Course Offerings

Fall 2014

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Italian Renaissance Art

ARTH 256 - Bent

Survey of the art and architecture of Italy during the 15th and 16th centuries. The course focuses on innovations of the Early, High, and Late Renaissance through the work of Brunelleschi, Donatello, Masaccio, Alberti, Leonardo, Bramante, Raphael, and Michelangelo. Images are considered as exponents of contemporary political, social, and religious events and perceptions.

Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

ENGL 313 - Kao

This course considers the primary work on which Chaucer's reputation rests: The Canterbury Tales. We pay sustained attention to Chaucer's Middle English at the beginning of the semester to ease the reading process. Then we travel alongside the Canterbury pilgrims as they tell their tales under the guise of a friendly competition. The Canterbury Tales is frequently read as a commentary on the social divisions in late medieval England, such as the traditional estates, religious professionals and laity, and gender hierarchies. But despite the Tales' professed inclusiveness of the whole of English society, Chaucer nonetheless focuses inordinately on those individuals from the emerging middle classes. Our aim is to approach the Tales from the practices of historicization and theorization; that is, we both examine Chaucer's cultural and historical contexts and consider issues of religion, gender, sexuality, marriage, conduct, class, chivalry, courtly love, community, geography, history, power, spirituality, secularism, traditional authority, and individual experience. Of particular importance are questions of voicing and writing, authorship and readership. Lastly, we think through Chaucer's famous Retraction at the "end" of The Canterbury Tales, as well as Donald R. Howard's trenchant observation that the Tale is "unfinished but complete." What does it mean for the father of literary "Englishness" to end his life's work on the poetic principle of unfulfilled closure and on the image of a society on the move?

European Civilization, 325-1517

HIST 100 - Peterson (Multiple Sections)

An introductory survey, featuring lectures and discussions of European culture, politics, religion and social life, and of Europe's relations with neighboring societies, from the rise of Christianity in Late Antiquity through the Middle Ages and the Italian Renaissance, to the beginnings of the 16th-century Protestant and Catholic Reformations.

History of Islamic Civilization I: Origins to 1500

HIST 170 - Blecher

This course surveys the political, social, and cultural history of the Islamic World from the 7th to 15th centuries, with particular attention paid to the diverse geographical and cultural contexts in which pre-modern Islamic civilization flourished. Topics include the origins of Islam in late Antiquity; the development of Islamic religious, political, and cultural institutions; the flourishing of medieval Islamic education, science, and literature; the tension among state, ethnic, sectarian, and global Muslim identities; and the emergence of a distinctly Muslim approach to historiography.

History of the British Isles to 1688

HIST 217 - Brock

This course considers 1,600 years of British history, from the coming of the Romans to the Revolution of 1688. It focuses on the major events and most momentous political, cultural, and social changes that shaped the lives of people throughout the British Isles. Topics covered include the introduction and development of Christianity, Viking invasions, the Scottish wars of independence, the evolution of parliament, the Black Death, the War of the Roses, the Protestant Reformation, the witch-trials, the beginnings of the British Empire, and the revolutions of the seventeenth century.

Directed Individual Study

MRST 403 - Peterson

Individual study of selected topics in Medieval and Renaissance studies. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Senior Thesis

MRST 473 - Peterson

Individual research devoted to an original topic dealing with issues pertinent to Medieval and Renaissance studies. The focus of this thesis should coincide with the area of study in which the student has done the most work and should be grounded in interdisciplinary themes. Projects should be approved no later than September 30 of the senior year.

Honors Thesis

MRST 493 - Peterson

Honors thesis devoted to a specialized topic in Medieval and Renaissance studies. Applications for honors should be submitted to the program head no later than March 1 of the junior year.

The Immense Journey: Harmonices Mundi

PHYS 150 - Cook

The classical astronomy of the solar system is traced by a study of Greek astronomy and the revolutionary ideas of Kepler and Newton. The apparent and real motions of the earth, moon, and planets are studied in detail, as well as special phenomena such as eclipses, tides, and objects such as comets and asteroids. Emphasis is on comprehension and application of principles rather than memorization of facts. The laboratory stresses the observational aspects of astronomy. Elementary geometry, algebra, and trigonometry are used in the course. Laboratory course.

