Course Offerings

Fall 2020

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.

Survey of Western Art: Ancient to Medieval

ARTH 101 - Bent, George R.

Chronological survey of Western art from the Paleolithic Age through the Middle Ages in Italy and Northern Europe. Examination of cultural and stylistic influences in the art and architecture of ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Consideration of distinct interests of Early Christian, Byzantine, and Medieval Europe. Focus on major monuments and influential images produced up to circa 1400.

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.

Northern Renaissance Art

ARTH 255 - Bent, George R.

A survey of Northern painting from 1300 to 1600, examined as symbols of political, religious, and social concerns of painters, patrons, and viewers. Among the artists covered are Campin, van Eyck, van der Weyden, Dürer, Holbein, and Brueghel. Emphasis placed on interpretation of meaning and visual analysis.

Greek Art & Archaeology

CLAS 200 - Laughy, Michael H., Jr.

An introduction to ancient Greek art and archaeology. We encounter some of the greatest works of art in human history, as we survey the development of painting, sculpture, architecture, and town planning of the ancient Greeks. We encounter the history of the people behind the objects that they left behind, from the material remains of the Bronze Age palaces and Classical Athenian Acropolis to the world created in the wake of Alexander the Great's conquests. We also consider how we experience the ancient Greek world today through archaeological practice, cultural heritage, and the antiquities trade.

Ancient Drama and Its Influence

CLAS 215 - Crotty, Kevin M.

In this course we study ancient tragedy and comedy, both Greek and Roman, and look, too, at the cultural forces shaping ancient drama and some of the influence on later drama and thought. In addition to later plays that hail from ancient drama, we consider some philosophical interpretations of the significance of drama, and, in particular, tragedy.

Shakespeare

ENGL 252 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

A study of the major genres of Shakespeare's plays, employing analysis shaped by formal, historical, and performance-based questions. Emphasis is given to tracing how Shakespeare's work engages early modern cultural concerns, such as the nature of political rule, gender, religion, and sexuality. A variety of skills are developed in order to assist students with interpretation, which may include verse analysis, study of early modern dramatic forms, performance workshops, two medium-length papers, reviews of live play productions, and a final, student-directed performance of a selected play.

Shakespearean Genres

ENGL 320 - Pickett, Holly C.

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.

German Medieval and Renaissance Literature

GERM 318 - Crockett, Roger A.

An examination of selected works and a study of literary history through the 16th century. Medieval literary readings include the Hildebrandslied, Nibelungenlied, Parzival, and Tristan, as well as the Minnesang. Consideration is also given to the history of the German literary language during the period covered. Conducted in German.

European History, 325-1517

HIST 100 - Vise, Melissa E.

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.

Violence in Pre-Modern Europe

HIST 201 - Vise, Melissa E.

Popular imagination envisions violence in pre-modern Europe as it appears in film and video games like Assassin's Creed 2 -- an age of vendetta, factional and gang violence, constant war, and abuse. Yet the same period witnessed great movements for peace and the creation of a new identity: The Chivalrous Knight. We look at the history of large-scale violence and in particular at warfare, popular revolt, government-sanctioned violence, enslavement, and inter-religious violence from the period 800-1600 CE to begin answering that question. When and why was violence justified or even considered a positive attribute of social life and when and why not?

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.

Introduction to Shakespeare

MRST 252 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

A study of the major genres of Shakespeare's plays, employing analysis shaped by formal, historical, and performance-based questions. Emphasis is given to tracing how Shakespeare's work engages early modem cultural concerns, such as the nature of political rule, gender, religion, and sexuality. A variety of skills are developed in order to assist students with interpretation, which may include verse analysis, study of early modem dramatic forms, performance workshops, two medium-length papers, reviews of live play productions, and eight final, student-directed performance of a selected play.

Honors Thesis

MRST 493 - Vise, Melissa E.

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.

Ancient Greek Philosophy

PHIL 110 - McGonigal, Andrew J.

An examination of the metaphysics of the pre-Socratic philosophers, especially the Milesians, Pythagoras, Xenophanes, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Zeno of Elea, and the Atomists, and the ethics and political philosophy of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Topics include the origin and nature of the kosmos , the nature and existence of the god(s), the trial and execution of Socrates, theories of virtue, the nature of knowledge and truth, justice and the ideal state, the nature of eudaimonia (happiness, flourishing), and the possibility of akrasia (weakness of the will).

Hebrew Bible/Old Testament

REL 101 - Filler, Emily A.

An introduction to the history, literature and interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament).

