HS2O5-Venice: building the ideal state (1460-1615)

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:5
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Prof Paul Davies

Email: p.davies@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

Aims:
Part 2 Options can be either chronological or thematic. Chronological Options will usually take the form of a survey of a particular geographical area or nation over a defined period of one or two centuries. These Options aim to acquaint students with the causes and
consequences of continuity and change over the long term in the political, social, economic and cultural systems under study. Thematic Options take key concepts, ideas, or debates in history and study them in a number of different contexts, either geographically or across historical periods. The aim again is to acquaint students with the causes of continuity and change, but this time by a more comparative approach.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:
• identify and explain the main issues and events studied
• appraise critically the primary sources and historiographical interpretations of the subject
• think comparatively about aspects of African, American, British, European, Middle Eastern and South Asian history over a substantial period
• assess the nature of social, economic, political and cultural change and the particular methodologies associated with tracing it
• organise material and articulate arguments effectively in different kinds of written exercises and orally
• locate and assemble bibliographic and other information by independent research, using IT as appropriate

Additional outcomes:
The module aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills and the student’s effectiveness in group situations and team-working. Students will also develop their IT skills by use of relevant web resources and databases, where appropriate.

Outline content:
Venice, one of the greatest maritime powers in the Mediterranean (1400-1600), was widely respected throughout the western world as representing an ‘ideal’ state, and its political structures were considered as a potential model by such leaders as Oliver Cromwell and the founding fathers of the United States of America. Just as the state was regarded as ‘ideal’ so too was its architecture: Venice’s sixteenth-century architectural style – celebrated for its clarity and rationality – became especially popular in both Britain and America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
This module sets out to explore the relationship between power and architecture in Venice. In particular, it will investigate how the city’s image of stability, strength, longevity (antiquity), justice and tolerance was programmatically promoted through its architecture. In doing so, it will explore the extent to which the nobility and citizenry collectively espoused this image when building their houses, and whether the growing preference of patrons for rational, intellectual approaches to architectural design was intended to promote this image. It will, in addition, go on to look at how the Venetians drew on classical antiquity, and to ask what antiquity meant for Venice, a city that had no classical past. It will also consider the impact on architecture of Venice’s contacts with the East and whether the adoption of Byzantine and Islamic architectural forms played such an important part in constructing Venice’s political and mercantile image. In asking questions such as these, the module will focus on the design, function and image of civic buildings such as the Doge’s Palace, the Library of St. Mark, and the Mint as well as on patterns in domestic, commercial (Rialto), religious and military architecture in Venice and its subject territories on both the Italian mainland (Stato da Terra) and its foreign dominions (Stato da Mar).

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Seminars, requiring preparatory reading and investigation, may include informal and interactive presentations by the module teacher; structured group discussion; short seminar papers by students; occasional tutorials; team-based simulation exercises and debates; examination of primary and secondary sources, as appropriate. Staff will be available for consultation as necessary.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 30
Project Supervision 1
Guided independent study 169
       
Total hours by term 200.00
       
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 50

Other information on summative assessment:
Students will write ONE essay of 2,500 words, to be handed in by 12 noon on the Monday of week 11 of term, which should be submitted electronically via Blackboard. Five marks will be deducted if the coursework essay exceeds 2,625 words (ie 5% over the word limit).

Formative assessment methods:
1,000 words or 2 pages of A4 maximum to include, at the module convenor's discretion, an essay plan, bibliography, book review or other preparatory work towards the summative essay.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    One two-hour paper requiring two answers to be taken at the time of the Part 2 examinations.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Where a re-sit is permitted, students will be assessed on the failed element(s) only in August. Any element(s) already passed will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Any element which is re-sat in August is capped at 40%. Failed coursework must be re-submitted by 12 noon, on the last Friday of August.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books: Purchase of textbooks is not compulsory, but students should consider setting aside £25 per course to cover the purchase of useful books.
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

    Things to do now