The Qur'an

REL 108 - Blecher (Multiple Sections)

This course approaches the Qur'an from a range of modern and pre-modern perspectives: as an oral recitation; as a material object; as a historical document; as a literary text; as it relates to the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament; as a foundation for Islamic law, theology and mysticism; and as a source for ethics and social activism. Particular attention is devoted to issues of gender and politics raised by the Qur'an, supplemented by a number of film screenings. Prior knowledge of Islam is not required.

Early Christian Thought: Orthodoxy and Heresy

REL 250 - Fruchtman Hannah

An exploration of the uncertain boundaries between orthodoxy and heresy in early Christian movements. Questions addressed include, "Who decides what is orthodox and what is heretical, how are these decisions made, and what impact do they have on institutional structures? What perennial problems in Christian thought and practice emerge in the early debates about orthodoxy and heresy, and how are those problems being addressed today?" Readings include selections from the Hebrew Scriptures, the New Testament, "Gnostic gospels" and other so-called heretical texts, writings from the Church Fathers (with special attention to St. Augustine) and recent scholarly treatments of orthodoxy and heresy.

Spanish Civilization and Culture

SPAN 211 - Bailey

A survey of significant developments in Spanish civilization. The course addresses Spanish heritage and the present-day cultural patterns formed by its legacies. Readings, discussions and papers, primarily in Spanish, for further development of communication skills.

Introducción a la literatura española

SPAN 220 - Campbell (Multiple Sections)

Spanish literary masterpieces from the Poema del Cid through the present. Readings and discussions are primarily in Spanish.

Peninsular Seminar

SPAN 397 - Bailey

A seminar focusing on a single period, genre, motif, or writer. The specific topic will be determined jointly according to student interest and departmental approval. Recent topics have included "The Female Voice in Hispanic Literature," "19th- and 20th-Century Spanish drama," "Women Writers of the Golden Age," and "Romanticism and the Generation of '98." May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Fall 2014 topic:

SPAN 397: Peninsular Seminar: Medieval Spanish Literature. (3): Prerequisites: SPAN 220 and SPAN 275. This course surveys the major works of Medieval Spanish literature, taking into account the widest possible sampling of literary forms and authors, from the first literary text in Castilian Spanish, Cantar de mio Cid (c. 1207), Galician-Portuguese lyric poetry, Marian miracle stories, wisdom literature, satirical verse, pre-Renaissance love lyric, and the parody of courtly-love drama La Celestina (1499). The texts are read in their original language, with translations to English and vocabulary aids to assist in comprehension as needed. (HL) Bailey.


Spring 2014

We do not offer any courses this term.


Winter 2014

See complete information about these courses in the course offerings database. For more information about a specific course, including course type, schedule and location, click on its title.

Italian Renaissance Art

ARTH 256 - Bent

Survey of the art and architecture of Italy during the 15th and 16th centuries. The course focuses on innovations of the Early, High, and Late Renaissance through the work of Brunelleschi, Donatello, Masaccio, Alberti, Leonardo, Bramante, Raphael, and Michelangelo. Images are considered as exponents of contemporary political, social, and religious events and perceptions.

The High Renaissance in Italy

ARTH 355 - Bent

This seminar addresses issues of patronage, artistic production, criticism and art theory, and the uses and abuses of images during the High Renaissance. Works by Botticelli, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael and Bramante are considered as emblems of larger cultural movements popular in Italian courts between 1470 and 1520.

Arthurian Legend

ENGL 240 - Kao

Why does King Arthur continue to fascinate and haunt our cultural imagination? This course surveys the origins and histories of Arthurian literature, beginning with Celtic myths, Welsh tales, and Latin chronicles, followed by medieval French and English traditions, as well as modern Arthurian medievalisms. In addition to historical and literary contexts, we explore theoretical issues surrounding the texts, especially the relationship between history and fantasy, courtly love and adultery, erotic love and madness, romance and chivalry, gender and agency, and Europe and its Others. All texts are read in modern English translation.

Medieval and Early Modern British Literature: Masculinity and Monstrosity

ENGL 250 - Kao

This course is a survey of English literature from the Early Middle Ages to the Early Modern period. We read works in various genres--verse, drama, and prose--and understand their specific cultural and historical contexts. We also examine select modern film adaptations of canonical works as part of the evolving history of critical reception.

