Spring 2019 - HUM 312W D100

Renaissance Studies (4)

Class Number: 5741

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, We 12:30 PM – 2:20 PM
    RCB 7102, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units.



A detailed interdisciplinary analysis of a selected topic, issue, or personality from the Italian and/or Northern Renaissance. Students with credit for HUM 312 may not take this course for further credit. Writing/Breadth-Humanities.



Renaissance Studies: The Strange and Wonderful World of Pieter Bruegel, Painter

Pieter Bruegel, the sixteenth-century Flemish/Dutch artist, drew and painted a set of remarkable pictures that create an unforgettable world as rich and detailed as a Shakespearean play. Bruegel was, all at once, a surveyor of popular culture, humanist, religious, historical, and landscape painter, and sharp-eyed observer of human nature. And it is on those many levels and others that we shall seek to enter his world and his art in this course. Each class will concentrate on several of his paintings and drawings, and we shall approach his art through a series of different techniques and modes, trying to understand him and his time. Among these approaches, we shall dip into modern takes on Bruegel by movie-makers, novelists, and poets. These approaches will help ground the class in ways to approach all art, questions to put to it, and different strategies for understanding art in its time. We shall be looking for ways to maximize the meaning of Bruegel’s frozen moments.


  • Six Short Essays on Individual Pictures 30%
  • Informed Participation and Attendance 20%
  • Term Paper 50%


As a writing intensive class there will be regular writing assignments throughout the course.



We shall chiefly work from images available on-line, connections to which will be provided by the instructor.


Manfred Sellink, Bruegel: The Complete Paintings, Drawings and Prints (2007) is now out of print, but used copies should be available.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html