Course Offerings

                        

Department

Course 

Course Title

Professor

Medieval Studies 282 Medieval Civilization Devun, Di Battista
Art History (082) 105 Introduction to Art History I Paulsen, Levinsohn
Art History (082) 321 Art in Early China Bower
Art History (082) 379 Image and Archaeology in Medieval Rome Thuno
Art History (082) 403 Approaches to Art History Weigert
English (358) 305 Chaucer Stern
English (358) 306 Medieval Romance Graham
English (358) 412 Old English Language and Literature Klein
History (510) 101 Ancient and Medieval Europe Devun
History (510) 207 Byzantine Civilization Takacs
History (510) 211:03 Harvest of the Middle Ages Di Battista
History (510) 213:90 The Crusades  
History (510) 304 Rise of the Roman Republic Figueira
History (510) 351 Medieval Italy Di Battista
French (420) 416 16th Century French Literature Cornilliat
Italian (560) 290 Renaissance at the movies and in Popular Culture Baldi
Italian (560) 315 Dante in Medieval Culture Vettori
Jewish Studies (563) 201 Jewish Society & Culture I Tartakoff
Religion (840) 212 Religions of the Western World Ballantine, Pavlin
Religion (840) 305 Apocalypse Now: Religious Movements and the End of Time Jeong

   Medieval Studies: Medieval Civilization (667:282)

Prof. Di Battista
Section 1  T 9:50 AM-12:50 PM, FH-A2
Section 3  Th 9:50 AM-12:50 PM, HH-A5
Cross-listed with History (510:211:03) The Harvest of the Middle Ages, 1150-1520

Harvest of the Middle Ages hopes to provide students with an understanding of the key aspects of the history of Europe from the time of the First Crusade to the beginnings of the Renaissance. The High Middle Ages saw the development of such institutions as the medieval university and the construction of the great Gothic cathedrals. The rise of market economies the development of the centralized nation-states were threatened by the spread of the Black Death and a series of peasant revolts. The term “Harvest” of the Middle Ages suggests that special attention will be paid to the late medieval crises that signaled the shift to the Renaissance.

Syllabus

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  English: Chaucer (358:306)

Prof. Stern
M/R 11:30 AM-12:50 PM, HH B5

This class is an introduction to Chaucer through close study of his most famous work: the Canterbury Tales. At once a tale-telling contest, a game, and a journey, the Canterbury Tales offers students the opportunity to learn Middle English; to investigate major social, philosophical, and theological questions important to late medieval English culture; and to take pleasure in beautiful, challenging, sometimes quite funny, sometimes sobering poetry. Assignments include two papers, two exams, and a series of unannounced reading quizzes.

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  English: Old English Language and Literature (350:412)

Prof. Klein
T/Th 2:50-4:10 PM, SC 121

This course has two goals: 1) to teach students to read Old English, the language written and spoken in England from roughly 450 to 1100 AD; and 2) to develop skills in critical thinking and writing that are necessary for completing large-scale research projects in literary studies. We will focus mainly on Beowulf, the longest surviving Old English poem, and a text that has been treated from almost every critical perspective imaginable. Inhabited by monsters, pagans, and a hero whose fame derives from both his handgrip and his kindness, Beowulf offers extraordinarily rich ground for exploring the language and culture of England before the Norman Conquest of 1066. Seamus Heaney’s prize-winning translation and Robert Zemeckis’s animated film have recently brought Beowulf into the midst of popular culture. However, Beowulf has occupied a central place in the canon of English poetry for quite some time and thus offers an excellent springboard for thinking about broader issues within literary studies, such as why we read certain texts rather than others, what we hope to gain from reading, and how modern ideas about reading and interpretation might have differed from those held in earlier historical periods. This is a helpful seminar for students considering doing an Honors thesis or any other sort of independent writing/research project in the Humanities as it focuses closely on bibliographic skills and research methods, as well as on developing original ideas and putting them into elegant prose.

Requirements: regular translation assignments, attendance, revision workshops, vigorous class participation, several short (1-2 page papers), 1 longer (approximately 15-page) paper, to be completed in several stages

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  English: Seminar: Realism, Fantasy, Religion: The Poems of the Pearl Manuscript (358:422)


  History: Italy 476-1300 (510:351)

Prof. Di Battista
T/Th 2:50-4:10 PM, MU 115

This course will cover the history of the Italian peninsula from the late Roman Empire to the beginnings of the Renaissance. The history of medieval Italy spans a varied and multi-ethnic trajectory following the decline of the western Roman Empire. Special attention will be paid to developing an understanding of the unique transformations of Italian society that occurred during these centuries. The geographic determinants, the religious components, and the flowering of art and literature will be examined. The course will also concentrate on the contributions of several celebrated individuals to medieval and Renaissance Italian history. These will include a focus on Dante, Petrarch, Machiavelli, and St. Francis of Assisi.

Syllabus

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  History: Jewish Society & Culture I (506:271)

Prof. Tartakoff
M/W 1:10 PM-2:30 PM, MH 115
Cross-listed with Jewish Studies (563:201, 563:501) and Middle Eastern Studies (685:208)

This course examines the social, religious, intellectual, and political experience of the Jewish people from the crystallization of their national-religious consciousness in the biblical period through the end of the 15th century. The religion and culture of the Jews are discussed within the broader context of their environment. The course divides neatly into three main periods: the biblical (or ancient) period, the post-biblical period (known as late antiquity), and the medieval period. We will begin our course with the ancient Israelites as an independent people in their own land, and then move to the study of the Jews under foreign rule (including Babylonia, Persia, Greece, Rome, Islam, and Christianity). Primary sources (Bible, Dead Sea Scrolls, Josephus, Talmud, Maimonides, etc.) are emphasized throughout. The course concludes with the Expulsion of the Jews from the Iberian Peninsula. The course is required for majors and minors in Jewish Studies, and it is also cross-listed in History and in Middle Eastern Studies.

Syllabus

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Prof. Paulsen
Section 02: T/Th 5:00-6:20 PM, TIL 258

Prof. Levinsohn
Section 03: T/Th 7:40-9:00 PM, VH-105

This course presents an introductory overview of the history of Western art from antiquity to the late medieval period. It considers the achievements of great civilizations ranging from Egypt to the Holy Roman Empire, and focuses on a diversity of cultural and religious traditions, including, Byzantine, Islamic, and Jewish. The class examines a wide array of objects, including statues of gods and emperors, reliquaries containing saints' bones, Greek temples and Gothic cathedrals, early synagogue decoration, devotional manuscripts, and gold-gilded altarpieces.

Emphasizing significant stylistic movements in Western Europe, this course lays the groundwork for more advanced art history courses by introducing visual analysis and other interpretative tools of art historical research. Students will also learn how the visual products of a culture relate to historical circumstances, societal values, and shifting personal and collective identities. The skills developed in this class provide important tools for navigating and interpreting media and visual representation in the twenty-first century.

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