, Fedele, Fonte, Franco, Stampa [3 rd Fl. Ref.–
Maclean, Ian, The Renaissance Notion of Woman (Cambridge University Press, 1980)
[396.9–MAC] – the intellectual background to attitudes towards women
Panizza, Letizia, ed., Women in Italian Renaissance culture and society (Oxford:
Modern Humanities Research Association, 2000) – a useful selection of essays
grouped into different subject areas [850.69–HIS]
Panizza, Letizia and Wood, Sharon, eds, A History of Women’s Writing in Italy,
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000) [850.69– HIS] – see 'Introduction'
Rose, Mary Beth, ed., Women in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Literary and
Historical Perspectives (Syracuse, 1986) [396.09401–WOM]
Jordan, Constance, Renaissance Feminism. Literary Texts and Political Models
(Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1990) [396.094021–JOR]
Gadol Kelly, Joan, “Did women have a Renaissance?”, in Becoming Visible: Women in
European History, ed. Renate Bridenthal and Claudia Koonz (Boston, 1977), pp. 137-64
[396.094–BEC]; reprinted in Women, History, and Theory: The Essays of Joan Kelly
(Chicago, 1984), pp. 19-50 [396–KEL]
Herlihy, David, Women, Family and Society in Medieval Europe (Oxford: Berghahn,
1995) [301.42094–HER] – see especially the essay responding to Kelly's (above).
Klapisch-Zuber, Christiane, Women, Family, and Ritual in Renaissance Italy, trans.
Lydia Cochrane (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985) [301. 42094551–KLA]
Wiesner, Merry E., Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge UP,
1993); esp. chs 4 and 5 [396.094–WIE]
Ferguson, Margaret W., Quilligan, Maureen, and McVickers, Nancy J., Rewriting the
Renaissance. The Discourses of Sexual difference in Early Modern Europe (Chicago: Univ.
of Chicago Press, 1986) [396.094021–REW]
Cohen, E. S, et al, Rinascimento al femminile, ed. by Ottavia Niccoli (Roma: Laterza,
1991) – see contributions by E.S. Cohen and M.L. King [396.0945–RIN]
Zancan, Marina, ed., Nel cerchio della luna: figure di donna in alcuni testi del XVI
secolo (Venezia: Marsilio, 1983) [850.903–NEL]
Ortner, Sherry B., and Whitehead, Harriet, eds, Sexual Meanings: The Cultural
Construction of Gender and Sexuality (Cambridge, CUP, 1981), cf.
‘Introduction’ [301.424–SEX]
Author/subject specific criticism
Branca, Vittore, Boccaccio: The Man and His Works, transl. by R. Monges and D. J.
MacAuliffe (New York, 1976) [853.15–BRA]
Bergin, Thomas, Boccaccio (New York, 1981) [853.15-BER]
Jordan, Constance, ‘Boccaccio’s In-Famous Women: Gender and Civic Virtue in the
De Mulieribus Claris’, in C. Levin and J. Watson, eds, Ambiguous Realities:
Women in the Middle Ages and Renaissance (Detroit, 1987), 25-47 –– see me
Kirkham, Victoria, The Sign of Reason in Boccaccio's Fiction (Florence: Olschki,
1993), see the chapters: "Boccaccio's Dedication to Women in Love" and "The
Word, the Flesh, and the Decameron" [853.15–KIR]
Larner, John, Italy in the Age of Dante and Petrarch, 1216-1380 (London, 1980)
Bloch, R. Howard, and Frances Ferguson, Misogyny, Misandry, and Misanthropy (Berkeley:
Univ. of California Press, 1989) [809.93–MIS]
Rogers, Katharine, The Troublesome Helpmate: A History of Misogyny in Literature
(Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1966) [[809.93–ROG]
Blamires, A., Woman defamed and woman defended. An anthology of medieval texts (Oxford:
Clarendon, 1992) [396.09401–WOM]
Salisbury, Joyce E. Medieval Sexuality: A Research Guide (New York: Garland, 1990)
Catherine of Siena
Zancan, Marina, 'Lettere di Caterina da Siena', in: Letteratura italiana. Le opere, I :
Dalle origini al Cinquecento I (4 vol., Turin 1992) 593-633 [850.9–LET]
Bynum, Caroline Walker, Holy Feast and Holy Fast: The Religious Significance of
Food to Medieval Women (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California
Press, 1987) [248–BYN]
Fragmentation and redemption: essays on gender and the human body in
medieval religion (New York, 1992) [SLC: 233–BYN]
Bell, Rudolph M., Holy Anorexia (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985)
[248–BEL], ch. 2 gives a psychoanalytical reading of Catherine's life; to be treated
with caution
Norman, Diana, Siena and the Virgin. Art and politics in a late medieval city state
(New Haven CT, 1999) [FOLIO-–7-09.45–NOR]
