Upcoming Courses

Summer 2021

Summer I and II will provide a unique opportunity to tap into the resources of Wake Forest University’s Venice Campus. Our visiting faculty for the summer will include Dr. Agnese Chiari, Adjunct History Professor, and Dr. Monica Chojnacka, Senior Lecturer, Art. Were it not for the Pandemic, these professors would not have been available to our program. We are excited to welcome them to Liberal Arts Studies.


Summer I

LBS 728   A Survey of Venetian Art: From the Origins to the Renaissance

This course goes beyond simple identification and dating of a given painting or building and aims at a deep understanding of Venetian society from the origins of the city to the end of the 16th century: internal and international politics (the doge and the structure of the Republic; political and cultural relationships with other Mediterranean and European countries) and social organization of the Venetian state (welfare and public assistance; the Scuole).
The course opens with an introduction to the image and problems of Venice (from the first settlements to the MOSE project) and traces back the development of Venetian art and architecture from its Byzantine origins to the late 16th century.
After a general review of Byzantine and Gothic art, it concentrates on major Early Renaissance painters, such as a Mantegna, Giovanni Bellini and Carpaccio. The 16th-century focus is primarily on the paintings of Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto and Paolo Veronese and the architectures of Jacopo Sansovino and Andrea Palladio.
The structure of the course and the peculiar identity of Venetian art (having been Venice, in the past an important commercial hub, a “bridge” between East and West and a melting pot with a relevant number of foreign settlements and influences) offers interesting opportunities to engage all types of learners. During the development of the course connections with other cultural identities (i.e. the Islamic world; the foreign communities in Venice…) will be highlighted.

Professor Agnese Chiari

Professor Agnese Chiari

Maria Agnese Chiari, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer in Art, Wake Forest University, Venice Program, earned her Ph. D in Venetian Renaissance Art History in 1989. Her scholarly work focuses mainly on Venetian painting, drawing and graphics in the Renaissance period (15th-16th centuries) and on the Venetian “Scuole”, about which she has written more than 100 scientific publications (articles, entries, books). She has been teaching at Wake Forest University (Winston Salem, N.C.) Venice Campus since 1981 (Venetian Art of the Renaissance). She also taught many courses at Ca’ Foscari University (Venice; 1999-2008), at I.S.S.R. “San Lorenzo Giustiniani” (Venice; 2010-2016) at Venice International University (Duke University and School of Humanities and Social Sciences; since 1997) and at Università della Terza Età, Venezia.

Recently, she has been a member of the International scientific committee for the celebrations of the 5th centenary of Jacopo Tintoretto’s birth (Venice & Washington, D.C. 2018-2019; Tintoretto 500) and of the scientific committee of the International conference Tintoretto 2019, (Venezia, Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti – Scuola Grande Arciconfraternita di San Rocco, September 30 settembre – October 2 2019).

She’s a resident member of the Ateneo Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti (Venice) and a member  of the advisory board  (Cancelleria) of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, where she is also a curator of art works.

Summer II

LBS 724   Religion, Magic, and Heresy in European Culture

This course will examine the intersection of competing belief systems in medieval and renaissance Europe through the study of art, literature, religious texts, and Inquisition trials. One of the most fascinating aspects of this topic is the permeability of the categories of religion, magic, and heresy in pre-modern Europe, which often led to considerable confusion among the populace about what was heretical and what was not. We will also consider the ways in which religious orthodoxy was very much a work in progress, so that even religious authorities sometimes struggled to articulate appropriate practice and belief. At the heart of this topic, and this course, is the exploration of how ideas develop, and how the expectations and practices that emerge from these ideas are disseminated.

Professor Monica Chojnacka

Professor Monica Chojnacka

Monica Chojnacka, Ph. D., Adjunct Faculty, Wake Forest University, Venice, earned her Ph.D in European History from Stanford University. She has been on the WFU Venice faculty since 2012 where she has taught courses in Venetian History, Western Civilization, Renaissance and Reformation Europe, and European History. She is the author of two books; Venice, Food and Wine, and Women and Work in Early Modern Venice, and Co-editor of Ages of Woman, Ages of Man. She has published numerous articles and reviews throughout her career.

She is currently the Co-Coordinator and Instructor of the Venice Today Project an outreach program for Wake Forest University Students, involving instruction on contemporary issues of Venetian life, the establishment of student research groups, identification and recruitment of local experts, selection of research sites, and guidance and evaluation of student research projects themselves.

Contact Us

If you have questions about the Liberal Arts Studies M.A. program, please contact us so we can help you!

April Strader Bullin
Program Assistant
Liberal Arts Studies M.A./Lifelong Learning