Course Offerings

Fall 2016

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.

Medieval Art in Northern Europe

ARTH 254 - Bent, George R.

Survey of the art of France, Spain, Germany, and the British Isles from circa 700 to circa 1400. Discussions include Carolingian and Ottonian painting and architecture, Celtic and Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, and French cathedral design and decoration during the Romanesque and Gothic periods.

Arthurian Legend

ENGL 240 - Kao, Wan-Chuan

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. We then examine medieval French and English traditions that include Chrétien de Troyes's Perceval , the lais of Marie de France, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight , the Alliterative Morte Arthure , and Malory's Le Morte Darthur . 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. Finally, we investigate Arthurian medievalisms in Victorian England and in American (post)modernity through Tennyson, Twain, Barthelme, and Ishiguro. Along the way, we view various film adaptations of Arthurian legends. All texts are read in modern English translation.

Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales

ENGL 313 - Kao, Wan-Chuan

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?

17th-Century Poetry

ENGL 326 - Gertz, Genelle C.

Readings of lyric and epic poetry spanning the long 16th century, and tracing the development of republican and cavalier literary modes. Genres include the metaphysical poetry of Donne, Herbert, Katherine Philips, and Henry Vaughan; erotic verse by Mary Wroth, Herrick, Thomas Carew, Marvell, Aphra Behn, and the Earl of Rochester; elegy by Jonson and Bradstreet; and epic by Milton.

European Civilization, 325-1517

HIST 100 - Peterson, David S.

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.

Medieval and Renaissance Culture

MRST 110A - McCormick, Stephen P.

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.

Honors Thesis

MRST 493 - Bent, George R.

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.

Female and Male in Western Religious Traditions

REL 215 - Brown, Alexandra R. (Alex)

An investigation of views about the body, human sexuality, and gender in Western religious traditions, especially Judaism and Christianity, and of the influences of these views both on the religious traditions themselves and on the societies in which they develop. The course focuses on religion and society in antiquity and the Middle Ages, but also considers the continuing influence of religious constructions of the body and sexuality on succeeding generations to the present.

Spanish Civilization and Culture

SPAN 211 - Bailey, Matthew J.

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, Gwyn E.

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

Peninsular Seminar

SPAN 397A - Bailey, Matthew J.

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 2016, SPAN 397A-01: Peninsular Seminar: Medieval Spanish Literature (3). Prerequisites: SPAN 220 and 275. This course studies three major works: Poema del Cid, Libro de buen amor, and La Celestina . In order to experience the widest possible sampling of medieval literary forms and authors, the course also surveys mozarabic love poetry (jarchas), Galician-Portuguese lyric poetry, Marian miracle stories, wisdom literature, pre-Renaissance love lyric, and ballads (romances ). We examine the social and historical contexts of all works, the author's purpose and audience expectations and responses. The three primary texts are read in modern Castilian, while the secondary samplings are read in their original languages. (HL) Bailey.

Spring 2016

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.

Leonardo da Vinci: Art, Science and Innovation in Renaissance Europe

ARTH 385 - Bent, George R.

Leonardo da Vinci has for years been considered the consummate "Renaissance Man," equally skilled as a painter, anatomist, engineer, and military scientist. This course examines the contextual background from which this true genius was sprung, the works he produced, the people for whom he produced them, and the visions of the artist both realized and unrealized that have captured the imaginations of people around the world since Leonardo's death in 1519.

Politics and History: The Machiavellian Moment

HIST 307 - Peterson, David S.

Is it better to be loved or feared? How much of our destiny do we control? When are societies fit for self-rule? Can people be forced to be good? Niccolò Machiavelli, arguably the first and most controversial modern political theorist, raises issues of universal human and political concern. Yet he did so in a very specific context--the Florence of the Medici, Michelangelo, and Savonarola--at a time when Renaissance Italy stood at the summit of artistic brilliance and on the threshold of political collapse. We draw on Machiavelli's personal, political, historical, and literary writings, and readings in history and art, as a point of entry for exploring Machiavelli's republican vision of history and politics as he developed it in the Italian Renaissance and how it addresses such perennial issues as the corruption and regeneration of societies.

Winter 2016

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.

Medieval Art in Southern Europe

ARTH 253 - Bent, George R.

Examination of the art and culture of Italy and Greece from the rise of Christianity to the first appearance of bubonic plague in 1348. Topics include early Christian art and architecture; Byzantine imagery in Ravenna and Constantinople during the Age of Justinian; iconoclasm; mosaics in Greece, Venice and Sicily; sculpture in Pisa; and the development of panel and fresco painting in Rome, Florence, Siena and Assisi.

Italian Renaissance Art

ARTH 256 - Bent, George R.

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.

