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Each year, we offer postgradute masters' students at the University of Edinburgh an intensive course in an Italian city - currently either Florence or Venice - on the course Medieval and Renaissance Italy: Texts, Objects and Practices. The course is led by academics in History and History of Art - Jill Burke, Stephen Bowd, Sarah Cockram, Genevieve Warwick, Jackie Spicer, Irene Mariani, Monica Azzolini and Thea Stevens - normally working in collaboration.

In December 2015 (7-11 December, the week after teaching ends) we will be taking our students to Florence. Please contact this year's course leaders - Jackie Spicer ( and Irene Mariani ( - for more information.

In order to stay in touch with fellow trip members - and especially for exchanging tips and tricks on travel, accommodation and planning, as well as for sharing photos and experiences - you can access join our Facebook group, and to have a look at travel tips from past years, have a look at the 2014 course blog here.

Click here for the main link to this year's course in FLORENCE
You can also click here to go directly to the Course at a Glance

On the right hand side of this page, you can also see the links for the 2013 course in Venice - we tend to alternate locations between Florence and Venice year by year.

General course outline:
This course is designed for postgraduate students interested in research in Medieval and Renaissance Europe in general, and Italy in particular. It will be taught intensively (approximately four hours a day) over one week, normally in the middle of semester 2. There will be one-two classes with the Course Directors in Edinburgh before the course starts, and one after for additional work. Classroom sessions will take place in the Monash University Centre in Prato (when visiting Florence), or in the Centro Don Orione in Venice. The majority of teaching, though, will take place on site in archives, museums, and galleries in Florence or Venice.

The emphasis during the course will be to study in detail and at first hand a range of texts and artefacts written during the later medieval and renaissance periods in Italy. Some may be canonical in medieval and renaissance studies generally - for instance Dante's Divine Comedy, Machiavelli's The Prince, or Botticelli's Birth of Venus; others may be less well known - vernacular letters, diaries and sermons for example, or renaissance costume, furniture and scientific instruments in institutions such as the museum of domestic life in the Palazzo Davanzati or Museum of the History of Science. Because of the range of expertise offered by Prato Consortium members, students will have a choice of learning opportunities available to them, dependent on their interests and research needs. As well as the major Florentine museums, this unit will also include an introduction to archival work, and an opportunity for students to study original archival documents if they wish to.

When the course runs in Florence, classes may be shared with staff and students from members of the Prato Consortium for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

This course is open as a research training option for students taking an MSc by Research or in the first year of their PhD in a relevant subject; and as an options course for students on the following taught MSc programmes:

Renaissance and Early Modern Studies
History of Art, Theory and Display
Art in the Global Middle Ages
Medieval History

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