HIS*194*10 Description


This course will examine Renaissance manuscripts housed in the National Library of Medicine in Washington, D.C., which provided the basis for the traveling exhibit "Harry Potter's World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine. During the 14th-16th centuries, there was much interest in understanding the substances which made up the world, how those substances changed, and what possible beneficial effects a wise person--philosopher, savant, magician--could produce by manipulating substances with procedures. As such, study of plants, humans, medicine, physics, astronomy, and magic blended in the Renaissance revival of learning. We will visit with the National Library of Medicine during the semester. This course is an introduction to the discipline of history. We will study appropriate primary and secondary sources in the field, and students will learn the basic analytical and writing skills historians use to interpret the past. There is no prerequisite for HIS 194; the course can be used in combination with any other 100- or 200-level HIS course for fulfillment of the Social Science distribution requirement, and is generally most appropriate for first and second-year students.