Course Offerings

Fall 2021

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.

Greek Art & Archaeology

ARTH 200 - Laughy, Michael H.

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.

The Early Renaissance in Italy

ARTH 354 - Bent, George R.

Examination of the intellectual, cultural, and artistic movements dominant in Florence between ca. 1400 and ca. 1440. Images and structures produced by Ghiberti, Brunelleschi, Masaccio, Donatello, and Fra Angelico are considered within the context of Florentine social traditions and political events.

Greek Art & Archaeology

CLAS 200 - Laughy, Michael H.

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.

Classical Mythology

CLAS 201 - Crotty, Kevin M.

An introduction to the study of Greek mythology, with an emphasis on the primary sources. The myths are presented in their historical, religious, and political contexts. The course also includes an introduction to several major theories of myth, and uses comparative materials drawn from contemporary society and media.

Greek Literature from Homer to the Early Hellenistic Period

CLAS 203 - Crotty, Kevin M.

While epic, drama, history and philosophy trace their beginnings in many ways to ancient Greece, they are not simply different literary genres, but each offers a distinctive model of what it means to be a human being.  In this course, we will read, discuss and write about poetic works by Homer, the tragedians and comic playwrights, as well as philosophical works by Plato and Aristotle. We will discuss the different perspectives of these diverse genres, and the light they shed on such perennially pertinent questions as responsibility, power, violence, justice, and gender.

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' 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.

The Tudors

ENGL 316 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

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.

History of the British Isles to 1688: Power, Plague, and Prayer

HIST 217 - Brock, Michelle D. (Mikki)

The history of the British Isles to 1688 tells the story of how an island remote from the classical world came to dominate much of the modern one. This course ventures from Britain during Roman occupation and Anglo-Saxon migration, to the expansion of the Church and tales of chivalry during the Middle Ages, then finally to exploration and conflict during the Tudor and Stuart dynasties. Topics include the development of Christianity, Viking invasions, the Scottish wars of independence, the evolution of parliament, the Black Death, the Wars of the Roses, the Reformation, the beginnings of Empire, and the 17th-century revolutions. 

The Reformation in Britain: Blood, Sex, and Sermons

HIST 225 - Brock, Michelle D. (Mikki)

The Reformation of the 16th century shattered the once unitary religious cultures of England and Scotland. Although important continuities remained, the introduction of Protestantism wrought dramatic effects in both countries, including intense conflict over nature of salvation, the burning of martyrs, the hunting of witches, religious migrations, a reorientation of foreign policy, changes in baptismal and burial practices, and more. Students explore these changes and the lives and legacies of some of history's most fascinating figures, from Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell in England to Mary Queen of Scots and John Knox in Scotland, while also constantly asking how ordinary English and Scottish men and women experienced the Reformation and its aftermath.

Greek Literature from Homer to the Early Hellenistic Period

LIT 203 - Crotty, Kevin M.

While epic, drama, history and philosophy trace their beginnings in many ways to ancient Greece, they are not simply different literary genres, but each offers a distinctive model of what it means to be a human being.  In this course, we will read, discuss and write about poetic works by Homer, the tragedians and comic playwrights, as well as philosophical works by Plato and Aristotle. We will discuss the different perspectives of these diverse genres, and the light they shed on such perennially pertinent questions as responsibility, power, violence, justice, and gender.

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.

New Testament

REL 102 - Brown, Alexandra R.

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

Introduction to Islam

REL 105 - Atanasova, Kameliya N.

This course familiarizes students with the foundations of the Islamic tradition and the diverse historical and geographical manifestations of belief and practice built upon those foundations. Throughout the course, the role of Islam in shaping cultural, social, gender, and political identities is explored. Readings are drawn from the writings of both historical and contemporary Muslim thinkers.

Judaism: Tradition and Modernity

REL 106 - Filler, Emily A.

This course is an introduction to the rituals, concepts, and practices of Judaism from antiquity to the present day. Through a wide variety of sources, including rabbinic debate, fiction, drama, liturgy, memoirs, film, and history, we will consider how the Jewish tradition has developed, changed, and interacted with other traditions. Particular attention will be paid to the development of modern Jewish movements and communities.  

Buddhism

REL 131 - Haskett, Christian P. (Chris)

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.

Seminar in the Christian Tradition

REL 260 - Brown, Alexandra R.

An introduction to perduring issues in Christian theology and ethics through study of one or more of the classical Christian theologians.

