Body, Style and Space in Early Modern Europe
Instructor: Professor Rebecca Zorach
This course will examine the visually and metaphorically rich relationship between the fashions and fashioning of the human body and the organization and decoration of space in early modern Europe, with an emphasis on ornament and the social functions of fashion. Topics may include display and ostentation; voyeurism, nudity and the bath; the regulation and critique of fashion; scale (miniature vs. gigantic); exteriors and interiors; national and "exotic" styles; memory palaces; urbanism; the grotto and the grotesque; the garden and the styling of nature; automata and toys; the utopian and fictional spaces. Participants in the seminar will have an opportunity to help decide on readings and will give a slide presentation and produce a research paper. The time span will be approximately 1400-1700, and the primary geographic focus of our attention will be France. Reading knowledge of French or of another European language helpful.