Fall 2010 Courses
Fall 2010 Courses
ARAB-351 Introduction to Arabic Culture I (3)
An interdisciplinary survey course based on textual sources in Arabic literature, philosophy, and scripture designed to introduce the major aspects of Arabic and Islamic culture from the classical to the modern period. Taught in English. Knowledge of Arabic desirable but not required.
ARAB-361 Introduction to Arabic Literature and Style I (3)
Content-based survey of Arabic literature from the pre-Islamic period to the contemporary period. The readings are selected from among the most salient literary texts of various literary periods in the Arabic literary traditions, in poetry and prose within cultural and historical contents. These two courses are taught totally in Arabic. Prerequisite: three years of intensive Arabic, or Advanced High by ACTFL standards.
ARAB-555 Intro to Arabic & Islamic Studies: Sources & Methods (3)
Professor F. Opwis
This course will familiarize students with the sources, research tools and methods used in the field of Islamic Studies. We will look at the history of the discipline and survey its major areas of research, including history, language and literature, religious sciences, intellectual sciences, and social studies.
ARAB-627 Introduction to Hadith (3)
Professor F. Opwis
This course introduces students to hadith literature and the science of hadith. It looks at the origin, development, and criticism of the hadith literature as well as the debates surrounding its transmission, authority, and application. For this purpose we read materials in Arabic and English discussing the role and function of the hadith literature.
ARTH-101 Intro to Art History I: Prehistoric to Medieval Art (3)
Major monuments of western art from the prehistoric birth of representational art through the thirteenth century, with emphasis on ancient and medieval civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean basin. SATISFIES HUMANITIES & WRITING II
ARTH-228 Northern Renaissance Art (3)
Professor A. Acres
The course surveys painting, prints, and sculpture in the Netherlands, Germany, and France c. 1300-1580. This includes art produced for courts, churches, civic bodies, and private patrons among the growing middle classes in the cities of Western Europe. Rather than presuming a “Northern style” defined in contrast to the art of the Italian Renaissance, we will aim to understand regional and individual tendencies on their own terms. With emphasis on the work of major figures such as Van Eyck, Bosch, Dürer, Holbein, and Bruegel, we will consider changing circumstances of the production, function, iconography, patronage, and commerce of art in the period. As we read a range of scholarly approaches to the material, the works of art themselves will remain our prime targets of inquiry and reflection.
ARTH-410 The Medieval Cathedral (3)
Professor E. Lipsmeyer
Besides examining the evolution of sacred and architectural space in the medieval cathedral from its early Christian beginnings, this seminar will consider the burgeoning liturgical, civic, economic and social functions of the church building in the medieval world. We will look at all aspects of the cathedral fabric–its paintings, windows, sculpture programs, statuary, furnishings, tapestries, and treasury in order to comprehend the phenomenon of the medieval cathedral.
CLSL-001-01 Latin I (4)
An intensive introduction to the Latin language and the culture of the ancient Romans. Readings and composition exercises will focus on the acquisition of solid reading skills. At the same time, the study of Latin will enlarge students' English vocabulary and their understanding of the structures of their own language.
CLSL-101-02 Intermediate Latin (4)
Professor J. Osgood
This class, for students with one year of college Latin or equivalent, combines review of Latin grammar with continuous reading of what must be Cicero's most amusing speech, the Pro Caelio. While aimed primarily to teach students practical strategies for reading Latin prose, this course also introduces the day-to-day life of late Republican Rome's high society.
CLSL-244 Tacitus (3)
Students will read selections from the Annales, paying attention to Tacitus' deployment of rhetorical devices and distinctive literary style, as well as to his 'annalistic' or year-by-year organization of his history, and to his peculiar form of moral and political criticism. In addition to readings in Latin, the course also will include discussion of modern scholarly approaches to the Annales.