Winter 2014 emphasis: Masculinity and Monstrosity. This course is a survey of English literature from the Early Middle Ages to the Early Modern period. We read works in various genres--verse, drama, and prose--and understand their specific cultural and historical contexts. Our particular focus is on the diverse conceptions and representations of masculinity and monstrosity in texts such as Beowulf, Chaucer's Knight's Tale, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Shakespeare's King Lear, Spenser's Faerie Queene, and Milton's Paradise Lost. Can heroic, courtly, or spiritual masculinity exist without monstrosity? And how does female masculinity or male femininity navigate the monstrous and the normative? We also examine select modern film adaptations of canonical works as part of the evolving history of critical reception. (HL) Kao.

 

Shakespearean Genres

ENGL 320 - Pickett

In a given term, this course focuses on one or two of the major genres explored by Shakespeare (e.g., histories, tragedies, comedies, tragicomedies/romances, lyric and narrative poetry), in light of Renaissance literary conventions and recent theoretical approaches. Students consider the ways in which Shakespeare's generic experiments are variably inflected by gender, by political considerations, by habitat, and by history.

Europe in the Late Middle Ages, 1198-1500

HIST 202 - Peterson

Examines, through lectures and discussions, the high medieval papacy; the rise of new lay religious movements; Franciscans and Dominicans; dissent and heresy; the Inquisition; Jews and minorities; the rise of universities; scholasticism and humanism; the development of law; Parliament and constitutionalism; the Hundred Years War; the Black Death; the papal schism and conciliarism; gender roles; family structures and child rearing; Europe's relations with Islam and Byzantium; and the rise of commerce, cities and urban values, as well as of the "new monarchies."

Medieval and Renaissance Culture

MRST 110A - Campbell

An introduction to the interdisciplinary study of the Medieval and Renaissance periods through the study of a particular topic. Recent studies: The Crusades, Monasticism, Chivalry, Elizabethan England, the Birth of Italian Literature, Pilgrimage, and European Encounters with Islam.

Winter 2014 Topic:

MRST 110A: Dons & Dragons, and Disillusionment: Masterpieces of Early Modern Spanish Literature in Translation (3). Focus on the major literary figures and canonical works of 16th- and 17th-century Spain within the socio-literary context. Readings include the medieval romance (ballads); the picaresque novel, Don Quijote; selected short stories; and the Golden Age comedia (drama) by such authors as Cervantes, María de Zayas, Calderón and Tirso. Readings, analysis and discussion are augmented by lectures on relative Spanish and European social and artistic history including the three religions, the Church, the Inquisition, the Monarchy, the Code of Honour, and the heightening desengaño (disillusionment.) (HL) Campbell. Winter 2014

Senior Thesis

MRST 473 - Peterson

Individual research devoted to an original topic dealing with issues pertinent to Medieval and Renaissance studies. The focus of this thesis should coincide with the area of study in which the student has done the most work and should be grounded in interdisciplinary themes. Projects should be approved no later than September 30 of the senior year.

Honors Thesis

MRST 493 - Peterson

Honors thesis devoted to a specialized topic in Medieval and Renaissance studies. Applications for honors should be submitted to the program head no later than March 1 of the junior year.

Music History I

MUS 201 - Gaylard

A survey of music from the Middle Ages through the Classical period.

Spanish Civilization and Culture

SPAN 211 - Sakas

A survey of significant developments in Spanish civilization. The course addresses Spanish heritage and the present-day cultural patterns formed by its legacies. Readings, discussions and papers, primarily in Spanish, for further development of communication skills.

Introducción a la literatura española

SPAN 220 - Campbell

Spanish literary masterpieces from the Poema del Cid through the present. Readings and discussions are primarily in Spanish.

El Cid in History and Legend

SPAN 333 - Bailey

A study of the most significant portrayals of the Castilian warrior Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, El Cid (1045-1099), from his 12th-century biography Historia Roderici to the Hollywood blockbuster El Cid. Epic poems, late medieval ballads, and Renaissance drama all recreate the legendary life of El Cid. This course examines the relevant narratives in an effort to determine the heroic values and attributes recreated by authors and their audiences for nearly a thousand years.