God and Goddess in Hinduism

REL 132 - Haskett, Christian P. (Chris)

This course explores the many ways in which Hindus visualize and talk about the divine and its manifestations in the world through mythic stories, use of images in worship, explanations of the nature of the soul and body in relation to the divine, and the belief in human embodiments of the divine in Hindu holy men and women. Topics include: the religious meanings of masculine and feminine in the divine and human contexts; the idea of local, family, and "chosen" divinities; and differing forms of Hindu devotion for men and women.

Women and Gender in Islam

REL 284 - Al-Ahmad, Jumana S.

How have issues of gender and sexuality in Medieval and Modern Islamic societies been debated across the Middle East, South Asia, and the West? Students examine scholarly and public discussions of gender and Islam, and they build a vocabulary in which to talk about women. queer, and intersex history as they concern Muslim societies and their foundational sources in their regional and historical contexts. No prior knowledge of Islam is necessary.

Spanish Civilization and Culture

SPAN 211 - Mayock, Ellen C.

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 - Mayock, Ellen C.

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. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Fall 2020, SPAN 397A-01: Peninsular Seminar: Gender, Desire and Social Repression in Early Spanish Literature (3). Readings of classic texts of early Spanish literature: Cantar de mio Cid, Libro de buen amor, Celestina, writings by Santa Teresa de Jesús, and María de Zayas' Novelas amorosas y ejemplares. Discussions focus on the portrayal of women as objects of male desire, as agents of their own desire, its repression in response to social strictures, and women's voices as conveyed by others and by themselves. (HL) Bailey .

Spring 2020

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.

Topics in British Literature

ENGL 292 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

British literature, supported by attention to historical and cultural contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time or focus on a cultural phenomenon. Students develop their analytical writing skills through both short papers and a final multisource research paper. May be repeated for degree credit and for the major if the topics are different.

Spring 2020, ENGL 292-01: Topic in British Literature: Celluloid Shakespeare (4). Prerequisite: Completion of the FDR FW writing requirement. The films adapted from or inspired by William Shakespeare's plays are a genre unto themselves. We study a selection of films, not focused on their faithfulness to the original playscript but on the creative choices and meanings of the distinct medium of film. We see how the modern era has transmuted the plays through the lens of contemporary sensibility, politics, and culture—and through the new visual mode of film storytelling. We hear reports from students about additional films to expand the repertoire of films we study and enjoy. (HL) Dobin . [counts toward MRST requirements and FILM minor as a film course, when appropriate]

Seminar in 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.

 

Seminar: Romeo and Juliet and its Aftermath

MRST 386 - Pickett, Holly C. / Levy, Jemma A.

No prerequisite. A study of Shakespeare's play and the myriad responses to it in both theatrical and other media. (One-time offering for Spring 2020 due to changes resulting from COVID-19) 

Winter 2020

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.

Survey of Western Art: Renaissance to the Present

ARTH 102 - Lepage, Andrea C.

Chronological survey of Western art from the Renaissance through the present. Topics include the Renaissance, from its cultural and stylistic origins through the Mannerist movement; the Baroque and Rococo; the Neoclassical reaction; Romanticism and Naturalism; the Barbizon School and Realism; Impressionism and its aftermath; Fauvism, Cubism, Dada, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop, Minimalism, and the Postmodern reaction to Modernism.

Survey of Western Art: Renaissance to the Present

ARTH 102 - Lazevnick, Ashley

Chronological survey of Western art from the Renaissance through the present. Topics include the Renaissance, from its cultural and stylistic origins through the Mannerist movement; the Baroque and Rococo; the Neoclassical reaction; Romanticism and Naturalism; the Barbizon School and Realism; Impressionism and its aftermath; Fauvism, Cubism, Dada, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop, Minimalism, and the Postmodern reaction to Modernism.

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.

Reading Rome: A Survey of Latin Literature

CLAS 205 - Dance, Caleb M.

The course offers a survey of influential works composed in Latin between the 3rd century BCE and the 2nd century CE. Alongside poems, histories, and philosophical writings that were originally conceived of as literary projects, we also examine plays, military chronicles, speeches, and letters, all of which come down to the present as "literature" but may not have been created as such. The boundaries of "literature" is an ongoing topic of inquiry throughout the term. Students explore the literary traditions represented in the readings and consider their impact on other traditions, with the bulk of class sessions spent discussing the significance of the literary works and improving our knowledge of the contexts--historical and literary--in which they were composed.

Plato

CLAS 221 - Smith, Angela M. (Angie)

An in-depth examination of the philosophy of Plato.  We look at Plato's epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, ethics, and political philosophy through a careful analysis of several dialogues, including some or all of the following:  Euthyphro, Laches, Apology, Gorgias, Meno, Phaedo, Symposium, Phaedrus , and Republic .  In addition, we consider certain challenges posed by Plato's use of the dialogue form, such as whether we are justified in assuming that Socrates is a mouthpiece for Plato's own views, and how we should interpret Plato's frequent appeal to myths and other literary devices within his dialogues.