ENGL-040-02 Gateway: Med &/or Ren Lit/Cult (3)
FALL 2010 Prof. Sarah McNamer This course seeks to introduce students to the vibrant, polylingual literary culture of medieval England from the eighth century to the eve of the Renaissance. Beginning with Beowulf (in the wonderful translation by Seamus Heaney), we will read both canonical and noncanonical texts, situating them in the various social, intellectual, visual and performance contexts that can restore for us a sense of their original meanings and functions. Genres will range from the familiar to the strange: we will encounter elegiac poetry, chivalric romances, a prose rhapsody, a travel narrative, miracles of the Virgin, love lyrics, a gynecological treatise, riddles, mystery plays, revelations from God, a beast fable, a bawdy fabliau and a sobering sermon on the Seven Deadly Sins. English writings will be our focus, but we will also sample (in translation) some of the abundant Latin and French texts which circulated in medieval England, in part as a reminder of the prestige these languages enjoyed and the lowly status of English during much of this period. Indeed the politics of language use will be one of our abiding concerns, as will more general questions surrounding textual production and cultural authority. Virtually all readings will be in modern English translation; we will, however, read some Old and Middle English aloud in order to experience something of the weight and music of English in its earliest days. SPRING 2011 PROFESSOR CARTER HAILEY ENGL 040.02 Shakespeare in Love: The Course The 1998 Oscar-winning film Shakespeare in Love is of course a romantic fantasy, frequently and self-consciously anachronistic in depicting an Elizabethan theatrical milieu which is filled with the same sorts of ego-driven actors, beef-witted producers, and petty rivalries which have become clichés of the modern entertainment industry. Many of the characters are, however, historical figures, including the impresario Philip Henslowe; the actors Ned Allyn, Richard Burbage, and Will Kempe, and the playwrights Christopher Marlowe and John Webster. Despite its fictionality, Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard’s witty screenplay is all the more enjoyable when one comes to it with a knowledge of Elizabethan theatrical history: simply put, the more you know, the more you get their jokes. We will begin the course by viewing the film and reading its screenplay. For historical background and contextual material we’ll be using The Bedford Companion to Shakespeare: An Introduction with Documents in tandem with the reading of poetry and playtexts. We’ll explore the Shakespeare/Marlowe rivalry through their competing erotic epillia (“little epics”) Venus and Adonis and Hero and Leander and Marlowe’s first theatrical hit Tamburlaine. We’ll then consider Two Gentlemen of Verona, which in the film represents Shakespeare’s pre-1595 dramaturgy, and will provide a useful contrast to Twelfth Night the work inspired by Will’s love interest at the end of the film. Since the film centers on Shakespeare’s creation of Romeo and Juliet, we’ll read that play along with its actual source, Arthur Brooke’s narrative poem Romeus and Juliet. We’ll also read Titus Andronicus (creepy little John Webster’s favorite play), along with one of Webster’s plays, The White Devil. We’ll spend significant time learning about some of the ‘tools of the trade’ for writing critically about literature, including the use of online resources.
ENGL-108 Chaucer (3)
Professor J. Hirsh
FALL 2010 PROFESSOR JOHN HIRSH ENGL 108 Chaucer A reading and discussion of Chaucer's great (if unfinished) master-work, the Canterbury Tales, a work of first importance to anyone who reads (or writes) narrative fiction. Students will read the work in original Middle English in which Chaucer wrote it, and discuss it in small and in large groups, focusing upon the work's narrative strategies, intellectual constructions, and artistic accomplishment. They will also write, in a variety of ways, about those aspects which particularly take their interest.
HIST-230 Europe from the Fall of Rome to the Millennium (3)
After the fall of the Roman Empire, three main cultural elements--classical, Christian and barbarian--blended to form a distinctive European civilization, in the face of recurring invasions and economic stagnation. In other words, early medieval Europe started out multicultural. This course will study how these elements influenced and were influenced by each other in the process of producing an entirely new cultural synthesis by the year 1000. The class emphasizes active learning. Along with traditional lectures, there will be both discussions and structured exercises, with a focus on analyzing primary sources in their historical context. Fall.