Arthurian Legend

ENGL 240 - Kao, Wan-Chuan

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. We then examine medieval French and English traditions that include Chrétien de Troyes's Perceval , the lais of Marie de France, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight , the Alliterative Morte Arthure , and Malory's Le Morte Darthur . 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. Finally, we investigate Arthurian medievalisms in Victorian England and in American (post)modernity through Tennyson, Twain, Barthelme, and Ishiguro. Along the way, we view various film adaptations of Arthurian legends. All texts are read in modern English translation.

Gender, Love, and Marriage in the Middle Ages

ENGL 312 - Kao, Wan-Chuan

A study of the complex nexus of gender, love, and marriage in medieval legal, theological, political, and cultural discourses. Reading an eclectic range of texts--such as romance, hagiography, fabliau, (auto)biography, conduct literature, and drama--we consider questions of desire, masculinity, femininity, and agency, as well as the production and maintenance of gender roles and of emotional bonds within medieval conjugality. Authors include Chaucer, Chretien de Troyes, Heldris of Cornwall, Andreas Capellanus, Margery Kempe, and Christine de Pisan. Readings in Middle English or in translation. No prior knowledge of medieval languages necessary.

Seminar: The Age of the Witch Hunts

HIST 219 - Brock, Michelle D. (Mikki)

This course introduces students to one of the most fascinating and disturbing events in the history of the Western world: the witch hunts in early-modern Europe and North America. Between 1450 and 1750, more than 100,000 individuals, from Russia to Salem, were prosecuted for the crime of witchcraft. Most were women and more than half were executed. In this course, we examine the political, religious, social, and legal reasons behind the trials, asking why they occurred in Europe when they did and why they finally ended. We also explore, in brief, global witch hunts that still occur today in places like Africa and India, asking how they resemble yet differ from those of the early-modern world.

Topics in European History

HIST 229 - Brock, Michelle D. (Mikki)

A course offered from time to time depending on student interest and staff availability, on a selected topic or problem in European history. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2016, HIST 229-01: England in the Age of Shakespeare (3). William Shakespeare (1564-1616) lived during a fascinating time of political turmoil, religious change, artistic expression, and global expansion. This class explores the history of England in these years, which span the important reigns of Elizabeth I and James VI and I. Together, we examine the era of personal monarchy and the growing resistance of parliament, the mechanisms of national consolidation and imperial growth, the discoveries and encounters with "others" beyond England's shores, the spread of religious convictions and contradictions, and the great literary and artistic figures of the day. We also investigate what life was like for the average men and women who lived and died during England's "golden age." (HU) Brock .

Seminar: Politics and Providence: Medieval and Renaissance Political Thought

HIST 306 - Peterson, David S.

How did religion shape politics and the development of political institutions in the Middle Ages? This seminar surveys the evolution of political thought from St. Augustine to Machiavelli. We examine Christianity's providential view of history, church-state relations, scholasticism, the revivals of Greek and Roman philosophy, humanism, and the origins of the modern state. Readings include St. Augustine, John of Salisbury, St. Thomas Aquinas, Marsilius of Padua, Leonardo Bruni, and Niccolò Machiavelli.

Medieval and Renaissance Culture

MRST 110A - Radulescu, Domnica V.

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 2016, MRST 110A-01: Medieval and Renaissance Culture: Giants of Italian Literature in Translation (3). An interdisciplinary exploration of some of the most influential authors and thinkers  of the Italian Renaissance from Dante to Boccaccio to Machiavelli. (HL) Radulescu .

Music History I

MUS 201 - Gaylard, Timothy R. (Tim)

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

Introducción a la literatura española

SPAN 220 - Campbell, Gwyn E.

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

Spanish Golden-Age Drama

SPAN 322 - Campbell, Gwyn E.

Close reading and discussion of a variety of selected Golden Age dramas of the 17th century. Representative dramatists may include Calderón de la Barca, Tirso de Molina, Lope de Vega, and María de Zayas.

Acting 3: Styles

THTR 341 - Levy, Jemma A.

An advanced acting class focused on performing the work of a particular playwright or playwrights. In this course, students enhance their scene work by examining the theatrical and historical context in which the plays were written, thereby achieving a deeper understanding of a performance style other than contemporary realism. Topics change regularly. May be repeated twice for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2016, THTR 341-01: Shakespeare (3). Prerequisite: THTR 141 or ENGL 252 or instructor consent. Through performance of monologues, small group scenes, and large crowd scenes, students learn by doing how we believe actors in Shakespeare's time would have performed his work, and how his writing informed the way actors performed. Emphasis is placed on textual and metrical analysis, comprehension of rhetoric, clear physical and verbal storytelling, and engagement of the audience. Levy.