Majors & Minors

Early Modern Studies

Explore how the rich history, art, literature, language, and culture of the 15th through 17th centuries on both sides of the Atlantic helped shape the modern world.

Contact

Michael Saenger

Associate Professor of English

Phone

512.863.1787

Michael Saenger

Associate Professor of English

Ancient statue of sensual Italian renaissance era woman.
Ancient statue of sensual Italian renaissance era woman.

Southwestern’s minor in early modern studies enables you to examine the period between 1400 and 1700 from a multidisciplinary and cross-cultural perspective. By considering the medieval cultures of Catholic Europe, the revival of ancient Greek and Roman texts, and the Inca and Aztec Empires and their transition into the Spanish colonial period, you will learn how these diverse cultures shaped the modern world. We invite you to explore such questions as the following:

  • How is femininity represented in the poems of John Donne?
  • In what ways is the depiction of Westeros in Game of Thrones based on England’s Wars of the Roses in the 15th century?
  • What did books look like in Inca and Aztec times, and how did their forms and functions change with the advent of the Book in colonial Spanish America?
  • How did Shakespeare’s tragedies reflect contemporary notions of race and ethnicity?
  • Why were women excluded from most of the theatrical traditions of the early modern period?
  • How did the coexistence of Islamic, Jewish, and Christian cultures in the Iberian Peninsula affect notions of a unified Spain in the Renaissance up to today?

Southwestern’s early modern studies minor provides an inclusive examination of both sides of the Atlantic. You will learn about art, history, literature, and theater while enriching your research and writing skills.