This assignment is due at the end of the course (Exam Week), no later than May 8th.
You are an intellectual living at the court of the late Medici family in Florence, Italy, during the very last portion of the 1500’s. This is the time during which the power and influence of the Medici had peaked and was now on a descending trajectory. As it was customary across that time period in Renaissance Italy, the Medici want to be surrounded with a vast array of “men of knowledge” so that, among other things, they can better understand the intellectual trends occurring in the world around them, which in turn will make it easier to dominate it.
A lot is happening in Europe at that time: new and emerging philosophical currents are often in questionable accordance with the rule of Religion. At the same time the Muslim world in the south remains a powerful force that needs to be reckoned with. Lastly, echoes of a faraway and extremely successful civilization in the Far Eastern lands of Asia (Chinese Empire) are reaching the Medici Court, about which more needs to be known. The Medici need to have a clear picture of who they can be their allies and who are likely to be their enemies to coordinate their future foreign policy. At the same time they are very curious to learn whether the new trend called “science” can benefit their rise to power – without upsetting the all-powerful Pope or the Roman Catholic Church.
You have been asked to coordinate the creation and delivery of a cultural program that will assist the Medici understand the cultural climate so that they can appropriately strategize their climb to world dominance. Specifically, you have been asked to invite to court five key religious, philosophical, artistic thought-leaders from around the western world with which we are concerned in our course that embody the then-current trends of each discipline.
Your task is to identify the exact individuals that you will invite to court (note that they must be living during the time period encompassing the XVII century – the 1500’s) and summarize what they will present.
For this project you will create the following deliverable:
Individual Presentation: deliver a video-recorded or live presentation of about 5 minutes in length for each of the five intellectuals who were invited to Florence (5 minutes x 5) during which you provide in first person their presentation to the Medici court. During each presentation you will need to introduce yourself (impersonating each individual) to the court, as well as provide a detailed explanation of their respective doctrines as well as how and why their knowledge will benefit the Medici. You will not be allowed to read your presentation from notes: only a maximum of 5-6 bullet points for each individual is allowed during this exercise.
Note: narrated PowerPoint presentations can be produced using MS PowerPoint and then uploaded as “unlisted” (not publicly available) to a free streaming media service such as YouTube. Alternatively students can use Google Chrome and a free plug-in called Screencastify. The free version of Screencastify lets users create narrated presentations up to 10 minutes long. Presentation longer than 10 minutes can be broken up into as many 10-minute segments as needed.
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