VISUAL CULTURE AND GLOBAL IDENTITY IN FLORENCE
Florence, the regional capital of Tuscany, is located in central Italy and is considered by many the birthplace of the Renaissance. Florence lays claim to innovators of culture and science such as Dante, Giotto, Brunelleschi, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Galileo, and many more. Giorgio Vasari, a 16th-century artist and biographer, attributes this confluence of talent to God's divine will and grace, and affixes the identity of Florence with the Renaissance. Using the theoretical construct of semiotics, that is, the play of word and image relationships, students will examine the rich written and visual culture of Florence to formulate an understanding of Florentine identity. Trips to Siena and Pisa will provide contrasting examples of Tuscan identities.