Hook, Judith, Siena, a city and its history (London: 1979), ch. 7 on religion
Tinagli, Paola, 'The cult of female saints', in Women in Italian Renaissance Art:
gender, representation, identity (Manchester, 1997) [757.4–TIN]
Hinnesbusch, William A., The History of the Dominican Order, 2 vols (Staten Island,
N. Y., 1973) [271.2–HIN], vol. 1, ch. 1 and 10; vol. 2 ch. 13
La Querelle des Femmes
Joan Kelly, ‘Early feminist theory and the Querelle des Femmes, 1400-1789’, in
Women, History, and Theory, cit. (Chicago, 1984), pp. 65-109 [396–KEL]
Fahy, Connor, ‘Three Early Renaissance Treatises on Women’, Italian Studies, 11
(1956) [Periodical–850.5]
Kaufman, Gloria, ‘Juan Luis Vives on the Education of Women’, Signs 3 (Summer
1978), 891-97 [Periodical 396.05]
Kelso, Ruth, Doctrine for the Lady of the Renaissance (Urbana: University of Illinois
Press, 1965; rpt 1978) [396.094021–KEL]
Anthony Grafton and Lisa Jardine, From Humanism to the Humanities. Education
and the Liberal Arts in Fifteenth - and Sixteenth-Century Europe (London:
Duckworth/CambridgeMA, 1986), chapter on Isotta Nogarola
King, Margaret, ‘Book-lined Cells: Women and Humanism in the Early Italian
Renaissance’, in Albert Rabil, (ed.), Renaissance Humanism: Foundations, Forms, and
Legacy, vol. 1 (Philadelphia, 1988) –– see me
Kraye, Jill (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Renaissance Humanism (Cambridge,
1996), ch. 12 'Humanism and Italian Literature' [144.CAM]
King, Margaret and Rabil, Albert (eds), Her Immaculate Hand. Selected Works by and
about the Women Humanists of Quattrocento Italy (Binghamton, NY, 1983; rev. ed. 1992),
77-86 [945.05–HER]
Kristeller, Paul O., ‘Learned women of Early Modern Italy: Humanists and university
scholars’, in Labalme, Patricia, ed., Beyond their sex: Learned Women of the
European Past (New York: NYU Press, 1980) [396.094-LAB]
Castiglione and Women at Court
Knox, Dilwyn, ‘Civility, courtesy and women in the Italian Renaissance’, in Letizia
Panizza, ed., Women in Italian Renaissance Culture and Society (Oxford,
2000) [850.69–HIS]
Benson, Pamela J., The Invention of the Renaissance Woman: the Challenge of
Female Independence in the Literature and Thought of Italy and England (University Park,
PA, 1992), ch. 3 – discussion on the role of women in Book 3 [820.903.BEN]
King, Margaret L., Women of the Renaissance (Chicago, 1991); a useful general
introduction to attitudes towards women in the Renaissance, see especially ch. 3
Kelso, Ruth, 'The lady at Court', in Doctrine for the lady of the Renaissance (Urbana,
1956) [396.094021-KEL]
Zancan, Marina, ‘La donna e il cerchio nel Cortegiano di B. Castiglione: le funzioni
del femminile nell’immagine di corte’, in Nel cerchio della luna, cit. (Venice, 1983)
Lauro Martines, ‘The High Renaissance: A fractured consciousness’, in Power and
Imagination. City-states in Renaissance Italy (London, 1980), pp. 416-465 [945.05–MAR]
Vittoria Colonna and Petrarchism
Vickers, Nancy J., 'Diana Described: Scattered Women and Scattered Rhyme',
Critical Inquiry 8 (Winter 1981) [BULM. Periodical 820.5]
Yavneh, N., 'The ambiguity of beauty in Tasso and Petrarch', in James Grantham
Turner, Sexuality and gender in early modern Europe (Cambridge 1993) [7–
9.949 301424–SEX]
McAuliffe, Dennis, ‘Vittoria Colonna and Renaissance Poetics, Convention and
Society’, in Il Rinascimento: Aspetti e problemi attuali, ed. Vittore Branca et al
(Florence: Olschki, 1982), 531-42 [850.63–ASS]
--‘Neoplatonism in Vittoria Colonna’s Poetry: From the Secular to the Divine’,
in Ficino and Renaissance Neoplatonism, ed. Konrad Eisenbichler and Olga
Zorzi Pugliese (Toronto: Dovehouse, 1986), 101-112 [195–FIC/FIC]
Rabitti, Giovanna, 'Lyric poetry', in A History of Women’s Writing in Italy, ed. Letizia
Panizza and Sharon Wood (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000) [850.69–HIS]
Brundin, Abigail, ‘Vittoria Colonna and the poetry of reform’, Italian Studies 57
(2002), 61-74[Periodical–850.5]
Bainton, Roland H., ‘Vittoria Colonna’, in Women of the Reformation in Germany and
Italy (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1971), 201-18 [396.094023–BAI]
Borsetto, Luciana, ‘Narciso ed Eco. Figura e scrittura nella lirica femminile del
Cinquecento: esemplificazioni ed appunti’, in Nel cerchio della luna, cit., ed.