Fall 2021, REL 260-01: Seminar in the Christian Tradition: Christian Visionary and Mystical Traditions (3). This course explores diverse Christian sources from antiquity to modernity with a focus on experiences and expressions of the "presence of God," the "Ground of Being," the "wholly other," the "beatific vision," etc. Course materials will include primary sources from mystics and visionaries and secondary readings exploring theories about mystical experience. Near the end of the course, we will consider contemporary and even secular expression in poetry and music that points to the mystical without using traditional theological language. A field trip to a monastery will help to contextualize some themes we encounter in the course. (HU) Brown.

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 - Hernandez, Julia C.

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

Literature of Spain 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 2021, SPAN 397A-01: Literature of Spain Seminar: Legendary Lives in the Spanish Epic, Ballad, and Theater (3) . Prerequisite: SPAN 220 and 275. This course will examine the legendary lives of the male and female protagonists of epic poetry, their later emergence in the popular ballads of the sixteenth century, and finally their portrayal on the stages of early modern theater. This examination will help us understand the way legendary figures are transformed by the expectations of audiences and societies change, the effects of literary genres on characterization, and the impact on legends of the increasing powers of church and state. (HL) Bailey .

Ancient and Global Theater

THTR 210 - Davies, Jenefer M.

This course examines the history of theater and dramatic literature from its foundations in ancient world cultures through the Renaissance. Since this history course covers over 2000 years of time, class meetings sometimes move at a fast pace. Students gain a general world-wide cultural understanding of the art and history of the theater from its beginnings, and how theater spread as a phenomenon across the globe. Since theater is primarily a cultural institution, we simultaneously examine politics, philosophy, religion, science, and other factors that influence how the art form is created, maintained, and culturally preserved. We also examine history itself as an important cultural tool for assessing the events of the past.

 

 

 

Spring 2021

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.

Augustan Era

CLAS 204 - Loar, Matthew P.

An interdisciplinary course taught in English, using the tools of literature, history and art to examine a specific, complicated, and pivotally important period in the evolution of western culture, focused on the literary. Readings from the poets predominate (Virgil's Aeneid and Ovid's Metamorphosis, selections from Horace, Propertius, Tibullus and other poems of Ovid) and also including readings from ancient historians dealing with Augustus and the major events of his period (e.g., Suetonius, Plutarch, and Tacitus on such topics as Actium and problems of succession). The topic for each lecture is illustrated with slides of works of art and architecture from the period. Selections from historians and from material remains are chosen according to intersection points with the literature.

Celluloid Shakespeare

ENGL 321 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

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.

Celluloid Shakespeare

FILM 321 - Dobin, Howard N. (Hank)

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.

Special Topics in Literature in Translation

LIT 295 - Bailey, Matthew J.

A selected topic focusing on a particular author, genre, motif or period in translation. The specific topic is determined by the interests of the individual instructor. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Spring 2021, LIT 295-01: Special Topics in Literature in Translation: The Medieval Epic: From Beowulf to Game of Thrones (3). Prerequisite: Completion of FDR-FW writing requirement. The medieval epic celebrates warrior culture and the values that enhance clan loyalty, group cohesion, the defeat of enemies, the expansion and defense of territory, and the prosperity of families and kingdoms. Modern versions of the medieval epic retain some of these values, discard others and introduce new concerns. To understand this transformative process, we study and discuss Beowulf , Song of Roland , and Poem of the Cid in modern English and compare them to contemporary film versions. Students write epic narratives of the popular epic cycles of their choosing, such as Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars . (HL) Bailey. 

Winter 2021

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 - King, Elliott H.

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 - 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.

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.

Medieval Art in Italy

ARTH 350 - Bent, George R.

Art and architecture of the Italian peninsula, from circa 1200 to 1400. This seminar addresses issues of patronage, artistic training and methods of production, iconography, and the function of religious and secular imagery. Topics of discussion include the construction of Tuscan cathedrals and civic buildings; sculpture in Siena, Pisa, and Rome; and painting in Assisi, Padua, and Florence.

Shakespeare and Company

ENGL 319 - Pickett, Holly C.

Focusing on the repertory and working conditions of the two play companies with which he was centrally involved, this course examines plays by Shakespeare and several of his contemporary collaborators and colleagues (Jonson, Middleton, Fletcher). Attentive to stage history and the evolution of dramatic texts within print culture, students consider the degree to which Shakespeare was both a representative and an exceptional player in Renaissance London's "show business."