HIST-243 History of Ireland (3)
Professor J. Paxton
The study of Irish history often focuses on the question of what it means to be Irish. This course will engage directly with that question by surveying Irish society and culture from pre-Christian times down to the end of the old Gaelic order in 1607. We will examine Celtic society--its social structure, laws and literature--and then trace its impact on the Christianization of Ireland. We will look at the effect on Ireland of invasions by the Vikings and the Normans, and the establishment of English rule in Ireland. The class emphasizes active learning. Along with traditional lectures, there will be both discussions and structured exercises, with a focus on analyzing primary sources in their historical context. Instructions for in-class discussions and debates will be given in advance. Participation in class discussion is strongly encouraged and constitutes 15% of the course grade. There will also be extensive use of visual materials, including slides, maps and videos.
HIST-265 Islam in the Western Mediterranean, 642-1614 (3)
Professor O. Abi-Mershed
The course is a survey of the history of North Africa and the Western Mediterranean from the Arab conquests to the final expulsion of the Moriscos in 1609. It examines the political, economic, and cultural events and conditions that led to the autonomous development of Muslim polities in Iberia, Sicily, and North Africa; their relations with Europe, West Africa, and the larger Muslim world; and their internal socio cultural features. The course will focus on the processes of Arabization and Islamization in the Western Mediterranean; the establishment of Muslim rule in Sicily and Spain; the patterns of regional trade and commerce; the role of religion in warfare and colonization; the Christian Reconquista and rise of the "Berber" empires; and Maghribi responses to the regional Ottoman Iberian contest.
MVST-041-01 Satire and Social Criticism (03)
Professor M. Harrison
Satire and Social Criticism One of the best ways to get a sense of a culture's most cherished values (and its most hotly contested issues) is to consider what its writers choose to criticize and how they attempt to do so. With a goal of making us better interpreters of medieval culture as well as more clever readers, this seminar will examine some of the subtlest, funniest, most scandalous, and most critical literature—prose and verse, fiction and history—from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries. Our purview will include elaborate philosophical allegory, biting parody, and tales of talking animals. While focusing attention throughout on the complexity and elegance of medieval writers, the course will also encourage perspective on contemporary questions.
MVST-043 Knights of Old & Harry Potter (3)
Professor C. Dover
The objective of this course is to explore the medievalism of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels. To do this we need to go back to their medieval antecedents in the 12th-15th centuries, which will allow us to contrast and compare the old and the new. We will read masterpieces of imaginative storytelling from French, German, and English medieval literature in addition to selected Harry Potter volumes, but we will also consult Plato and Joseph Campbell. The old and the new are linked thematically in that they are all narratives about growing up and finding one’s identity: a complex, mysterious, and sometimes arduous process that the hero/heroine experiences as a magical world where the natural laws governing human existence are suspended, the unexpected is bound to occur, and marvels are reserved for the chosen few. The readings and discussion are in English.
MVST-348-01 Senior Seminar: Research (3)
Professor K. Wickham-Crowley
This research and reading seminar is required for senior Medieval Studies majors. Minors and SFS certificate students wishing to enroll and write a thesis are welcome to contact the Program Director, Prof. Kelley Wickham-Crowley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Fall.
PHIL-276 Dante and the Christian Imagination (3)
Professor F. Ambrosio
This course will examine the question of the meaning of human freedom on the basis of careful reading of major portions of Dante Alighieri's La Divina Commedia. The study will be an integrated approach that draws together elements from the disciplines of literature, psychology (especially the theories of Jung), philosophy, and theology. Based on an analysis of the text and discussion of selected critical literature, students will be asked to reflect on Dante's interpretation of the nature of freedom, how it functions in the formation of personal identity, and the role of imagination in the formation of culture and worldviews. In this context we will discuss the specifically Christian and medieval character of Dante's imagination as well as the problem of finding appropriate metaphors to situate these issues in the transformed historical context of contemporary life. The basic assumption of the course is that Commedia, while framed in terms of the fourteenth-century medieval culture, can speak vividly and directly to modern readers in terms of human experiences which are universal and fundamental, regardless of differences in time and place. Fall.