Marina Zancan (Venice, 1983), 171-233 [850.903–NEL]
Dionisotti, Carlo, Geografia e storia della letteratura italiana (Turin, 1967) – see
especially the essay: ‘La letteratura italiana nell’età del concilio di Trento’, pp.
183-204 – see me
Gibaldi, Joseph, ‘Vittoria Colonna: Child, Woman and Poet’, in Women Writers of the
Renaissance and Reformation, ed. Katharina M. Wilson (Athens: University of Georgia
Press, 1987), 22-46 [809.8–WOM]
Gaspara Stampa
Bassanese, Fiora A., ‘What’s in a Name? Self-Naming and Renaissance Women
Poets’, Annali d’Italianistica 7 (1989), 104-115 [Periodical–850.5]
Phillippy, Patricia, ‘Gaspara Stampa’s Rime: Replication and Retraction’, Philological
Quarterly 68, 1 (Winter 1989), 1-23 [Periodical ––805]
Russo, Luigi, ‘Gaspara Stampa e il petrarchismo del ‘500’, Belfagor 13 (1958), 1-20
[Periodical ––805]
Veronica Franco, Venice, and Courtesan culture
Jones, Ann Rosalind, The Currency of Eros, cit. (1990), ch. 5 [809.14–JON]
--‘City Women and Their Audiences: Louise Labé and Veronica Franco’, in
Rewriting the Renaissance, cit. ed. Margaret W. Ferguson et al (Chicago,
1986), 299-314 [396.094021–REW]
Margaret Rosenthal, The Honest Courtesan: Veronica Franco, Citizen and Writer in
Sixteenth -Century Venice (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1992)
Favretti, Elvira, ‘Rime e lettere di Veronica Franco’, Giornale storico della letteratura
italiana 163 (1986), 355-82 [Periodical– 850.5]
Adler, Sara Maria, ‘Veronica Franco’s Petrarchan Terze Rime: Subverting the
Master’s Plan’, Italica 65 (1988), 213-33 –– see me
Eisenstein, Elizabeth, ‘The Rise of a New Class of “Men of Letters”’, in The Printing
Revolution in Early Modern Europe, 2 vols (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1983)
Muir, E., Civil Ritual in Renaissance Venice (Princeton: Princeton University Press,
1980) [945.31–MUI]
Maniates, Maria Rika, Mannerism in Italian Music and Culture, 1530–1630
(Manchester, 1979) [780.945–MAN]
Ruggiero, Guido, The Boundaries of Eros: Sex Crime and Sexuality in Renaissance
Venice (Oxford: OUP, 1985) [301.4240945–RUG]
Finlay, Robert, Politics in Renaissance Venice (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers
University Press, 1980) [945.31–FIN]
Tasso and pastoral drama
Clubb, Louise George, 'The Pastoral Play: Conflations of Country, Court and City', in
Il teatro italiano del rinascimento, ed. M. de Panizza Lorch (Milan, 1980)
Radcliff–Umstead, Douglas, 'Love in Tasso's Aminta: A Reflection of the Este court',
in Panizza Lorch, cit. (Milan, 1980) [792.0945-TEA]
'Structures of Conflict in Tasso's Pastoral of Love', in Studi tassiani, 22
(1972), 69–83 [Periodical-851.46]
Anselmi, 'Torquato Tasso, Aminta', in Letteratura italiana. Le opere. II. Dal
Cinquecento al Settecento (Turin, 1993) [850.9-LET]
Isabella Andreini: Women and the theatre
Günsberg, Maggie, Gender and the Italian Stage: From the Renaissance to the present
day (Cambridge, 1997), chs 1–2 [BULM. 852.09-GUN]
‘Commodification of the Female Body in Italian Renaissance Comedy’,
Romance Studies, 24 (1994); 41-57 [Periodical– 879. 905]
Cox, Virginia, ‘Fiction, 1560-1650’, in A History of Women’s Writing in Italy, ed.