European History, 1500-1789

HIST 101 - Brock, Michelle D. (Mikki)

An individual who died in 1500 would have been surprised, if not bewildered, by many aspects of European life and thought in 1800. What changed over these three centuries? What stayed the same? Why should we in the 21st century, care? This course examines the history of Europe from the Renaissance through the beginning of the French Revolution. It explores the interplay of religion, politics, society, culture, and economy at a time when Europe underwent great turmoil and change: the Reformation, the consolidation of state power, the rise of constitutionalism, global expansion and encounters with "others," perpetual warfare, the rise of the market economy, the spread of the slave trade, the Scientific Revolution, and the Enlightenment. This course discusses how these processes transformed Europe into the Western world of today, while also challenging ideas about what "Western," "European," and "Civilization" actually mean.

 

Medieval and Renaissance Culture: Humanities

MRST 110 - Vise, Melissa E.

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.

Winter 2021, MRST 110-01: Medieval and Renaissance Culture: Plague: A Medieval Pandemic (3). Between 1347 and 1352 a pandemic spread across Europe that ultimately reduced the population of the continent by at least one third. Even worse, the same disease hit repeatedly and decimated each of the next four generations. This course will explore the causes, experiences, and consequences of this disease, colloquially referred to as 'The Pestilence' or 'The Black Death.' These explorations will allow us a window into some of the deepest tensions in the medieval world. Our attempts to understand these tensions will reveal just as much about the people of the Middle Ages as about those who now tell their stories: us. Students will explore the topic by studying medieval art and literature; modern and medieval science; archeological approaches; questions about the role of religion, politics, and economics; as well as the reliability of historical sources. By the end of this course, students will be able to articulate informed perspectives on these topics, while providing compelling and balanced arguments for their interpretations. (HU) Vise.

Directed Individual Study

MRST 403 - Brock, Michelle D. (Mikki)

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 - 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.

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.

Music History I

MUS 201 - Williamson, Scott M.

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

New Testament

REL 102 - Brown, Alexandra R.

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

Buddhism

REL 131 - Haskett, Christian P. (Chris)

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.

Seminar in Biblical Studies

REL 350A - Brown, Alexandra R.

An exploration of a topic in Biblical studies, focusing on ancient texts and their interpreters from antiquity to the present. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

Winter 2021, REL 350A-01: Seminar in Biblical Studies: The Apostle Paul: Life, Legacy, Contest (3). This course offers a multidisciplinary study of the life, thought, and contested legacy of the Apostle Paul, the so-called "founder of Christianity." Beginning with the historical Paul in 1st  century Judaism, students explore significant and often controversial interpretations of his writings and influence from antiquity to the present. Principal themes supported by guest lecturers include ethnicity and race (especially African American readings of Paul) and recent inquiries into cognitive science for understanding the human person in Pauline perspective. (HU) Brown.

Literature of Spain Seminar

SPAN 397A - Mayock, Ellen 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 2021, SPAN 397A-01: Literature of Spain Seminar: Representaciones de la Guerra civil española (3). Prerequisites: SPAN 220 and SPAN 275. This course examines the fundamental importance of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) in literary and visual texts of the Franco and contemporary periods of Spain.  Through readings and viewings of these texts, we will come to understand the evolution of often conflicting histories, ideologies, obsessions, and artistic notions surrounding the war itself and its consequences.  After a review of the events leading up to the Spanish Civil War and of the prelude to the Second World War, we will observe how the themes and issues of the war manifest in fiction, poetry, film, and other visual texts.  We will pay particular attention to the Franco regime, the pact of silence, historical memory, and the desire to uncover the past in myriad ways.  Literature includes works by Federico García Lorca, Jaime Gil de Biedma, Carmen Laforet, Alberto Méndez, and Mercè Rodoreda.  Visual texts include posters, newspapers, letters, government documents, documentaries, fictional and documentary films, and NO-DO reels from the Franco era. (HL) Mayock.

Literature of Spain Seminar

SPAN 397B - 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 2021, SPAN 397B-01: (Re)Reading Don Quijote : Cervantes from La Mancha to the Borderlands and Beyond (3).  Prerequisites: SPAN 275 and Span 220 . Even 400 years after the publication of Cervantes's masterwork, the image of the bedraggled knight tilting at windmills remains recognizable to many worldwide. Why does Don Quijote  persist as such a cultural touchstone, a "global classic"? In its own time, the novel served as a highly specific satire of the Spain of its day; its lasting legacy, however, lies in its interrogation of various tensions still central to modern life. This seminar will consist of a close, historically contextualized reading of Cervantes's text as it probes early 17th-century Spain's preoccupation with national and religious "purity," widening social and economic imbalance, and forced expulsions of large groups of citizens—themes still strikingly relevant today. Students will also conduct a semester long experiential-learning project tracing the 400-year trajectory of Don Quijote 's global transformations and its intersections with contemporary issues including the migration crisis at the US border and this summer's Black Lives Matter protests. (HL) Hernandez.