Shakespeare

ENGL 252 - Pickett, Holly C.

A study of the major genres of Shakespeare's plays, employing analysis shaped by formal, historical, and performance-based questions. Emphasis is given to tracing how Shakespeare's work engages early modern cultural concerns, such as the nature of political rule, gender, religion, and sexuality. A variety of skills are developed in order to assist students with interpretation, which may include verse analysis, study of early modern dramatic forms, performance workshops, two medium-length papers, reviews of live play productions, and a final, student-directed performance of a selected play.

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.

 

The Tudors

ENGL 316 - Gertz, Genelle C.

Famous for his mistresses and marriages, his fickle treatment of courtiers, and his vaunting ambition, Henry VIII did more to change English society and religion than any other king. No one understood Henry's power more carefully than his daughter Elizabeth, who oversaw England's first spy network and jealously guarded her throne from rebel contenders. This course studies the writers who worked for the legendary Tudors, focusing on the love poetry of courtiers, trials, and persecution of religious dissidents, plays, and accounts of exploration to the new world. We trace how the ambitions of the monarch, along with religious revolution and colonial expansion, figure in the work of writers like Wyatt, Surrey, and Anne Askew; Spenser, Marlowe, Shakespeare, and Southwell; and Thomas More and Walter Ralegh.

The Age of Reformation

HIST 204 - Peterson, David S.

Examines the origins, development, and consequences of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations of the 16th century. The late medieval religious environment; the emergence of new forms of lay religious expression; the impact of urbanization; and the institutional dilemmas of the church. The views of leading reformers, such as Luther, Calvin, and Loyola; and the impact of differing social and political contexts; and technological innovations, such as printing, on the spread of reform throughout Europe. The impact of reform and religious strife on state development and the emergence of doctrines of religious toleration and philosophical skepticism; recent theses and approaches emphasizing "confessionalization," "social discipline," and "microhistory."

Crime and Punishment in Medieval and Early Modern Europey

HIST 212 - Vise, Melissa E.

An exploration of the history of crime, law enforcement, and punishment during the period of 1200-1650. Our central project is to investigate the deep problems of writing history from a paucity of very biased sources: the criminal records of a world of the past. We begin with the central historical questions: What counted as criminal when, who defined it, and with what authority? What could count as proof of guilt? What constituted acceptable punishment (torture, imprisonment, spectacle executions, penance) and how did this change over time? What role did politics, religion, class, gender, or marginal status play?.

Seminar: Speech and Censorship in the Middle Ages

HIST 310 - Vise, Melissa E.

What is censorship, where does it happen, and why? To most U.S. Americans, the Middle Ages is an era known for Inquisition, book burning, and the brutal silencing of political and religious dissent. Yet, compared to more modern censoring institutions, the institutions of medieval Europe held much weaker powers of enforcement, different motives for censoring, and ambiguous technologies to do so. What and who could censor (or be censored) in a society without the printing press? Among other topics, we cover the public vs. private spheres; artistic liberty; religious vs. political concerns; gender; and the role of and limitations upon the modern historian investigating a censored past.

Pre-Modern Chinese Literature in Translation

LIT 218 - Fu, Hongchu

A survey of Chinese literature from the earliest period to the founding of the Republic in 1912. Taught in English, the course presupposes no previous knowledge of China or Chinese culture. The literature is presented in the context of its intellectual, philosophical and cultural background. Texts used may vary from year to year and include a wide selection of fiction, poetry, historical documents, Chinese drama (opera) and prose works. Audiovisual materials are used when appropriate and available.

Augustine and the Literature of Self, Soul, and Synapses

LIT 219 - Kosky, Jeffrey L.

A careful reading of the depiction of the restless soul in Augustine's Confessions is followed by study of fictional, philosophical, religious, and/or scientific literature. Students reflect on the state of the soul in a world made of selves or the fate of the self in a soulless world ... and whether there might be other options

Medieval and Renaissance Culture: Humanities

MRST 110 - Bent, George R.

An introduction to the interdisciplinary study of the Medieval and Renaissance periods through the study of a particular topic. Recent studies: Elizabethan England, and Life and Death in Dante's Florence. For Winter 2020: Digital Florence: Life and Death in Dante's Florence.

Introduction to Shakespeare

MRST 252 - Pickett, Holly C.

A study of the major genres of Shakespeare's plays, employing analysis shaped by formal, historical, and performance-based questions. Emphasis is given to tracing how Shakespeare's work engages early modem cultural concerns, such as the nature of political rule, gender, religion, and sexuality. A variety of skills are developed in order to assist students with interpretation, which may include verse analysis, study of early modem dramatic forms, performance workshops, two medium-length papers, reviews of live play productions, and eight final, student-directed performance of a selected play.