Letizia Panizza and Sharon Wood, 52-64 (Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press, 2000) [850.69–HIS] – has a useful section on pastoral drama by
Commedia dell'arte : Isabella comica gelosa / Studi e documentazioni, documenti del
Teatro Stabile di Torino ([Milano] : U. Mursia, [1971]) [729.20945–TEA]
Henke, Robert, Performance and Literature in the Commedia dell’arte (Cambridge,
2002), esp. ch. 6 on actresses [792.2–HEN]
Tessari, Roberto, ‘Sotto il segno di Giano: La Commedia dell’arte di Isabella e di
Francesco Andreini’, in The Commedia dell’arte from the Renaissance to Dario
Fo, ed. Christopher Cairns (Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press, 1989), 1-33
Tylus, Jane, 'Women at the windows: Commedia dell'arte and theatrical practice in
early modern Italy', Theatre journal, 49: 3 (1997), 323–342 (BULM. SLC,
photocopy 228)
Richards, Kenneth, and Richards, Laura, The Commedia dell'arte; a documentary
history (Oxford, 1990) [BULM. 792.0945–RIC]
Rudlin, John, Commedia dell'arte: an actor's handbook (London, 1994) [792.028–
Moderata Fonte
Labalme, Patricia, ‘Venetian women on women: Three Early Modern Feminists’,
Studi Veneziani n.s. 5 (1981), 81-109 [Periodical – 945–31]
Jordan, Constance, ‘Renaissance Women Defending Women: Arguments Against
Patriarchy’, in Maria Ornella Marotti, ed., Italian women writers from the
Renaissance to the present. Revising the canon (University Park, PA:
Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996), 55-67
Cox, Virginia, ‘The Single Self ‘The Single Self: Feminist Thought and the Marriage
Market in Early Modern Venice’, Renaissance Quarterly, 48 (1995), 513-81
[Periodical--805. 1998-]
Chemello, Adriana, ‘La donna, il modello, l’immaginario: Moderata Fonte e Lucrezia
Marinelli’, in Nel cerchio della luna: figure di donna in alcuni testi del XVI secolo, ed.
Marina Zancan (Venice: Marsilio, 1983) [850.903–NEL]
Collina, Beatrice, ‘Moderata Fonte e il Merito delle donne’, Annali d’italianistica 7
(1989), 142-64[Periodical. 850.5]
Malpezzi Price, Paola, ‘A Woman’s Discourse in the Italian Renaissance: Moderata
Fonte’s Il merito delle donne’, Annali d’italianistica 7 (1989), 165-81
[Periodical. 850.5]
Women writers and the Canon
Cannon, JoAnn, ‘Women Writers and the Canon in Contemporary Italy’, in Maria
Ornella Marotti, ed., Italian women writers from the Renaissance to the
present. Revising the canon (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State
University Press, 1996), 13-23 (see also Introduction to the volume)
Jones, Anne Rosalind, and Nancy Vickers, ‘Canon, Rule and the Restoration
Renaissance’, Yale French Studies, n. 75 (Fall 1988: The Politics of Tradition:
Placing Women in French Literature)
Costa-Zalessow, Natalia, Scrittrici italiane dal XIII al XX secolo (Ravenna, 1982)
Essay Questions
Autumn Term
1. How far can Boccaccio be described as presenting a positive vision of women in
the De Claris Mulieribus?
2. ‘The structure of late-medieval society may have restricted the access of women to
property and office, but it could not silence […] them’ (D. Herlihy). Discuss this
quotation with reference to St Catherine of Siena.
3. To what extent should St Catherine of Siena be considered as a writer who reflects
gender related issues? Discuss with specific reference to at least three of her letters.
4. Explore the ways in which Castiglione dramatises the contemporary debate on
women in his Cortegiano in terms of characterization, setting, and the exposition of
the main arguments.
5. How far can Vittoria Colonna be regarded as the creator of an ‘original’ female
voice in her Rime, which contrasts with dominant poetic practices?
Spring Term
6. ‘The writings of Veronica Franco can only be understood properly by taking into
account her social context: as a courtesan, and a Venetian.’ Explore this statement,
making reference to Franco’s verse AND/OR letters.
7. ‘In writing her Mirtilla, Isabella Andreini was seeking more to raise her social
profile as an actress than to explore the potential of pastoral drama for voicing
feminine concerns’. Discuss this statement, referring also to Tasso’s Aminta.
8. Discuss the contribution of Moderata Fonte to the debate on women.
9. ‘Writing women in early modern Italy challenged both conventional ideas of
“femininity” and certain forms of literary activity’. Discuss this statement with
reference to one or more writers or works.
Essay deadlines
Students are required to write one essay per term, and may not reuse the same material in
both essays. Essays on Autumn Term work are due by 4 pm on Tuesday 13 January 2004.
Essays on Spring Term work are due by 4 pm on Tuesday 27 April 2004. Please see the
Department's Final Year Handbook for the University's rules on late submission of work.
Essays must be submitted to Mrs Whyte's office (Room 70). They must be on paper and in
duplicate: word-processing is strongly recommended, but we cannot accept essays in
electronic form. When handing in essays, students must also sign a submission form for this
piece of work, declaring that this is all their own work (please see the Final Year Handbook
for the University's rules on plagiarism). Copies of this form are available in Room 70.
Students should obtain a receipt for their essays.