PHIL-384 History of Ancient/Medieval Philosophy (4)
This course surveys some of the major themes of ancient Greek and Medieval Philosophy: Knowledge and Opinion, Being and Becoming, God and the First Causes, Cosmos, Soul and Immortality, Reason and Faith. The continuity between the two periods will be stressed. We will read works of Parmenides, Heraclitus, Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Proclus, Augustine, Boethius, Anselm, Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, and Aquinas. Medieval Philosophy was born from the creative interaction of biblical faith with Greek philosophy. Until the thirteenth century, Neoplatonism (which attempted to unify the Platonic and Aristotelian traditions) provided the dominant philosophical framework for speculative theology. The most illustrious of the Neoplatonists, Plotinus (205-270 A.D.), profoundly influenced Augustine (354-430), especially in regard to the mind's approach to divine reality through interior recollection. Augustine himself dominated subsequent western theology, as can be seen in the writings of Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109), until, in the late twelfth century, the translation and introduction of Aristotle into the Latin west, often via the Islamic philosophical tradition of the Arabs, provoked a philosophical revolution in regard to the prevailing Augustinianism. But the “Christian Aristotelianism” of Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), which marks a new stage in the development of medieval philosophy, was, in fact, a creative synthesis of the Augustinian-Neoplatonic tradition (especially as mediated through the Procline Neoplatonism of Pseudo-Dionysius) with Aristotle. Of special interest is Aquinas’s critique, in the name of Aristotle, of the Aristotelians (the so-called “Latin Averroists”) in the Arts Faculty at Paris. Course requirements consist of: (1) Four short papers (3–3½ type-written pages) due during the semester: 20 points each (= 80/170); (2) One group presentation: 30 points for each individual presentation in group performance (= 30/170); (3) One medium-sized essay (10 pages): 60 points (= 60/170). The students are expected to keep up with the reading and to be able to engage in active discussion of the assigned material for each class session.
SPAN-523 History of the Spanish Language (3)
Professor T. Walsh
Detailed study of the diachronic processes responsible for the transformation of spoken Latin into Old and Modern Spanish. Texts & Readings: Paul M. Lloyd. Del latín al español. Madrid: Gredos, 1993. Rafael Lapesa. Historia de la lengua española. 8ª o 9ª edición. Madrid: Gredos, 1980 o 1981. Assignments & Expectations of Students: A midterm exam, a final exam, and a short paper. What Students Should Know: The course is given in Spanish. Some knowledge of linguistics is required.
THEO-050 Islamic Religious Thought and Practice (3.00)
This course is an introduction to Islam the religion. We will first consider the life and character of the prophet Muhammad and various Muslim and non-Muslim perspectives on the figure of Muhammad. We will then overview Muslim ritual and communal life, Islam’s beliefs and ethical teachings, and Muslim approaches to moral decision-making and the struggle to live and publicly represent the religion in society today. All along, we will attempt to trace connections between the Qur’an (and Hadith) and the various topics covered in class.
THEO-281 History of Christian Thought I (3.00)
Professor S. Fields
This course examines the history and development of Christian thought during its first millennium - from the end of the first century and the organization of early Christian communities, through the alliance between church and empire in the early fourth century and the fall of the Roman empire, to the Carolingian court in the ninth century and the spread of Christianity beyond the borders of the former empire, and ending with the schism between the Eastern and Western churches in 1054. Major issues include the question of theological sources and canonicity, the doctrine of God, Christology, the Trinity, human freedom, heterodoxy, ecclesiology, and ritual. Central focus will be on primary texts, read with an eye toward their historical, cultural, and geographical contexts.
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