Preparation for Shakespeare in Performance

MRST 286 - Levy, Jemma A. / Pickett, Holly C.

Students receive an introduction to Shakespeare's verse in performance; read and analyze scripts from some of the plays to be observed during spring term; and engage in a team-building workshop and the creation of walking tours of modern London, each built around a particular cultural theme. The course consists of six two-hour meetings.

Honors Thesis Preparation Seminar

MRST 441 - Vise, Melissa E.

Preparation for MRST majors or minors toward preparation of an honors thesis. Through a series of literature reviews, bibliographic exercises, grant-writing exercises, skills-training, and exposure to numerous research methodologies appropriate to their self-defined program, students are guided to the completion of an honors thesis proposal by the end of the term. Specific goals and skills are determined in conjunction with the thesis adviser by the end of the fall term prior to registration for the course.

Senior Thesis

MRST 473 - Vise, Melissa E.

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.

Senior Thesis

MRST 473 - Pickett, Holly C.

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.

Music History I

MUS 201 - Gaylard, Timothy R. (Tim)

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

Plato

PHIL 221 - Smith, Angela M. (Angie)

An in-depth examination of the philosophy of Plato. We look at Plato's epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, ethics, and political philosophy through a careful analysis of several dialogues, including some or all of the following: Euthyphro, Laches, Apology, Gorgias, Meno, Phaedo, Symposium, Phaedrus , and Republic . In addition, we consider certain challenges posed by Plato's use of the dialogue form, such as whether we are justified in assuming that Socrates is a mouthpiece for Plato's own views, and how we should interpret Plato's frequent appeal to myths and other literary devices within his dialogues. 

New Testament

REL 102 - Chalmers, Matthew J.

An introduction to the history, literature and interpretation of the New Testament.

Buddhism

REL 131 - Lubin, Timothy (Tim)

A survey of the historical development of the doctrines and practices of Buddhism. After a discussion of the Hindu origins of Buddhism, the course focuses on the development of the Theravada, Vajrayana and Mahayana traditions. A class trip to at least one Buddhist center is included.

Augustine and the Literature of Self, Soul, and Synapses

REL 219 - Kosky, Jeffrey L.

A careful reading of the depiction of the restless soul in Augustine's Confessions is followed by study of fictional, philosophical, religious, and/or scientific literature. Students reflect on the state of the soul in a world made of selves or the fate of the self in a soulless world ... and whether there might be other options

Gender, Sexuality, and Islam

REL 284 - Atanasova, Kameliya N.

How have issues of gender and sexuality in Medieval and Modern Islamic societies been debated across the Middle East, South Asia, and the West? Students examine scholarly and public discussions of gender and Islam, and they build a vocabulary in which to talk about women. queer, and intersex history as they concern Muslim societies and their foundational sources in their regional and historical contexts. No prior knowledge of Islam is necessary.

Introducción a la literatura española

SPAN 220 - Hernandez, Julia C.

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

Peninsular Seminar

SPAN 397A - Hernandez, Julia C.

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. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2020, SPAN 397A-01: Peninsular Seminar: Early Modern Spanish Theater: Reading, Writing, and Performing Comedia on Both Sides of the Atlantic. (3). Prerequisites: SPAN 220 and SPAN 275. Much like today's prestige television, the early modern Spanish theatrical genre known as comedia nueva fused popular and elite entertainment, drawing spectators from every level of society into packed playhouses from Madrid to Mexico City. Comedias were not only blockbusters, however, but also bestsellers, with the burgeoning commercial print market circulating play texts far beyond 16th- and 17th-century stage. In this seminar, we explore the comedia as both a literary phenomenon and as a performance practice; as a transatlantic genre penned not only by elite Peninsular men but also by women, creole, mestizo, and indigenous writers; as a medium to transmit imperial ideology from the metropolis to the periphery; and, simultaneously, as a space for playwrights on the margins of society and empire to explore their identities within these systems of power. Course readings place the works of Peninsular figures, including Lope de Vega and Ana Caro, in dialogue with those of their transatlantic counterparts, from the loas of Mexican poet Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz to the Quechua-language comedias of Peruvian playwright Gabriel Centeno de Osma. (HL) Hernández.

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 2020, THTR 341-01: Acting 3: Styles: Shakespeare (3). Prerequisite: THTR 141 or ENGL 252 or instructor consent. Through performance of monologues and small group 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. Students then use this knowledge to devise their own "mash-ups" that incorporate and/or build on Shakespeare's texts. Emphasis is placed on textual and metrical analysis, comprehension of rhetoric, clear physical and verbal storytelling, and engagement of the audience. Evans.